High Fidelity

Critics Consensus

The deft hand of director Stephen Frears and strong performances by the ensemble cast combine to tell an entertaining story with a rock-solid soundtrack.

91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 165

90%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 211,632
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Movie Info

In a biting romantic comedy, Rob Gordon is the owner of a semi-failing record store in Chicago, where he sells music the old-fashioned way -- on vinyl. He's a self-professed music junkie who spends his days at Championship Vinyl with his two employees, Dick and Barry. Although they have an encyclopedic knowledge of pop music and are consumed with the music scene, it's of no help to Rob, whose needle skips the love groove when his long-time girlfriend, Laura, walks out on him. As he examines his failed attempts at romance and happiness, the process finds him being dragged, kicking and screaming, into adulthood.

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Cast

John Cusack
as Rob Gordon
Lisa Bonet
as Marie De Salle
Ben Carr
as Justin
Shannon Stillo
as Alison Jr. High
Drake Bell
as Rob Jr. High
Laura Whyte
as Laura's Mom
Rich Talarico
as Barry's Customer
Matt O'Neill
as Beta Band Customer
Brian Powell
as Middle Aged Customer
Jill Peterson
as Laura's Sister Jo
Dick Cusack
as Minister
Susan Yoo
as 19-year-old Girl
K.K. Dodds
as Miranda
Marilyn Dodds Frank
as Alison's Mom
Duke Doyle
as Kevin Bannister
Aaron Himelstein
as Boy in Park
Jonathan Herrington
as Chris Thompson
Leah Gale
as Mourner
David Darlow
as Mourner
Alan S. Johnson
as Man In Store
Ian Belknap
as Party Guest
Andrew Micheli
as Party Guest
Michele Graff
as Party Guest
Susie Cusack
as Party Guest
Liam Hayes
as Piano Player
Damian Rogers
as Greenday Girl
Joe Spaulding
as Flea Market Musician
Scott A. Martin
as Bartender
Heather Norris
as Laura's Friend
Marc Busey
as Club Kid
Beverly D'Angelo
as Too Tan Woman
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News & Interviews for High Fidelity

Critic Reviews for High Fidelity

All Critics (165) | Top Critics (47)

  • High Fidelity, with its knowing take on men, messed-up romance and music, is like one long, hook-filled pop song for the eyes.

    Feb 10, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It is still a bit wimpy and sugary, but it's definitely entertaining, and the translation to American accelerates the tempo refreshingly.

    Feb 10, 2014 | Full Review…
  • A film pragmatic enough to concede that almost every relationship is doomed, but romantic enough to realize that it's worth it to carry on in spite of that fact, High Fidelity is one of the smartest and funniest romantic comedies of the past few years.

    Feb 10, 2014 | Full Review…

    Nathan Rabin

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • When happiness does arrive in this movie, it has the air not of something that you reach, like your top speed, but of something that you give in to, like baldness or old age.

    Feb 10, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Cusack has ineffable charm, but he keeps it tuned at the lowest possible frequency.

    Feb 10, 2014 | Full Review…
  • As for Mr. Cusack, there's nothing potential about his stardom any more. He's the self-doubting, self-flagellating, self-ironic soul of "High Fidelity," and he's great.

