Critics Consensus

Campy and clichéd, Burlesque wastes its talented cast (including a better-than-expected Christina Aguilera) on a movie that wavers uncertainly between "bad" and "so bad it's good."



Total Count: 174


Audience Score

User Ratings: 66,007
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Movie Info

Christina Aguilera makes her dramatic feature debut as Ali, a small-town singer who takes her shot at stardom performing at a neo-burlesque nightclub in Los Angeles. Situated in a regal old theater that's still dazzling despite having fallen into disrepair, The Burlesque Lounge is the kind of club where legends are born. When club owner Tess (Cher) hires charismatic Ali as a cocktail waitress, the ambitious big-city newcomer goes to great lengths to make a good impression. Taken under the wing of a friendly featured dancer (Julianne Hough), Ali quickly realizes that not everyone is quite as nice when she forms a friendship with bartender/aspiring musician Jack (Cam Gigandet) and incurs the wrath of the club's cattiest showgirl (Kristen Bell). After making her leap to the stage with a little help from a sympathetic stage manager (Stanley Tucci) and the club's playfully androgynous host (Alan Cumming), Ali becomes the star attraction at The Burlesque Lounge, and the crowds start packing in. Later, a wealthy businessman (Eric Dane) makes a bid for the club while trying to charm the talented young performer straight into his arms. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Burlesque

All Critics (174) | Top Critics (44)

