This Is Spinal Tap Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 23, 2007
Long time friends Rob Reiner and Christopher Guest partner up for this first great mockumentary that hits all the right notes. Spinal Tap even opened the '84-'85 season of SNL a few months after the movie opened (Guest was a cast member that season after all). Guest, Reiner, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer all share writing credit on this improvisational gem. Hilarious songs and performances including the "archival" footage showing the band's phases through the '60s and '70s. We get a look behind the scenes with this British heavy metal band, their manager (Tony Hendra), and the girlfriend who nearly breaks up the group (June Chadwick), with cameos by Fran Drescher, Billy Crystal, and Fred Willard. I once used the "This amp goes to 11" scene to illustrate an argument in a philosophy class in college. We were talking about the two schools of thought: Rationalists and Empiricists. Listen to what Reiner and Guest say in this scene and their tone of voice. I'm with Marty, who I identify as being in the Empiricist camp. Amps go to 10, whatever the loudest level is should be called 10, you don't just invent 11 and all of a sudden your amp is better than any other. These British rockers are not all there in the head, so Nigel, the "Rationalist," is stumped when Marty presents his evidence and argument. The Rationalists are the philosophers generally arguing that there are ideal forms apart from the physical world, and arguing for the existence of God. Anyways, these were the ideas discussed in my one philosophy class, and that will continue to be discussed. Let's not forget that this movie is hilarious. I also love the scene where they get lost in a Cleveland theater trying to find their way to the stage from their dressing room. This movie set the stage for all future Christopher Guest mockumentaries.
August 16, 2015
Fake documentary of the worst-but fictional-Heavy Metal group.Sit down and relax listening the mostly absurd,sexist songs of genre,the Stonehenge sequence is solid gold
November 21, 2007
Failure can be fun. So this is about the fictional band Spinal Tap, a group that has been around the block a few times, and has released 15 albums during their 17-year career. They are all set to go on their North American tour, but when egos and management clash, things are bound to go awry. Now this may not be the first mockumentary ever made, but it is definitely known for starting the trend. If you didn't know any better, you would just think that this is some obscure British band that is big in England, but small in the States, and the film is well crafted enough for you to buy into it. It makes for a novel effect and a memorable experience. Another classic from Rob Reiner, Spinal Tap is filled with memorable jokes. It's so short and compact that you actually retain a lot long after you walk away, and it is easy to see why this gained its cult status. For example, how many times have you heard somebody reference turning something "up to 11". Have you ever heard the line, "No one knows who they were, or what they were doing"? Spinal Tap is the movie that's responsible. Between creative lines of naturally flowing dialogue, the Stonehenge prop and the outrageous egos and insatiable personalities, you have hilarity ensuing all over the place. This is all about beautiful failure, and the fact that this band is oblivious to the fact that their glory days are far back in the rear view mirror makes for terrific entertainment. Now I know this movie has a huge following, so a lot of you probably already know everything that I'm writing down here. I also know that this entire review has been nothing but aglow with praise, but I don't actually love this to a point where I would label this as one of my top favorite movies, but I do really like everything that it does. It's nothing personal, just a matter of preference, and I completely understand the many people out there that have this in their regular rotation of films that get frequent viewings. It's so short that you can watch it easily at any time, and the parody of it all demands that you watch it at least once. At the very least, this is a definitive answer to the following question: "is it better to burn out or fade away" (it's definitely, DEFINITELY burn out).
July 15, 2014
Not as consistently funny as its reputation, but.... this is one of very, very few movies which can lay claim to having scenes at the same level as Monty Python and the Holy grail. The stonehenge scene in particular is one of the greatest in the history of film comedy. Spinal Tap can also be credited as giving birth to the bountiful mockumentary genre, and the members of Spinal Tap have continued the gag brilliantly beyond the release of the film.

While Spinal Tap may be an ingeniously ridiculous creation the Spinal Tap movie isn't just a gagfest. It is even more so a picture of burnout, symbolic of the (big) bottoming out of rock and roll culture at the time yes, but more specifically of the physical and emotional burnout of the band members, amid an aimless playing out the string. There are entire stretches of the movie that lag, which is why I've rated Spinal Tap slightly lower than Guffman and Best in Show. The draggy pace and empty sections may be for a purpose, but that purpose isn't comedy, which this movie at its best does better than nearly any other. Other films can show how drab and exhausting being on tour can be; only Spinal Tap can produce the sights, sounds, and yes, the smells, of rock culture at its most riotously, at times almost endearingly stupid and neanderthal. When it does, it soars, head-bangs and thrusts its way down from comedy heaven
December 13, 2007
This was one of those films that I always meant to see but never did. Now that I have seen it, I am glad I did. Its a very unique film. I loved all the cameos in it. Its one of the better mocumentaries out there. I wish I had seen it long ago though, I think I would appreciate it more.
½ October 14, 2014
It's like trying to extrapolate the universe
April 14, 2009
I think I'm in the minotrity who haven't seen it.
½ January 24, 2009
Parody at it's finest.
½ May 16, 2015
"This is Spinal Tap" is the most defining movie in the mockumentary genre.
May 31, 2015
Perfect in every way.
½ May 17, 2015
Next to Blazing Saddles, the hardest I've ever laughed at the movies. I really thought my guts were going to spill out on the floor. That would of been gross.
May 4, 2015
Hilarious and fun from start to finish, this spoof documentary is a little treasure that deserves to be seen. Excellent.
½ November 16, 2011
Hilarious spoof on rock 'n roll from the '60s to the more predominant '80s. The music is not bad either!
½ April 10, 2015
It's hilarious, original, stupid, witty, poignant, and absurd on every level possible. This Is Spinal Tap does everything you'd expect a classic comedy to do.
½ July 15, 2007
Just never had an itch to see it. Still don't.
September 19, 2007
its either hilarious, or it goes right over your head
February 28, 2015
A hilarious mockumentary about an 80's hair metal band attempting to stay relevant. So quotable.
½ January 8, 2015
Greatest mockumentary ever. Absolutely hysterical. Great, quotable lines. Nothing short of brilliance.

Grade = 8.5/10
½ June 26, 2012
quite funny. a classic.
January 29, 2015
Mockumentary may be an entire genre now, but this is the film that put it on the map. Full review later.
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