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Fame (2009)



Average Rating: 4.4/10
Reviews Counted: 118
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 89

Fame is ultimately undone by its choppy editing, its incomplete characterizations, and its apparent desire to appeal to the High School Musical generation.


Average Rating: 4.5/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 23

Fame is ultimately undone by its choppy editing, its incomplete characterizations, and its apparent desire to appeal to the High School Musical generation.



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Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 194,752

My Rating

Movie Info

This remake of the '80s classic focuses on a group of young students attending a high school for the performing arts. Classmates study various aspects of performance, from dance to songwriting to acting, all of them hoping for the chance to one day become stars. Debbie Allen, Charles S. Dutton, Kelsey Grammer, Megan Mullally, and Bebe Neuwirth portray the instructors, with a host of newcomers toplining the production as the students. ~ Cammila Collar, Rovi

Jan 12, 2010


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All Critics (120) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (89) | DVD (7)

The high school is so sanitized that there are no drugs, cutthroat competition, or-inconceivably for a theatrical milieu-no gay students.

October 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment (1)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Members of the class of '80 struggled to stay in school despite homelessness and crime; the greatest crisis in '09 finds a student's Sesame Street work schedule affecting her GPA.

October 1, 2009 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are enough hoary soap-operatic plottings for a thousand Gossip Girls (emotionally distant parents, almost-rapes, suicide attempts), yet Tancharoen individualizes each crisis so that no one character comes off as a mock-universal surrogate.

September 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I don't mind the cornball and I don't mind the clichés, but I just think that the thing has to be executed a little better than this.

September 28, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's almost fatally modest. But it has a sweet spirit, and it offers only one true moment of inadvertent camp: a (lame) finale featuring an African dance routine completely at odds with all the white bread we've just been served.

September 25, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are six new songs in the remake, but not one makes any impact, or is likely to end up as the ring tone of 2010.

September 25, 2009 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kevin Tancharoen's remake of "Fame" is a flat, lifeless experience that is missing the emotion required to get us involved with the characters and their situations.

September 24, 2012 Full Review Source:

This film showed a darker side of high school life and the performing arts. Some scenes are hard to watch, but that's because they are so real.

July 21, 2012 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

The pageantry really is very nice, especially the dance numbers, but as soon as the music stops, so does Fame. It's not the worst remake ever made, it's not even really very bad, just stodgily, repressively mediocre.

March 22, 2011 Full Review Source:

Fails to make a significant mark.

October 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Moviedex

absolutely shameless in its sadistic trotting-out of every single rabbit in the tiny teen-pageant top hat.

September 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

I'm gonna live forever? Fat chance.

August 12, 2010 Full Review Source:

Grab the soundtrack, which highlights the great voices amongst the cast, and enjoy the best bits of the film through your iPod.

August 9, 2010 Full Review Source:

Fame! 2009 is destined to become famous for all the wrong reasons.

February 15, 2010 Full Review Source: 3BlackChicks Review
3BlackChicks Review

It's as if the franchise was remade as a Pepsi commercial.

January 13, 2010 Full Review Source:

The fragmented narrative of high school kids pursuing their dreams (job security) has just barely more feel and understanding of what it's like to be young than 17 Again .

November 4, 2009 Full Review

Remember the theme song? "I feel it coming together/People will see me and cry . . . Fame/I'm gonna live forever/Baby, remember my name." Sadly, none of that applies to this hollow, impersonal movie.

October 31, 2009 Full Review Source: Christianity Today
Christianity Today

Everything is predictable, which is to the detriment of the mostly fine, young talent that appears in this ineffective retread.

October 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

This remake of Alan Parker's 1980 musical follows a rainbow coalition of sketchily characterised teenagers.

October 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Its lack of melodrama and shock value make it all the more refreshing. Consider this film a grittier, inner city cousin of HSM and that's no back handed compliment

October 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

A little too scrubbed and sanitized, with the sharper realities of showbiz sanded down to a PG level.

October 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

a totally unoriginal and unnecessary remake that runs far, far away from anything edgy, controversial or interesting.

October 4, 2009
The Trend

Thing is, to live forever would mean the eventual re-remake of Fame. And that won't do.

October 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

... no worse than the original, but that's plenty bad enough.

October 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

The script doesn't earn the C average students must maintain for continued enrollment in their performing arts school.

October 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)

Audience Reviews for Fame

This movie is shot like a documentary following a group of teenagers from their auditions to their graduation from the Performing Arts school in New York. It is not as wholesome as High School Musical, nor is it as gritty as the original Fame movie. The music is modern and relevant for today's reality TV addicts. Good movie.
January 27, 2013
T Tsang

Super Reviewer

I wasn't a huge fan of the original film but I did enjoy the TV series that came after. This remake of the film is hugely pointless because it adds nothing to the original. It does have good scenes though but unfortunately they always seem to be undone by what happens next. The second half of the film seems so half-hearted and the grand finale is far from grand. The casting of Charles S. Dutton , Kelsey Grammer , Megan Mullally and Bebe Neuwirth was interesting and was one of the reasons I watched but ultimately they were wasted. If you loved the original you might like it though, for me it was nothing new.
January 23, 2012

Super Reviewer

I think that when a film is remade, the original is somehow labeled "ideal". Here's what I liked: the updated dance numbers. I might be crazy, but when I watch a musical, I want something fantastical. Shiny and flashy. The original... eh. The remake, yeah! And I liked that one kid actually wanting to kill himself. Much more realistic and teen-y. And Megan Mullally and Kelsey Grammer. Yes.
Here's what I didn't like: the acting. Oh boy. Yeah. Ouch. Not all actors were atrociously, but most of the leads were just not there. And as one critic pointed out: the total lack of drugs and gays. Even the original Fame was more daring than that.
Overall, I think it was meh. The original crammed more character and more story into it, but this was more fun as musical type of film.
November 25, 2010
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

Some may find it boring and flat, but I found it quite sophisticated and entertaining.
September 4, 2010
Jason Lalljee
Jason Lalljee

Super Reviewer

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