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Rock of Ages (2012)



Average Rating: 5/10
Reviews Counted: 213
Fresh: 88 | Rotten: 125

Its exuberant silliness is almost enough to make up for its utter inconsequentiality, but Rock of Ages is ultimately too bland and overlong to justify its trip to the big screen.


Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critic Reviews: 47
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 26

Its exuberant silliness is almost enough to make up for its utter inconsequentiality, but Rock of Ages is ultimately too bland and overlong to justify its trip to the big screen.



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Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 207,076

My Rating

Movie Info

Rock of Ages tells the story of small town girl Sherrie and city boy Drew, who meet on the Sunset Strip while pursuing their Hollywood dreams. Their rock 'n' roll romance is told through the heart-pounding hits of Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Night Ranger, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Whitesnake and more. -- (C) Warner Bros


Musical & Performing Arts, Drama

Chris D'Arienzo

Oct 9, 2012


New Line Cinema - Official Site External Icon

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June 15, 2012:
Critics Consensus: Rock of Ages Hits a Sour Note
This week at the movies, we've got a rock 'n' roll romance (Rock of Ages, starring Julianne Hough...


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All Critics (213) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (88) | Rotten (125) | DVD (3)

Rock of Ages is not a spoof, but it might as well be, given how little there is to root for.

June 19, 2012 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...a cinematic endeavor that, for all intents and purposes, is asking the consumer to put down his or her money to watch movie stars do karaoke.

June 16, 2012 Full Review Source: MSN Movies
MSN Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cruise, as Stacee Jaxx, is the living embodiment of a rock god.

June 16, 2012 Full Review Source: | Comments (11)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Every time an actor belts out a hit, you're reminded that the original, however cheesy, was better.

June 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Richard | Comments (9)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie's supporting stars are always, inevitably, winking at the audience, but it's unclear whether the dewy-eyed leads even know how to blink.

June 15, 2012 Full Review Source: The Atlantic | Comments (3)
The Atlantic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Pour some sugar on it, indeed.

June 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Denver Post | Comment (1)
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Oscar-worthy costume design by Rita Ryack ... enliven the proceedings that are constantly mired by Tom Cruise's unattractive vanity mugging, off-putting gay jokes and questionable taste in choreography.

September 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Trespass

Rock of Ages will make you want to raise your arms...and then immediately plunge your fingers into your eyeballs for salvation (you can go back for seconds to rescue your ears).

August 15, 2013 Full Review Source: The Playlist
The Playlist

Feelin' the noise ain't the same as feeling something for the characters, most of whom fail to amp it up in the soul department.

June 2, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

Neither Tom Cruise nor a solid 80s playlist can keep the Rock alive.

March 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

Tom, we're really not worthy.

November 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Star
Daily Star

If you grew up with the music of the 1980's and want to relive it, you may enjoy the film. For me, I could easily have skipped both the music and the movie.

October 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Rock of Ages panders to its base without putting in the extra effort to standout as not just a competent musical but a must-see film experience for all audiences.

September 27, 2012 Full Review Source: ScreenRant | Comment (1)

Tom Cruise is monumentally good in this film. If this film was called Stacee Jaxx it might have been my film of the year.

September 27, 2012 Full Review Source: The Aristocrat | Comment (1)
The Aristocrat

Far from being a true "Juke Box Hero," Rock of ages still manages to delight with its own giddy brand of utter stupidity.

September 15, 2012 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

"Rock of Ages" just never comes together, resulting in a mishmash of mostly-bland music and undeveloped stories.

September 14, 2012 Full Review Source:

Rock Of Ages is a stone-cold medley of cheese and cliché. It riffs on dated guitar bands and power-anthems and it builds its city on dry ice and key changes. And yet... it still kinda rocks.

September 13, 2012 Full Review Source:

There are two reasons to see "Rock of Ages." One: If you live and breathe for 80s rock music. Two: A drugged up Tom Cruise belting out Bon Jovi. Unfortunately, that's about it.

September 10, 2012 Full Review Source:

If this isn't one of the worst movies of the year, we're all in a whole lot of trouble.

August 22, 2012 Full Review Source: CraveOnline

It's overlong, overblown and couldn't establish a convincing plot if its life depended on it, but it sings at the top of its lungs, and if you haven't gone deaf by the mid-point, you might just find yourself humming along.

August 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

Would have been more honestly titled Rock for Ages -- because that's how long this headbangers ball seems to go on.

July 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Knight at the Movies | Comments (2)
Knight at the Movies

The worst of Michael Schultz's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Menahem Golan's The Apple with the kind of music that caused me to stop listening to radio altogether.

July 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

... the driving beat keeps toes tapping.

