Almost Famous - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Almost Famous Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 6, 2017
Majestic in storytelling and musicality, Almost Famous displays the brilliance of Cameron Crowe as well as breakthrough performances from Kate Hudson and Frances McDormand. The film's sleek humor and originality is a highlight that puts this above Crowe's achievements as well as listings for the year. 4/5
October 9, 2017
Almost Famous (2000) ??? 1/2 / ????

Rolling Stone Magazine hires young music fan to write about up-and-coming rock band as he travels with them on their concert tour. His trip into their world is a revelation to him (and us): not scummy or unpleasant, instead a warm journey with a lot of dynamic humor. Writer-director Cameron Crowe drowns his creative story with colorful, three-dimensional characters (the same way he did JERRY MAGUIRE) and gives them plenty of space to develop. The entire movie is constantly original, surprisingly, and as pure moviemaking, it's superb; extremely entertaining. This irresistible film also made a super-star out of Kate Hudson. A must-watch.
October 9, 2017
Almost Famous is the autobiographical tale of Cameron Crowe's inception into 1970's rock reporting for the holy grail of rock magazines, Rolling Stone. The movie's storyline centers around the events of a two-month quest embarked upon by fifteen-year-old William Miller (Patrick Fugit) to land a much sought after interview with the charismatic lead singer of Stillwater, Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup) which will result in his story being published by Rolling Stone. The movie is a combination of four interwoven storylines that run parallel to one another and are told from William's perspective as he accompanies the band on its tour. Each storyline of this movie is filled with dynamic, enthralling and captivating major and minor supporting characters. Every character in this movie, such as William's overbearing, tyrannical mother Elaine Miller (Francis McDormand), to the beautiful, complex, and captivating, Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) to the minor character of William's slightly neurotic mentor, Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman) are of such complexity and depth that it is impossible for the viewer not to become completely intertwined in the events as they unfold into this two hour and forty-two-minute movie. Many parts of Almost Famous are historically accurate. The drug and liquor that accompanies Stillwater's lifestyle as well as the storyline of the band slowly falling apart as they become part of the mainstream music scene, and as they become more focused on their popularity to their fans rather than the music which is what caused them to start a band in the first place. There are many realistic rock facts to this movie and it does a good job of portraying the music scene of the seventies. However, the movie portrays many unrealistic events that create a movie of unbelievable fiction.
The first storyline of the movie introduces the inception of William's love of music and a talent of writing. William's older sister, Anita, rebels against their overbearing, sheltered mother, leaving William her record player and her prized collection of rock n' roll albums before moving out of the house and dropping out of school. William falls in love with the music and with rock n' roll despite his mother's disapproval. The main purpose of the movie begins when William Miller, a fifteen-year-old child prodigy receives a phone call from the editor-in-chief of Rolling Stone magazine, who has read William's impressive writing and employs him to write a story about an up-and-coming band, Stillwater. Wong informs William that if his story were to include an interview with Russell Hammond, it would most likely be published by Rolling Stone magazine. William seeks the advice of rock and roll writer Lester Bangs when he realizes his age and lack of life experience leave him at a disadvantage. Lester Bang paints an ugly picture of the ups and downs of embarking a tour with a rock band where he will experience first-hand the roller coaster ride of sex, drugs and rock and roll associated with rock bands of the 1970's.
The film moves forward to the second storyline where William meets Penny Lane and her friends, the band aides as he attempts to enter the back stage of a Led Zepplin concert. Penny Lane becomes William's muse and the object of his affection when she introduces him to the world of live rock n' roll, Stillwater, and most importantly, Russell Hammond. As this storyline progresses, William and Penny form a deep bond as he witnesses the intimate, twisted relationship between Penny Lane and Russell Hammond, and they both experience pain caused by Russell Hammond's self-indulgent personality, resulting in Penny Lane attempting suicide and William becoming her savior. Penny Lane and the band aides become William's protectors and teachers of life as they introduce him to sex, drugs and booze.
The third storyline of the movie reveals the complicated relationship between William and his mother, as well as the contemptuous and stormy relationship between William's very traditional mother and his free will sister, Anita. William's mother, who is a college professor, is conflicted by the tug of war of her dreams for William (college at fifteen), or his dreams of becoming a rock n' roll writer. William takes both his love for music and talent of writing, and uses it to convince his mother to allow him to go on tour with Stillwater while missing the last two months of high school.
