Almost Famous (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Almost Famous (2000)



Critic Consensus: Almost Famous, with its great ensemble performances and story, is a well-crafted, warm-hearted movie that successfully draws you into its era.

Movie Info

Writer and director Cameron Crowe's experiences as a teenage rock journalist -- he was a regular contributor to Rolling Stone while still in high school -- inspired this coming-of-age story about a 15-year-old boy hitting the road with an up-and-coming rock band in the early 1970s. Elaine Miller (Frances McDormand) is a bright, loving, but strict single parent whose distrust of rock music and fears about drug use have helped to drive a wedge between herself and her two children, Anita (Zooey Deschanel) and William (Patrick Fugit). Anita rebels by dropping out of school and becoming a stewardess, but William makes something of his love of rock & roll by writing album reviews for a local underground newspaper. William's work attracts the attention of Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman), editor of renegade rock magazine Creem, who takes William under his wing and gives him his first professional writing assignment -- covering a Black Sabbath concert. While William is unable to score an interview with the headliners, the opening act, Stillwater, are more than happy to chat with a reporter, even if he's still too young to drive, and William's piece on the group in Creem gains him a new admirer in Ben Fong-Torres (Terry Chen), an editor at Rolling Stone. Torres offers William an assignment for a 3,000-word cover story on Stillwater, and over the objections of his mother (whose parting words are "Don't use drugs!"), and after some stern advice from Bangs (who says under no circumstances should he become friends with a band he's covering), Williams joins Stillwater on tour, where he becomes friendly with guitarist Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup) and singer Jeff Bebe (Jason Lee). William also becomes enamored of Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), a groupie traveling with the band who is no older than William, but is deeply involved with Russell. Lester Bangs and Ben Fong-Torres, incidentally, were real-life rock writers Crowe worked with closely during his days as a journalist. Almost Famous' original score was composed by Nancy Wilson of Heart (who is also Crowe's wife). ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: R (for language, drug content and brief nudity)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Cameron Crowe
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 13, 2001
Box Office: $31.7M
DreamWorks SKG - Official Site


Billy Crudup
as Russell Hammond
Frances McDormand
as Elaine Miller
Kate Hudson
as Penny Lane
Jason Lee
as Jeff Bebe
Patrick Fugit
as William Miller
Noah Taylor
as Dick Roswell
Anna Paquin
as Polexia Aphrodesia
Fairuza Balk
as Sapphire
Zooey Deschanel
as Anita Miller
John Fedevich
as Ed Vallencourt
Jimmy Fallon
as Dennis Hope
Bijou Phillips
as Estrella Starr
Eion Bailey
as Jann Wenner
Terry Chen
as Ben Fong-Torres
Erin Foley
as Alison the Fact Chec...
Zach Ward
as The Legendary Red Do...
Olivia Rosewood
as Beth from Denver
Alice Marie Crowe
as Mrs. Deegan
Mark Kozelek
as Larry Fellows
Michael Angarano
as Young William
J.J. Cohen
as Roadie Scully
Gary Douglas Kohn
as Roadie Gregg
Ray Porter
as Roadie Mick
Rainn Wilson
as David Felton
Charles Walker
as Principal
Jay Baruchel
as Vic Munoz
Pauley Perrette
as Alice Wisdom
Mitch Hedberg
as Eagles Road Manager
Devin Corey
as The Who Road Manager
Pete Droge
as Hyatt Singer
Elaine Summers
as Hyatt Singer
Eric Stonestreet
as Sheldon the Desk Cle...
Marc Maron
as Angry Promoter
Shane Willard
as Ticket Scalper
Chris McElprang
as Aaron Amedori
Kate Peckham
as Quiet Girl
Júlia Schüler
as Waving Girl
Brian Vaughan
as Real Topeka Kid
Anthony Martelli
as Poolside Provocateur
Ian Ridgeway
as Topeka Partier
Isaac Curtiss
as Topeka Partier
Chris Lennon Davis
as Topeka Partier
Reathel Bean
as Warwick Hotel Clerk
Tom Riis Farrell
as Plaza Doctor
Samuel Aaron Roberso...
as High School Band Mem...
Brian Andreasen
as High School Band Mem...
Jared Hren
as High School Band Mem...
Mary Dragicevich
as High School Band Mem...
Aura Barr
as High School Band Mem...
Daniel Wilson
as Journalism Teacher
Holly Maples
as Flight Attendant
Matt Griesser
as PSA Co-Pilot
Susan Yeagley
as Have a Nice Day Stew...
Nicole Spector
as Hippie Girl at Airpo...
Patrick Irmen
as Wanna Get High Guy
Nick Swardson
as Insane Bowie Fan
Cindy Weber
as Shocked Elevator Fam...
Kris Weber
as Shocked Elevator Fam...
Kaitlyn Weber
as Shocked Elevator Fam...
Kimberly Weber
as Shocked Elevator Fam...
Kristin Weber
as Shocked Elevator Fam...
Samer Sourakli
as Mustache Boy
Michelle Moretti
as Swingo's Desk Clerk
Ana Maria Quintana
as Arizona Housekeeper
Lisa Buchignani
as Arizona Housekeeper
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Almost Famous

