Fame - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Fame Reviews

Top Critic
Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
October 2, 2009
The high school is so sanitized that there are no drugs, cutthroat competition, or-inconceivably for a theatrical milieu-no gay students.
Top Critic
Michelle Orange
L.A. Weekly
October 1, 2009
Members of the class of '80 struggled to stay in school despite homelessness and crime; the greatest crisis in '09 finds a student's Sesame Street work schedule affecting her GPA.
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Keith Uhlich
Time Out
September 30, 2009
There are enough hoary soap-operatic plottings for a thousand Gossip Girls (emotionally distant parents, almost-rapes, suicide attempts), yet Tancharoen individualizes each crisis so that no one character comes off as a mock-universal surrogate.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
At the Movies
September 28, 2009
I don't mind the cornball and I don't mind the clichés, but I just think that the thing has to be executed a little better than this.
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
September 25, 2009
It's almost fatally modest. But it has a sweet spirit, and it offers only one true moment of inadvertent camp: a (lame) finale featuring an African dance routine completely at odds with all the white bread we've just been served.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
September 25, 2009
There are six new songs in the remake, but not one makes any impact, or is likely to end up as the ring tone of 2010.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Adam Graham
Detroit News
September 25, 2009
First-time filmmaker Kevin Tancharoen struggles to flesh out the 10 characters we meet during their freshman year at PA.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Tom Maurstad
Dallas Morning News
September 25, 2009
The production numbers are great, sometimes jaw-droppingly so.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Christopher Orr
The New Republic
September 25, 2009
Way back in 1980, when the Oscar-winning theme song of the movie Fame declared "I'm gonna live forever," it was easy to believe the lyric was an example of artistic license. Now, it's not so clear.
Top Critic
David Jenkins
Time Out
September 25, 2009
This film makes even the most gaudy of Saturday night TV talent contests look like Dostoyevsky in comparison.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
September 25, 2009
A desperate, cynical -- and most likely unsuccessful -- attempt by a dying studio to stave off oblivion by jumping on the High School Musical bandwagon, exploiting one of its legacy titles in ways that dishonor the original.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
September 25, 2009
"Already?" the woman behind me said plaintively when the words "Sophomore Year" flashed up on the screen. That's the joy of this Fame. Like the old ones, it convinces you that high school, if not life, should go on forever.
Top Critic
Greg Quill
Toronto Star
September 25, 2009
That fame seems assured to those who merely crave it -- without sacrifice, or spiritual and physical effort -- emerges as the underlying message in this sanitized and unrewarding production. Simon Cowell has much to answer for.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
September 25, 2009
The picture is fitfully effective, but the story disappears in the editing bay. The movie has about as much heft as watching jesters and fire eaters at a village fair.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
September 25, 2009
Fame offers slick entertainment with some exuberance, but it's devoid of soul or heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
September 25, 2009
Pleasant, undemanding entertainment for drama-club kids and the people who love them -- a family-friendly salute to young performing artists.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Linda Winer
Newsday
September 25, 2009
A big, bland and bogus clone of a movie update, which runs a half-hour less than the original and only feels like forever.
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
September 25, 2009
[Its] hyperreal documentary quality is combined with a borderline fantasy feeling, which will probably drive some literal-minded viewers up the wall, but which is actually the movie's best element and its one claim to distinction.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
September 25, 2009
NYC high school students sing, dance, emote in acting classes, and otherwise insist that America's got talent, but this unnecessarily tepid, conservative remake of 1980's far more famous and affecting original Fame suggests otherwise.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Andy Webster
New York Times
September 25, 2009
Suffers from a surfeit of flash, it nonetheless offers the undeniable power of young performers pursuing art at peak dexterity.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Laremy Legel
Film.com
September 25, 2009
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 25, 2009
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Ruth Hessey
MovieTime, ABC Radio National
September 24, 2009
Brim[s] with enough confidence and promise to carry you through the predictable narrative.
Top Critic
Stephen Farber
Hollywood Reporter
September 24, 2009
Rated PG, it's almost laughably bland and watered-down in its desire to appeal to the widest possible audience.
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
September 24, 2009
Much of Fame draws us in, through the irresistible appeal of young people bursting with energy.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
September 24, 2009
A film that's largely a raw, uplifting love letter to creativity in every possible form.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
September 24, 2009
A cheesy production with underdeveloped characters that feels more like a TV pilot than a self-contained motion picture.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Brian Lowry
Variety
September 24, 2009
A watered-down tone ... causes the movie to drift dramatically between its musical and dance sequences.
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
September 24, 2009
Mullally has the most poignant moment, admitting to her students that the reason she teaches is because fame, for her, just wasn't in the cards. (Stardom, more than in the first film, is golden here.)
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
September 24, 2009
As a demo reel showcasing seven promising young talents from their freshman through senior years, it's pleasant enough. As a movie dramatizing the talent and dedication required to make it, the Fame reboot has fleet feet but lacks heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
September 24, 2009
Lives are spared in this sugarless new version of Alan Parker's movie and the TV show it spawned. But innocent songs and unsuspecting dance routines are hacked to bits.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
September 24, 2009
This Fame is a film without the guts to show Idolized America that, as Debbie Allen so memorably said way back when, "Fame costs, and right here's where you start paying."
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
September 24, 2009
Forget about living forever: This new Fame will be lucky to hang around for a month.
| Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
September 24, 2009
Familiar? Yes, but not nearly as vapid as most of the musical material out there that encourages teens to believe fame is all that matters.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 24, 2009
The new Fame is a sad reflection of the new Hollywood, where material is sanitized and dumbed down for a hypothetical teen market that is way too sophisticated for it. It plays like a dinner theater version of the original.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4