Fame (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Fame (2009)



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

Movie Info

A reinvention of the original Oscar (R)-winning hit film, "Fame" follows a talented group of dancers, singers, actors, and artists over four years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts, a diverse, creative powerhouse where students from all walks of life are given a chance to live out their dreams and achieve real and lasting fame...the kind that comes only from talent, dedication, and hard work. In an incredibly competitive atmosphere, plagued by self-doubt, each student's passion will be put to the test. In addition to their artistic goals, they have to deal with everything else that goes along with high school, a tumultuous time full of schoolwork, deep friendships, budding romance, and self-discovery. As each student strives for his or her moment in the spotlight, they'll discover who among them has the innate talent and necessary discipline to succeed. With the love and support of their friends and fellow artists, they'll find out who amongst them will achieve... Fame.more
Rating: PG (for thematic material including teen drinking, a sexual situation and language)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By: Aline Brosh McKenna, Michael Gore, Allison Burnett
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 12, 2010
Box Office: $22.4M


Debbie Allen
as Principal Simms
Kelsey Grammer
as Martin Cranston
Megan Mullally
as Fran Rowan
Bebe Neuwirth
as Lynn Kraft
Julius Tennon
as Denise's Dad
April Grace
as Denise's Mom
Michael Hyatt
as Malik's Mom
Laura Johnson
as Alice's Mom
James Read
as Alice's Dad
Howard Gutman
as Neil's Dad
Dale Godboldo
as Music Executive
J.T. Horenstein
as Dance Teacher
Stephanie Mace
as Mr. Cranston's Assis...
Patrick Censoplano
as Brooklyn Boy
Marcus Hopson
as Senior Rapper
Tynisha Keli
as Female Singer
Kate Mulligan
as Karaoke Singer
Donnie Smith
as Film Set PA
Earl Carroll
as Camera Shop Clerk
Oren Waters
as Singing Homeless Man
Tim Jo
as Korean Boy
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Fame

Critic Reviews for Fame

All Critics (120) | Top Critics (35)

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

Full Review… | October 2, 2009
Chicago Reader
Top 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.

Full Review… | October 1, 2009
L.A. Weekly
Top 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.

Full Review… | September 24, 2012

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.

Full Review… | July 21, 2012
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.

Full Review… | March 22, 2011

Fails to make a significant mark.

Full Review… | October 29, 2010

Audience Reviews for Fame


An underrated remake of a great film with new characters dealing with personal conflicts and following their dream to become a famous star, and while the first hour is engaging, I am glad that the film doesn't get ruined by that lame Broadway-like ending.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer

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.

Candy Rose

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.

Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

Fame Quotes

Malik Washburn: Mom, I'm talented.
Malik's Mom: And who in the world told you that you were so special?
Malik Washburn: You did.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (23 months ago)
Marco: She's hot, but she thinks she's like the talented person in the school.
Victor Tavares: So maybe she is.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (23 months ago)
Mr. Martin Cranston: You have talent. Now let's see what we can do with it.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (23 months ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Fame on our Movie forum!