July 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

An illustrative dividing line: REO Speedwagon is probably thrilled to death to be on this soundtrack - meanwhile Joan Jett is likely embarrassed that she is too.

July 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

Shankman makes a lively, consistently entertaining film that blends two seemingly incompatible art forms: a Broadway musical and '80s rock 'n' roll.

July 1, 2012 Full Review Source:

There's little doubt that Rock of Ages benefits substantially from its fast-paced and thoroughly energetic opening few minutes...

June 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for Rock of Ages

Musical about a country girl wanting to make it big in Hollywood. It's a bit like Coyote Ugly. Good cast and music. Tom Cruise is an aged rocker off his head! Catherine Zeta-Jones is a repressed stepford wife! Hilarious!
October 6, 2013
Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

Adam Shankman's choice of music in Rock of Ages brings the noise, but not much else.The story is predictable and the plot details are weak. It is a surprise that there is enough material to push this film to nearly 2 hours; then again, the musical pieces will help with that. A good portion of the story comes across as odd, and while that may have some entertainment value in itself, it isn't a film saver.The song selection is solid, and there are a lot of musical numbers. In fact, there may be too many, almost as if there is more time spent singing than anything else. Mary J. Blige takes the crown for singing. Everyone else gets by.Tom Cruise is an absolute show stealer, and while Diego Boneta and the stunning Julianne Hough are the heart of the story, they are inferior when compared to the power of Cruise.Rock of Ages is watchable; however, not watching it is also an option.
August 22, 2013
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

Rock of Ages was a complete silly, fun, good time. I had no intentions of seeing the movie. I probably never would have if it wasn't for my niece. This movie was her pick for the night. She loves musicals and plays. I on the other hand don't care for musicals. I try to avoid them. I've only watched three being Mama Mia, Dream Girls, and Grease. So going into this movie I knew very little. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. If not for the music and over the top acting I probably would have never sat through the whole thing. I know the movie has gotten pretty bad reviews, but I took the movie for what it was. Silly. I mean you can't take this movie serious when you see Tom Cruise in a thong with his package being covered with a crystal devil that has a long red tongue. Seriously! Who was the genius who thought that up? I kinda threw up in my mouth at that part. But I have to admit, he did a pretty good job in this movie. Him and Malin were hilarious together. I also about died when Brand and Baldwin started singing 'I Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore'. I was in hysterics. I was completely impressed with Diego Boneta. The boy can sing. I thought him and Julianne Hough did a great job. The talent in undeniable and the singing was awesome by most. This probably has one the best soundtracks a movie can have. I am HUGE 80's fan. I think those who don't care for musicals might like this one. It is tolerable and funny. It is a film that doesn't take itself too serious and actually pokes fun at itself. I also enjoyed seeing some of the greats from the 80's era when they were all rocking out to "We Built This City'. It was cool to see them be able to be apart of the movie. I will definitely be seeing this again.
April 5, 2013

Super Reviewer

Today marks the passing of my favorite film critic Roger Ebert. Not only were we very simpatico in our tastes, but I always found his commentary (and blogs) to be a joy to read. Put simply, the man had a way with words. Before going on to the review I'd like to share a little anecdote: I was introduced to Roger Ebert through the tv show "At The Movies" with fellow critic Gene Siskel. I found it fascinating how these two could find totally different things to like or dislike about the same film; and I discovered at that time that Roger's view of the idiom echoed my own.

Born and raised in San Francisco I always tuned in to "the little man" and read Joel Selvin's film reviews, even though I often disagreed. After my introduction to the small screen Ebert, I began searching for his written reviews, which I not only found to be more tasty than Selvin's (sorry Joel), but his negative commentary to be less snarky, and more subtle. It then became alchemy - for I knew that if Roger liked a film and Selvin hated it - well, that pretty much guaranteed an enjoyable cinematic experience for me (and yes, they frequently were polar opposites in their reviews).

So now I bid farewell to Roger. I loved your writing style and your eye into film. I don't know who I can trust now... I guess I'll have to continue to read Selvin and, as usual, go contrary to his recommendations. Roger, you will be missed.

Now, on to the review, which I will attempt to flesh out more than usual, in respect for Roger. Sadly the film up for review is Rock of Ages, a Glee/Smash musical with a thin story line wrapped up in 80's rock music anthems.

The story seems so incredibly trite - the typical Oklahoma girl leaves middle America for the bright lights and (hopefully) stardom of LA. Once there, she meets a boy, and gets a job waiting tables in a rock club (The Bourbon Room, a silly reference to the Whiskey A Go-Go). They fall in love, go through the usual misunderstanding that causes a breakup, only to find each other and reconcile by film's end. Sounds familiar, yes?