    Feb 10, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for High Fidelity

  • Apr 01, 2017
    This movie captures so perfectly the perspective of many who love music: to have such passion for a band, to take pride in knowing lesser known artists, their influences, and music trivia, and to snobbishly judge others for what they listen to, even though it's all of course personal and subjective. It's also a pretty good movie about the difficulty of relationships. John Cusack is talented, funny, and likeable as a record store owner floundering his way through breakups, mainly because as much as he's an expert on music, he's a dunce about women. He often talks directly to the camera, drifting back to memories and musing over various 'top five' lists. The film also has a fantastic supporting cast, including Jack Black in his breakout role, Joan Cusack in some great scenes opposite her brother, Lisa Bonet, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Tim Robbins among others. Quirky and well-done, this film has something for everyone.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 06, 2015
    "What came first, the music or the misery?" A brilliant satirical comedy, High Fidelity is full of laughs. After his latest girlfriend leaves him, record store owner Rob Gordon recounts his top 5 breakups and decides to look up them up in order to get closure. John Cusack, Jack Black, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Lisa Bonet lead the cast and give really good performances; especially Cusack, who does an incredible job at delivering the dry humor and at breaking the fourth wall. And the record store motif is used extremely well, allowing for a lot of interesting discussions about music. Additionally, the soundtrack is quite impressive and complements the the tone of the material. Tremendously fun, High Fidelity is a smart and savvy film with some poignant commentary about relationships.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 25, 2015
    Me and John Cusack have had a bit of a strange relationship throughout the years. This is, of course, as someone who's watched many films he's appeared in throughout the years. I don't know why you'd think I would know John Cusack personally, you silly people. He's the type of guy who, lately, has done a lot of paycheck films. If you've followed Nicolas Cage's career then you know exactly what I mean. It's not that he isn't good, because even at his worst, he's still pretty good, but you can tell that he isn't inspired or invested in the character or the film the story is trying to present. But when he's on, boy, is he really fucking good. Of course, as you may have guessed, he was absolutely on point in this film. Might've been because he co-produced it and co-wrote the screenplay, but he was pretty great in this film because I don't think he's afraid, and neither is the script, to make the character look like the most unlikable asshole on the planet on his way to 'redemption.' So to speak. Rob Gordon is a character that, at first, comes across as a man makes his ex-girlfriends into these fantasies that broke his heart, instead of looking inward and seeing that he, pretty much, was an incredibly selfish man during all of the relationships he described. The film's story is him revisiting all of his past girlfriends and seeing how, or why, he fucked things up and it's a very satisfying story to tell actually. Because, at first, you're not sure that Laura is really the right woman for Rob. But as the film progresses and Rob explains his relationship with Laura, you do get the sense that this is the person he should be with. It's interesting that the film starts off with Rob trying to get Laura back literally for no reason whatsoever. Even one of his friends brings this up during a scene. And I hadn't noticed it until she mentioned it, but it was absolutely right. He was trying to get back with Laura because it was something to do. He didn't even rationalize why he wanted her back. I just think this is very smartly written and the character progression is really the reason this film holds you. Because it's not like it's a hilarious film, at least it wasn't to me. It's certainly funny, and the fantasy sequences where Rob, Dick and Barry beat up Ian were hilarious, but it's not what I would call a consistently funny movie. The character work is what holds the film together, that's for damn sure. You get to see Rob change as a character throughout the film. And it isn't forced or convoluted, it definitely comes across as very organic and, most importantly, earned. The soundtrack is, obviously, pretty goddamn great. It'd almost have to be considering that a big chunk of it takes place in Rob's record shop. This is the type of movie that definitely sneaks up on you. It's not that I thought it was ever bad, or anything close to that, it's just that, for a movie with a pretty sizable cult following, it just really wasn't clicking for me so much. But once it was over, I thought to myself that it was a really damn good movie. There are movies like that, that sort of sneak up on you, and this is one of them. The supporting cast is really good as well, ridiculously good. The film just has a lot of life. I certainly don't think it's the best film I've seen, but it has a lot of charm and personality. Despite it being a romantic comedy, this is a movie that's definitely gonna require some patience, because it's mostly centered on character development. It's just a very satisfying film to watch on almost every front. I'd definitely recommend it. It's not what I would call a must-buy and it's not even necessarily a must-watch, but I did very much enjoy it and I would heartily recommend it to anyone who asked. Real good stuff here.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jun 14, 2015
    Another old film I only just got around to seeing. I really enjoyed this as it has elements that most people can relate to and it is backed up by a great soundtrack.
    Ian W Super Reviewer

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