Critic Reviews for Almost Famous

All Critics (178) | Top Critics (36)

The movie's so clever and endearing, you can forget the almost.

Full Review… | August 19, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

None of the non-musical components on the screen matched the excitement of the music.

Full Review… | April 27, 2007
New York Observer
Top Critic

It's a sweet-minded, picaresque story, woolly with some of its dramatic details, but stacked with attractions...

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A blissfully sweet coming-of-age movie in which everyone, young and less young, comes of age.

Full Review… | August 7, 2004
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

For every scene that's a sturdy piece of observed wisdom about coming of age... there's another that's pure cheese.

Full Review… | April 7, 2015
Antagony & Ecstasy

The film itself -- a quasi-autobiography of writer-director Cameron Crowe -- is still good, but not as good as it seemed 14 years ago.

Full Review… | February 28, 2014
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Almost Famous

One of the best films about music ever made, with standout performances from everyone in the cast, including a rocking soundtrack that brings this simple, breezy road-trip of a kid following a band on the rise up to "greatness" status. It's just a wonderful movie, and does a good job of being engaging right from the first second and it never really lets up. Kate Hudson's hypnotizing performance is the real standout as a seductive and carefree fan who, like the lead character, experiences the good and ugly things the rock and roll lifestyle brings to an individual. We need more movies like this made about music, ones that don't for a minute feel artificial, and ones that deliver memorable scenes and provide interesting characters that won't leave you quickly.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

I don't think I "get" this movie. I like rock and roll as much as the next Band Aid, but very little is actually spent on the music. Russell Hammond's last interview answer about what he loves about music is somewhat of an easy trick, "To begin with...everything." This is Cameron Crowe's problem in "Elizabethtown" too, only with shoes and failure. He doesn't and can't seem to articulate what it is he loves or knows about music. Now, I know writing about music is like dancing about architecture, but because that articulation of music seems so central to William's journalistic aspirations, the movie needs to be more than just a coming-of-age road trip with surface treatment of the sexdrugsrockandroll trifecta.

Kate Hudson's woodsy, backlit scene of her laughingly asking, "What kind of beer [was I sold for]?" with those smooth, limpid tears rolling down is indeed a notable performance. However, what really is the difference between Groupies and Band Aids in the end? How do they afford such an extravagant, nomadic lifestyle? What about Penny Lane does William really fall in love with that's so different from the innocent yet sophisticated beauty every other band member sees?

The best part of the movie is probably Lester Bangs's brash but sympathetic caveats about fame and coolness.

Alice Shen

Super Reviewer


Beautiful, funny, and occasionally thrilling, Almost Famous is wonderfully filmed and well written, and ultimately, an extremely likable and memorable cinematic experience that demands to be seen again and again.

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

Almost Famous Quotes

– Submitted by Dan A (20 months ago)
– Submitted by Dan A (20 months ago)
– Submitted by Giovanni R (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Miriam M (3 years ago)

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