Strictly Ballroom - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Strictly Ballroom Reviews

Page 1 of 109
July 19, 2016
Getting me to not hate a romantic story from the bottom of my heart is no small task. This one pulls it off in spades. In no way am I the audience for it, but that seems to be the point: Dancing is so often an exclusive community, when in fact it should be for everyone.
½ May 6, 2016
Although it's story consists of a mishmash of plots that are all too familiar and it's characters quickly undergoing transformations in thought and dance skill seems unrealistic, Baz Luhrmann's delightful ballroom rom-com will have you tapping your feet from beginning to end.
½ March 7, 2016
"Strictly Ballroom" is colorfully bright entertainment despite also being highly predictable.
January 17, 2016
The comedic moments of this movie were a little off putting, but the story, though a little formulaic, was compelling. The dancing was also fun to watch.
September 11, 2015
The first time I saw this movie I almost turned it off after ten minutes. It was so crazy and weird. I'm glad I kept watching, because it turned out to be one of my all-time favorites I've watched again and again and again. Yeah, it's goofy but rousing and sweet. Chase your dreams, aim high, and don't let your fears hold you back.
September 7, 2015
Unique and entertaining! Love the music and dancing.
August 8, 2015
My least favorite Baz Luhrmann film. Though it did have moments of excitement and beauty, I found it hard to connect to the plot or the characters. I expected much more than I got from the movie.
August 8, 2015
It's a ridiculous and enjoyable experience. So if you've seen any dance movie before, you can probably plot every single story movement to this, but this is about a dancer (Paul Mercurio) who seems to be destined for greatness, but he has difficulties conforming to the "right" way of dancing. When his partner leaves him, he is forced to take a beginner (Tara Morice) under his wing to help win a competition. I think it is safe to say that the dance movie is one of the most predictable movie types out there; they all have the same character archetypes, and they all share the same basic plot. That said, they are a guilty pleasure of mine, as I get enjoyment out of the big dancing set pieces more often than not. Take it from me: if dance movies are your thing, this is one of the best ones out there. This is the directorial debut of Baz Luhrmann, and you can totally see the raw elements in his origin that made him the director he is today; Strictly Ballroom features a number of his camera tricks that he has been utilizing for the majority of his career. He also directed one of my very favorites, Moulin Rouge, a film that I may have probably watched more than any other film total. It's not hard to see where he gets his flamboyant roots, and you can see very similar camera work featured across his "Red Curtain" trilogy. You've got loud costumes that are only outdone by Priscilla, people who take dancing overly seriously, dancers that have moves for days and (most importantly), a director that knows how to shoot it. Really, that's what matters most in a dance movie: capable dancers, and a director that can capture it without cutting it to pieces in the editing room. Baz is that kind of talent in a nutshell, and I love him for it. If dance movies are your thing, hopefully you're not like me and you've already watched this, as it truly is one of the better ones. It's clichéd, sure, but that is the nature of the genre (seriously, this features the trope of an ugly girl with glasses and a ponytail that turns beautiful on a dime). It's a template of a storyline, but the dance sequences are the reason you watch. It moves fast, and it is easy to root for the rebel underdog. I actually give this a very enthusiastic recommendation, and I will probably rewatch this again at some point in the future.
½ July 21, 2015
Combines a number of classic motifs and combines them into a feel-good ending.
June 18, 2015
Love this movie so hard. Definitely in my Top Ten of All Time.
½ May 23, 2015
Enjoyable, bright, campy love story about blossoming into the true spirit of the dance.
May 19, 2015
An enjoyable comedy with something there for dancers and non-dancers alike but as a ballroom dancer, I enjoyed it immensely. Cliche but charming.
½ May 11, 2015
damn good for a guy who hates dance movies
January 26, 2015
Why... Why do people like this? Is it the piss-poor acting? The irritatingly flashy and loud dance sequences? The bizarrely obvious product placement (there is an entire scene with the film's protagonists dancing in front of a gigantic Coca Cola billboard)? The painfully obvious first world problems? What use is this film to anyone? Does it improve your outlook on life? Is it light and fun? Is it so bad it's good? The answer to all of these is NO!
½ January 20, 2015
Baz Luhrmann's glitzy, over-the-top story of rebellion within the world of competitive ballroom dancing is a wonderful parody of suburban Australia. It's a lovely tale, one that elevates the Average Joe into heroics within his community. Paul Mercurio is absolutely stunning, merging the qualities of boy next door and heartthrob to add complexity to what could easily be a one-dimensional role. Likewise, his leading lady Tara Morice presents both vulnerability and bravery as the ugly duckling-cum-swan of the piece. The film is littered with colourful characters, each telling us so much with their mannerisms, speech and costumes; it's a very clever mode of storytelling. Complimented by a wonderful score, some captivating choreography and terrific set design, 'Strictly Ballroom' is a charming and entertaining feel-good film.

It was developed into a musical theatre production two decades later.
August 19, 2014
Good dance sequences and director Baz Luhrmann's signature visual flair make this film enjoyable.
August 16, 2014
Lavish & Carrying A Lot Of 'Tude'..A Colourful Masquerade. A Fun Little Piece Of Aussie Cinema.
July 29, 2014
It would be fairly easy to dismiss this as a Dirty Dancing rip-off; there are even a couple of shots in the montages that seem to be plucked directly from the 1987 dance classic. But, in his debut film, Baz Luhrman displays some of the details that would go on to become his signatures and lends a unique touch to this ugly-duckling tale of romance on the dance floor. Paul Mercurio is practically electric as leading man Scott Hastings and Tara Morice (who also lends her voice to the film's version of Time After Time) is delightful as (just) Fran, the woman who accepts Scott just the way he is. Set against the intense world of ballroom dancing, the characters are slightly wacky, but also believable as people for whom this is the only world that exists. The zooms, the close-ups, the color, these are all signposts of a Luhrman film and they're just ramping up here. It's a bit like watching Bottle Rocket and knowing that Rushmore will follow. Both are debut films that sowed the seeds of these auteurs (Luhrman and Anderson) and yet, it's still the story that's the heart of it all, for now, not just the whimsy of great production design. I saw this years and years ago, and have seen it a couple of times in the interim, but I just recently re-visited it (it's streaming on Netflix) and fell in love with it all over again. It's just exceedingly entertaining, with a bit of exaggerated wackiness, but nothing ever takes away from the moral of the story here: stop living your life in fear.
July 26, 2014
Marvelous, 2nd time around
July 23, 2014
Baz Luhrmann's first feature film never gets old. Still holding up in its 22nd year, this quirky classic hints at the genius to come from the mind of Australia's premier showman. Call him the P.T. Barnum of modern cinema, with his unique vision, Luhrmann has developed a flair for the overindulgent razzle-dazzle, and here, in his first attempt, and with a very small budget he still manages to seduce and thrill his audience with a healthy combination of heightened melodrama, clever parody and a lot of exciting music and dancing; a formula which he has since capitalized and improved on with each of his subsequent films.
Page 1 of 109