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CBGB Reviews

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Travis Hopson

There's very little rockin' goin' on at the CBGB, and those unfamiliar with it will wonder what the fuss is all about.

Full Review Source: Examiner.com | Original Score: 2/5

September 12, 2013
Brian McManus
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

CBGB misses the opportunity to educate. But its biggest sin, unlike many who performed there, is that it also misses the opportunity to entertain.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

October 7, 2013
Tomris Laffly
Film Journal International

CBGB generally feels like a misstep, with self-aware characters all stuck in a movie that can't decide what it wants to be stylistically.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

October 11, 2013
Greg Evans
Bloomberg News

'CBGB' is something those clamoring, three-chord amateurs rarely were: harmless.

Full Review Source: Bloomberg News

October 11, 2013
Charlie Schmidlin
The Playlist

It takes a lot of effort to take the underdog stomping grounds of New York's top punk acts and turn them into the Central Perk from Friends-albeit with slightly more stain-but CBGB does it with total conviction.

Full Review Source: The Playlist | Original Score: D

October 11, 2013
Tomas Hachard
Slant Magazine

As the film moves from one musical performance to another, the result increasingly feels like a series of celebrity impersonations set to a best-of-punk compilation album.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 1/4

October 8, 2013
Matt Donato
We Got This Covered

CBGB is like a cheap cover band - sure, you'll get some entertainment, but the experience is missing that original spark of life.

Full Review Source: We Got This Covered | Original Score: 5/10

October 7, 2013
Farran Smith Nehme
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop 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 Source: New York Post | Original Score: 1/4

October 10, 2013
T'Cha Dunlevy
Montreal Gazette

Ultimately, CBGB tries to be too cute of a film about a great, gritty topic, but for those seeking an innocent trip through a pivotal time in rock, it's better than a kick in the head.

Full Review Source: Montreal Gazette | Original Score: 2.5/5

November 8, 2013
Kate Erbland
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The absolute antithesis to the pioneering punk spirit it tries to portray.

Full Review Source: Film.com | Original Score: 3.7/10

October 9, 2013
Eric Hynes
Time Out New York
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Mythologizing by way of whip-pans and slapstick spit-takes, CBGB just might be the CBGB that we deserve.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 1/5

October 8, 2013
Nora Lee Mandel

Warm gloss of nostalgia over the rise of the punk music scene in gritty 1970's downtown New York. The spirit of musical and visual energy outweighs fanciful superficiality.

Full Review Source: Film-Forward.com | Original Score: 5/10

October 13, 2013
Robert Levin

The magnitude of what went on at 315 Bowery is largely missing, though it's hard not to be at least a little bit stirred by the covers.

Full Review Source: amNewYork | Original Score: 2/4

October 18, 2013
Todd Gilchrist
Comic Book Resources

a moderately effective overview of the club's early years, distilled into sitcom-worthy vignettes without the kind of recklessness to make them seem truly dangerous, CBGB is the pop-punk version of a raucous, punk-rock story.

Full Review Source: Comic Book Resources

October 11, 2013
Stephen Silver

Plays like it was written and directed by people who have never listened to or heard of punk rock in their lives

Full Review Source: EntertainmentTell | Original Score: 1/5

December 17, 2013
Bill Gibron

These are icons, not accessories in some Hot Topic cover version of "Teenage Lobotomy."

Full Review Source: PopMatters | Original Score: .5/5

October 11, 2013
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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The movie feels like a Las Vegas imitation of a place that was once scuzzily, beautifully alive.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2/5

October 10, 2013
Brian Orndorf

Unenlightening and overworked, the effort turns the raw energy of a movement into a Saturday morning cartoon, counting on a soundtrack of classics to carry the viewing experience.

Full Review Source: Blu-ray.com | Original Score: D+

October 10, 2013
Cole Smithey

[VIDEO ESSAY] If you're a punk fan then you're - at best - on the dark side of your '40s. Nonetheless, you will be drawn to see "CBGB" for yourself regardless of how disappointed you will be.

Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com | Original Score: C-

October 3, 2013
Christy Lemire
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: RogerEbert.com | Original Score: 1/4

October 11, 2013
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