Critics Consensus

Robbed of its integral LGBTQ themes, 54 is a compromised and disjointed glance at the glory days of disco.



Total Count: 69


Audience Score

User Ratings: 31,424
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Movie Info

Mark Christopher wrote and directed this look back at the Disco Era when the popular Studio 54 was at its apogee in the late '70s. With obvious comparisons to Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights (1997) and Whit Stillman's The Last Days of Disco (1998), the story introduces working-class 19-year-old Irish-American Shane O'Shea (Ryan Phillippe), who has lived with his father and siblings since the death of his mother when he was 12. Shane quickly rises from busboy to bartender at Studio 54, co-owned and managed in a paternal manner by entrepreneur Steve Rubell (Mike Myers). Busboy Greg Randazzo (Breckin Meyer) and Greg's wife, Anita (Salma Hayek), the club's coat check girl, become Shane's new friends, and he encounters the possibility of romance with soap star Julie Black (Neve Campbell). The story spans the summer of 1979 until the decline of Studio 54 a year later with IRS investigations, followed by the arrest and jailing of Rubell. Costumes by Ellen Lutter capture the glitter and glam-glitz of the period. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

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Ryan Phillippe
as Shane O'Shea
Mike Myers
as Steve Rubell
Neve Campbell
as Julie Black
Sela Ward
as Billie
Ellen Albertini Dow
as Disco Dottie
Heather Matarazzo
as Grace O'Shea
Skipp Sudduth
as Harlan O'Shea
Aemilia Robinson
as Kelly O'Shea
Daniel Lapaine
as Marc the Doorman
Mary Griffin
as Disco Star
Lauren Hutton
as Liz Vangelder
James Binkley
as Rubbell's Bodyguard
John Himes
as IRS Agent
Louis Negin
as Truman Capote
Lena Vajakas
as Conrows
Vieslav Krystyan
as Photographer
Niki Holt
as Alpine Inn Waitress
Bruce MacVittie
as Music Producer
Emmanuel Mark
as Talent Manager
Kabriel Lilly
as Little Girl
Michael York
as Ambassador
Morgan Freeman
as Angelic Boy
Lina Felice
as Nicaraguan Woman
Drake Thorens
as Man on Horseback
Justin Tensun
as Blond Busboy
Jason Fruitman
as Busboy No. 1
Andy Grote
as 54 Waiter
Jordan Paige
as Young Shane
Georgina Kess
as Shane's Mom
Janine Longley
as Kissing Trio
Michael Henderson
as Kissing Trio
Chris Ingram
as Kissing Trio
Cindy Crawford
as VIP Patron
Sheryl Crow
as VIP Patron
Donald Trump
as VIP Patron
Cecilia Thomson
as VIP Patron
as VIP Patron
Heidi Klum
as VIP Patron
Victor Brown
as VIP Patron
Veronica Webb
as VIP Patron
Sophie Rousseau
as VIP Patron
Art Garfunkel
as Elaine's Patron
Peter Bogdanovich
as Elaine's Patron
Lorna Luft
as Elaine's Patron
Valerie Perrine
as Elaine's Patron
Beverly Johnson
as Elaine's Patron
John E. Johnson
as Elaine's Patron
Bruce Jay Friedman
as Elaine's Patron
Andrea Bocaletti
as Elaine's Patron
Ultra Nate
as Stars on 54
as Stars on 54
Jocelyn Enriquez
as Stars on 54
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Critic Reviews for 54

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (57)

Audience Reviews for 54

  • May 20, 2017
    It is hard to believe that they managed to make a movie about glamour and music (with a great soundtrack) into something so uninteresting and vapid - to the point that ask ourselves why we should care or why these poorly-developed characters would even consider each other friends. (Theatrical version) (2.5/5) Mark Christopher's newly-restored original cut is remarkably different from the 1998 theatrical version, especially with regard to what it wants to say. (Director's Cut, full review on filmotrope. com) (4/5)
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 22, 2013
    54 is a decent drama that boasts a good cast, but the biggest problem here is the fact that it tries to a broad movie in terms of storytelling, but it never gets quite there. Some of the cast were good, especially Mike Myers who is the film's strongest asset. 54 gives us a glimpse of the lifestyle and excess of the famed nightclub. This film is limited by a so-so script, one that is clearly underdeveloped. However I found the film somewhat entertaining, but it could clearly have been much better as well. The cast do what they can with the material and they manage to make it work for the most part. This is almost a forgotten film as no one seems to remember the film. The film is not great, but it manages to be interesting and it could have been much better as well. This is worth seeing if you have nothing else better to watch. Myers is good here and like I said, he is the film's best aspect here. The film is a decent drama that should have been much better, and it could have been much better if the script could have been so much better if the script would have been better written. Decent for what it is, 54 is mindless dramatic mindless drama that gives you a hint of what it was like to party in the famed night club. This is a film that scratches the surface, but like I said, should have and could have been much more as well. When the credits you do end up feeling like the film should have been more and you do realize that when the credits start to roll.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Nov 11, 2012
    M'eh. Watch "Boogie Nights" for a real film about drugs, partying, hedonism and loss!
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 15, 2012
    Suffering from a myriad of problems in several key departments, "54", billed as the fun disco-themed party of the 90s, never quite gets the energy up that high. One of the major issues is that nothing much happens throughout this movie plot-wise: we're supposed to witness the rise and fall of Steve Rubel's (Mike Myers) decadent empire through the eyes of wholesome-suburban-kid-turned-sexy-main-attraction Shane O'Shea (Ryan Phillippe). Breckin Meyer provides the friendship as Greg, while Salma Hayek and Neve Campbell provide suitable temptation from the opposite sex. Unfortunately, this listless effort makes it hard to recommend - from the wooden acting to the porous script, there's not much to like here. Even the soundtrack, a strength in movies of this ilk, seems thrown together without much thought. My advice? Check out "Boogie Nights" or the ultimate in disco fare, "Saturday Night Fever". Skip "54".
    Matt F Super Reviewer


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