The final storyline of the movie tells of William's pursuit of a one-on-one interview with Russell Hammond, and the relationship that results between the two of them. This storyline also tells of physical and mental changes in William while on tour. William starts to physically age as the exhaustion and strain of being on tour takes its toll. Each tour location reveals a further decline in William physically and mentally. When the tour began, William was excited and was willing to do whatever it took to get the story. Near the end of his extended stay on tour, William is unwilling to put up with Russell's excessive partying, mood swings, and personal dramas. William's hero worship turns into disappointment and frustration when Russell refuses to corroborate the facts of William's story. Ultimately both characters develop a level of respect and acceptance of one another when Russell Hammond finally agrees to do a one-on-one interview with William in his childhood bedroom when the tour finally ends.
Cameron Crowe's portrayal of his early life can be considered coming of age film. As many review's claim, Almost Famous is not a movie about music. Almost Famous is a movie that portrays the hard reality of rock n' roll. It's a story of stardom, idolism, romance, sex, drugs, betrayal, joy, friendship and the evils of money and fame. Almost Famous is the most real, yet fictional portrayal of the music industry. It's message to me is clear: Doing what you love may lead to disappointment, but it's worth it if it's your passion.
October 2, 2017
A wonderfully interesting movie about music and touring and the emotional side of all of it.
October 1, 2017
one of my all time favorites
September 25, 2017
Crowe infuses the film with a lot of heart and complications of being a journalist. Lee and Crudup give the most memorable performances.
½ July 16, 2017
Story about a teenager who fools Rolling Stone magazine into believing he's a journalist and they pay him to have him travel the road with a major rock band. One of the best movies about rock stars. A truly great behind the scenes look at what their life is like. Really makes you jealous of them. One of my favorite movies.
July 6, 2017
Oh my god!!!! I love this movie so much.
June 6, 2017
One of my favorite movies. The characters, the music, the scenery really captures your full attention and keeps you enthralled throughout. Sadly I wasn't alive for the 70s or the age of rock and roll but I feel that this movie is a great representation of that time.
May 4, 2017
It's a tolerable movie, but I wasn't especially impressed. Cameron Crowe tries too hard and doesn't seem to fully understand entertainment as it pertains to film, but his passion for music is respectable. (First and only full viewing - Late teen years)
April 3, 2017
"I'm the lead singer. You're the guitarist with mystique." Love that intend to sum up the inter-band stress. The kid had just the right mix of sweetness and intelligence. Frances McDormand - terrific.
March 17, 2017
Grade - A
Funny, heartfelt, but most of all realistic, 'Almost Famous' marks a career best for Cameron Crowe, who gives us an emotionally resonant story about love, friendship, and music.
March 16, 2017
A coming-of-age movie that takes you back to when music was more than just music, it was a lifestyle & for some groups practically a way of life. It's well before my time but is still pretty engrossing with some stellar acting from a relatively young cast (Kate Hudson looks barely 18!). Funny & heartfelt, it's an old-school road trip worth taking.
March 13, 2017
One of the great movies about those with real (vs. peripheral ) love for music.
January 17, 2017
Kate Hudson is sublime as the teen 'Band Aid' used and discarded by a middling rock guitarist on his way up the charts. Everyone else is meh, as the entire picture seems a TV-safe, romantic depiction of the drug & sex-addled "last grope of rock n roll".

Oh, and Jason Lee looks SO MUCH like Ryan Reynolds, it's freaking distracting.
January 6, 2017
Too long, didn't really get anything out of it.
December 30, 2016
One of my favorite movies of all time. Patrick Fugit is powerful and draws in sensitivity & empathy as William. You begin to care about & for him & his ensuing journalism career. Furthermore, Billy Crudup & Jason London are beautiful & each deliver strong performances!
October 30, 2016
Wonderful coming-of-age movie about a San Diego boy landing his dream job as a music journalist with Rolling Stone.
½ October 24, 2016
It's hard to say why this movie works. Not only does it have strong and incredibly memorable performances from everyone in it, but the story just has that "IT" that you just can't put into words. It's a rock and roll coming of age on the road story with a killer soundtrack that works on every level and finds a way to somehow relate to everyone seeing it. I love this movie and watch it regularly. Stillwater has to be one of the coolest "made for movie" bands ever.
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