Of course the schtick of the film is that it is couched within the world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. This allows for some huge musical production numbers with singers and dancers - all very Smash like - and if you like that kind of thing (which, to a point, I do), you could do worse. I'm not going to comment too much on the film production and direction, which is intentionally (I hope) over the top, like watching a series of early MTV music videos, but will focus instead on the musical production (something I believe to be qualified to do).

The sound is punchy and clean and very well produced, and the vocal talents will surprise you. Unlike Smash, where you can be impressed by the vocal chops but wonder where the "soul" is, here, with the exception of Julianne Hough as Sherrie, the Oklahoma refugee, you get performances that are more grit than glam. It's not that Hough cannot sing, for she shows great range, but that her styling is a bit too "broadway" and while she harmonizes well, her voice is a bit "thin" and "nasal" for a lead singer. Just compare her voice to Mary Blige when the two do a duet - one is truly a lead singer, the other.... Well you get the picture.

Also prominently featured, both as actor and singer, is Tom Cruise as the rock god Stacee Jaxx. Cruise is a marvel here, bare chested, scotch swilling, the embodiment of the SD&RR mantra. Not only is he totally believable as this bigger than life character (and who else has the charisma to pull this off?), but his vocal chops are surprisingly strong. When he decides to dig into a phrase it comes across like he really means it - I just loved his rendition of Bon Jovi's "Dead or Alive".

There are other side attractions that raise this endeavor from stinkyville; including the always irreverent Russell Brand as the Bourbon Room's assistant manager - offering rock bromides and often non-sequiter one liners. His interplay with his boss, club owner Alec Baldwin in a long haired wig, is solid and entertaining.

Well caste as well is Paul Giamatti as Cruise's slimy manager... of course with Giamatti's gift it's hard to think of a role where he would be miscast. Throw in Catherin Zeta-Jones in a quirky performance as the Mayor's wife; a religious nut job echoing Tipper Gore and here rants against "the devil music". Her take on "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" while executed well, is almost embarrassing for it's Borsch Belt over the top sensibility. As her husband, the Mayor, Brian Cranston is mostly wasted here, a character to move the plot along and nothing more.

I firmly believe that director Adam Shankman and writer Chris D'Arienzo knew what they were doing here, so tried to steer clear of the too obvious nature of the storyline and infuse it with enough wink, wink moments to entertain, if not completely satisfy. I got a serious belly laugh when Sherrie gets to meet her idol Cruise. She gushes "oh my god, you mean so much to me - when my hamster died, it was your music that helped get me through". If only there was more of that, and more Cruise as Jaxx, and less of the limpid boy meets girl love story that never really has merit other than a plot contrivance.

I've compared this film to watching an extended MTV video (as I sadly remember those glorious times wherein the film supposedly took place - where the videos were fresh and the idiom new) - as well as comparing it to Smash on the small screen. Truly though, this has the feel of an old time musical, like Oklahoma or South Pacific, where a thin story line allows the actors to break into song at the drop of a hat. Of course this isn't one of the aforementioned musicals, as the songs aren't original, or "broadwayesque". No, this is more kin to the somewhat obscure Turturo film "Romance and Cigarettes" - a spoof on the musical genre that used modern song. At least in the case of Rock of Ages, the songs were actually reproduced and sung by the actors, instead of the actors lip synching over the original versions of the famous songs.

It is said during the film (taking place in the late 80's) that rock is dead. Well, it's not dead yet, but like the rest of the music industry in this age of compressed MP3's and singles, it's on life support - the indie underground scene can't seem to get the kind of traction that the Seattle grunge scene got back in the early 90's, and when DJ's seem to garner the same star treatment that used to be reserved for gifted musicians... ah well - best to savor the memories of my time growing up during the true musical revolution that was the late 60's and 70's.
April 5, 2013
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

    1. Lonny: Sniff the mic! Whoo!
    – Submitted by Tyler H (15 months ago)
    1. Lonny: Look at him now. Married to a woman who looks like she's been hibernating in Margaret Thatcher's bunghole.
    – Submitted by Tyler H (15 months ago)
    1. Stacee Jaxx: I'm a slave to rock n roll.
    – Submitted by Tyler H (15 months ago)
    1. Stacee Jaxx: I AM on stage, Paul.
    – Submitted by Tyler H (15 months ago)
    1. Stacee Jaxx: Open your mouth...
    – Submitted by Lorraine L (21 months ago)
    1. Stacee Jaxx: I'm gonna burn this place to the ground.
    2. Dennis Dupree: Why?
    3. Stacee Jaxx: So the Fire Phoenix can be set free.
    4. Dennis Dupree: ...
    5. Stacee Jaxx: I'm just kidding... you can't trap a Fire Phoenix.
    – Submitted by Alex B (22 months ago)
View all quotes (26)

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