Audience Reviews for Burlesque

  • Mar 28, 2014
    A mixture of Coyote Ugly and Showgirls, Burlesque is a sexy and exciting dance film. The story follows a small-town girl who leaves for L.A., and the glitz and glamour of show business. Featuring an all-star cast that includes Christina Aguilera, Cher, Julianne Hough, and Kristen Bell, the performances are quite impressive. And the dance choreography is spectacular; full of energy and rhythm. The music is also upbeat and fun; featuring original songs from Christina Aguilera and Cher. The plot's a little trite, but there's a sincerity and good nature to it that makes it compelling. Though it lacks originality, Burlesque is full of spirit and is immensely entertaining.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 07, 2012
    They should just have called this "Christina Aguilera made a movie" to avoid confusion. This Aguilera showcase of good singing and bad acting (though better that Britney Spears' acting, but at least Britney had some sense of self-deprecation) is blessed with such an amazing supporting cast, most notably Stanley Tucci and of course Cher, it is a almost a shame it turned out so bad. Cher and Tucci have wonderful scenes together. Maybe you can find those on YouTube instead of watching this in its entirety. And Cher has more acting talent in her voice (her face hardly moves anymore) than Christina in her whole body.
    Ina S Super Reviewer
  • May 04, 2012
    A fairly average film that doesn't offer much more than the typical tried and tested, girl on hard times manages to find an outlet for her talent and comes good scenario. Some good performances by Christina, the soundtrack to the film is good to. However the film feels a good 20mins too long at least.
    Dean K Super Reviewer
  • May 03, 2012
    Man, I don't want to have to see Cher do a burlesque dance, let alone this film's male impersonator, Seabiscuit. Hey, I specified the gender of the impressionist, I never specified what animal the impersonator is, which seems like something that you would need to mention, because if you're going to be as authentic as possible as a Cher impressionist, you're going to have to be an animal, because, at this point, "she's" not even human anymore. Man, all of these jokes about Cher looking so much like a dude, are we really sure that her "daughter" actually underwent transgender operation and that she's not still a woman that just inherited whatever her mother's gender-appearance-change thing is that seems to kick in around midlife? Well, eitherway, the point is that I'm glad to see that Cher is not doing burlesque, not just because it looked offputting enough when she was relatively young and practically did it for the music video for "If I Could Turn Back Time", but because I don't want her to dip and have her face fall off, like it looks like it's on the verge of doing. Well, luckily we only had to see Christina Aguilera do burlesque, which still isn't all that great either, because although she does still have some pretty features in the facial area, recently, she's been bloating so much, and in certain areas, that I can guess what would fall out if she did a burlesque dip: a baby. Hey, as broad as she's been getting in every zone, she looks like she's about to give birth at any moment. Okay, she's not that bad, especially in this film, for which she trimmed up quite a bit, and just enough to be in good enough shape to give us quite the lively show, though not quite lively enough to leave the many flaws to die out. The technical aspects, as I'll get into later, get to be pretty fabulous, yet there is the occasional misstep in editing, which never really glares at you too much, but does throw you off a smidge here and there, especially during the musical sequences, during which the mouths and the music don't always sync up. Still, where those missteps are far and few between, as well as never really that discomforting, there are some stings in a more prominent department: the acting department, for although there are many performances that genuinely catch you offguard - as I'll get into later -, while most of the ones who don't are passable, at worst, outside of a pretty poor performance by Kristen Bell, there are particularly glaring faults in two performers who really shouldn't be faulting, considering their significance to the story. I knew Eric Bana wasn't in this film going into it, but when Eric Dane's name came up in the opening credits, I had to do a doubletake before breathing a sigh of relief upon realizing that I was only mistakening Dane's name for the of that talentless hack, only to find that Dane really isn't that much better, as he, through all of his hamming up and overplaying his overly conventional character in a glaringly inhuman and shoddy fashion, never quite adopts presence as a human, let alone an antagonist, and if we're dealing with an villain as wildly conventional as the sleazy smooth-talking rich dude that's threatening to buy out the club, then you better have someone that can really bring it or, at the very least, at least deliver a passable performance, something that Mr. Dane most certainly does not do. Still, Dane comes and goes, but Cam Gigandet is forever, or at least his uneven, yet consistently limp presence and stiff line delivery make the fair couple of moments in which we're stuck with him feel like they're going on forever, which is shame, because, as bad of an actor as that guy is, I kind of want to like him, because he seems like a nice guy who I want to do better, partially because I'm worried that they're going to one day film his death when he cocks his head too much and finally breaks his neck. Both antagonist and love interest really fall flat, hurting their chemistry with the could-have-been-more-compelling leads, as well as the resonance of the film. Still, those two painful performances seem like nothing when you look at the big picture, because, on the whole, it doesn't matter whether the performers, including those two major ones, are alright or bad, because the real problem with the film is that it's just too wildly generic and predictable, and worst of all, somewhat emotionally limp. I don't know if it's because director Steven Antin still has a little bit too much tough-boy Troy left in him after acting in "The Goonies" to be gay enough to give this film a whole lot of flash or what, but eitherway, Antin doesn't quite give the film enough pop for it to really stand out, yet it still gets your attention more then you would expect, especially after a pretty weak first act, because even with this film's many, many missteps, there's enough in it that does deliver to keep you with it. The lighting in the film may get to be a bit overwhelming here and there, but on the whole, the film is handsomely shot, giving it a typically fitting flare of saturation that really dazzles at times, especially during the musical sequences, none of which really blow you to pieces like most of the tunes from the Rob Marshall films that this production wishes it could be, yet this film's musical aspects almost always wake you up, which is good, because the pretty bad unoriginal mainstream songs imported from the pop culture into the soundtrack really aren't going to keep you going, that one briefest of bits with Boston's "More Than a Feeling" obviously notwithstanding. A surprising deal of musical production concepts steal from other films, yet, just like the films it's ripping off, it still really delivers on enough dazzle to keep your eyes at attention, while the sharp music, made all the sharper by some pretty excellent sound design, gets your foot tapping. Still, when the music dies down, the film, goes a little dry, and in a situation like that, oh boy, you better have some charismas to keep you going. Well, sure enough, while some performances hit the ground hard, whether it be Stanley Tucci - who is undeniably charming enough when he's not playing a fluffy snapper of a flamboyant gay man - to Alan Cumming - who is undeniably charming during the scarce amount of scenes in which he's featured, because, well, he actually is a fluffy snapper of a flamboyant gay man -, there are a fair couple of charming performances to rival the fall-flat performances that I will also touch upon later. The real show-owners, in particulary, are co-leads Christina Aguilera and Cher, with Cher particularly standing out with a quite soulful, if not borderline excellent performance (Razzies!), which isn't to say that Aguilera doesn't hold her own by delivering enough electric charisma to hold your attention, as well as your investment in her as the main lead, regardless of Cher's show-stealing performance. The film razzles here and there and dazzles now and again, while consistently giving us enough charm to keep us about as with it as it can get us, whether it be through the occasional pretty snappy line or some of the aforementioned charismatic performances. Sure, it may not be enough to carry this film too far past its glaring missteps, yet it remains just enough to keep you entertained, or even charmed, and at the end of the show, that's what matters. Overall, the film never really delivers terribly hard, turning out the occasional misstep in technical value, some stingingly limp performances from such significant roles as antagonist Eric Dane and love interest Cam Gigandet, and worst of all, some emotional limpness and repetition amidst an all too generic and predictable story, yet where the film could have been driven into the dirt of mediocrity, at best, the general razzle dazzle during musical aspects, as well as enough charm in the occasional snappy dialogue piece and a fair deal of charismatic performances - particularly those by leading ladies, the charismatic Christina Aguilera and unexpectedly moving Cher - pump "Burlesque" with enough entertainment and charm value for you to, maybe not remember it all that thoroughly, but generally stick with it. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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