CBGB (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

CBGB (2013)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

SYNOPSIS: CBGB looks at New York's dynamic punk rock scene through the lens of the ground-breaking Lower East Side club started by eccentric Hilly Kristal in 1973 originally as a home for "country, bluegrass and blues" (thus the club's name) and which showcased cutting-edge bands through its closing in 2006. The Talking Heads, Patti Smith, The Ramones, Blondie, The Dead Boys, Bad Brains, Green Day, Soul Asylum, The Police, Bruce Springsteen, Everclear, George Thorogood, The Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, The Black Crowes, The Flaming Lips, The Goo Goo Dolls, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The B-52s, The Runaways, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Tool and The Wallflowers are just some of the thousands of bands that played the club over the years. (c) XLRatormore
Rating: R (for language throughout, some sexual content, drug use,a nd a scene of violence)
Genre: Musical & Performing Arts, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Jody Savin, Randall Miller
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 31, 2013
Xlrator Media - Official Site


Alan Rickman
as Hilly Kristal
Rupert Grint
as Cheetah Crome
Ashley Greene
as Lisa Kristal
Joel David Moore
as Joey Ramone
Malin Akerman
as Debbie Harry
Stana Katic
as Genya Ravan
Mickey Sumner
as Patti Smith
Justin Bartha
as Stiv Bators
Donal Logue
as Merv Ferguson
Bradley Whitford
as Nicky "F.cking" Gant
Johnny Galecki
as Terry Ork
Ryan Hurst
as Mad Mountain
Steven Schub
as Dee Dee Ramone
Evan Alex Cole
as Richard Hell
Peter Vack
as Legs McNeil
Estelle Harris
as Bertha Kristal
Josh Zuckerman
as John Holmstrom
Ahna O'Reilly
as Mary Harron
Kyle Gallner
as Lou Reed
Jared Carter
as David Byrne
Michael Britt
as Chris Frantz
Thompson Newkirk
as Andy Summers
Christopher Scott Co...
as Stewart Copeland
Bronson Adams
as Johnny Blitz
Simon Hodgeson
as Jimmy Zero
Julian Acosta
as Johnny Ramone
as Tommy Ramone
Max Reinhardsen
as Tom Verlaine
Luke Dressler
as Richard Lloyd
Adam Bailey
as Billy Ficca
Arthur Bridgers
as Shamai Kristal
Danielle Lily Shaw
as Young Bertha
Holly Hubbell
as Sarah Brown
B. Todd Johnston
as Benjamin Brown
Tom Nowicki
as Palace Bartender
Aaron Munoz
as Palace Hotel Manager
Michael Massee
as Officer Stan
James Edwards
as Psychotic Fan
Dominic Bogart
as Michael Sticca
Caleb McCotter
as Wayne County
Kamille Dawkins
as Bank Teller
Blake Shutterly
as Female Reporter
Katherine DuBois
as Genya's Friend
Juan C. Piedrahita
as Angry Hombre #1
Richard Marrero
as Angry Hombre #2
Bob Lipka
as Ye Ol' Farmer
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for CBGB

Critic Reviews for CBGB

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (14)

The music rocks, but little else does, in Randall Miller's sitcom snapshot of New York's iconic punk incubator.

Full Review… | October 15, 2013
Top Critic

Alan Rickman's lead performance highlights a sincere but insubstantial rock pic.

Full Review… | October 11, 2013
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

"CBGB" ain't no party, it ain't no disco, it ain't no foolin' around.

Full Review… | October 11, 2013
Top Critic

If you really want to remember those times? Get out "Horses." Or "Talking Heads: 77." Or "Blank Generation." Preferably on vinyl, with all the pops and scratches. And play them. Loud.

Full Review… | October 11, 2013
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

I would swear on a stack of Dead Boys T-shirts and a first pressing of Richard Hell and the Voidoids' "Blank Generation" that it could not possibly have been like that: so silly, so trivial, so boring.

Full Review… | October 10, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

In place of punk's howling rage, you get gross-out jokes that include at least a half-dozen close-ups of the poop from Kristal's bowel-challenged dog.

Full Review… | October 10, 2013
New York Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for CBGB

50,000 bands and 1 disgusting bathroom.

Very Good Film! The story, the texture, the music all lifted me into a different world. The cuts between this punk magazine and this story amazed me as they worked. The music is a dream collection and the quirky story of the accidental birth of this genre of music made me smile end to end. Overall I really enjoyed the movie personally... but I didn't have high expectations on what it was going to be either.

CBGB follows the story of Hilly Kristal's New York club from its conceit as a venue for Country, Bluegrass and Blues (CBGB) to what it ultimately became: the birthplace of underground rock 'n roll and punk. When Kristal had difficulty booking country bands in his club on the Bowery he opened his doors to other kinds of rock music. Kristal had one demand of the acts he booked; they could only play original music. No top 40's, no covers. It was the credo he lived by, support the artist at whatever the cost. Hilly Kristal ironically became known as the godfather of punk giving a chance to such bands as Blondie, Television, Ramones, Talking Heads, Dead Boys and The Police.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

four stars...

MisterYoda ?

Super Reviewer

The film was a disappointment. I thought from the trailer that the film would be good, but I was wrong. I didn't like the style of the film. The style tried to make it like a comic book/graphic novel style of transitions. I found that style distracting here. I would have rather watched a documentary about CBGB. Alan Rickman did a good job, given what he had to work with.

Sol C

Super Reviewer

CBGB Quotes

– Submitted by Kelsey R (47 days ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss CBGB on our Movie forum!