The Cotton Club Reviews

  • Dec 29, 2020

    I loved the great dancing, showmanship. Storyline ok. The dancing made it for me. Richard Gere was an excellent musician.

    I loved the great dancing, showmanship. Storyline ok. The dancing made it for me. Richard Gere was an excellent musician.

  • Aug 22, 2020

    In my opinion, on par with anything else from FFC. Superb.

    In my opinion, on par with anything else from FFC. Superb.

  • Aug 13, 2020

    This movie got some decent critical acclaim back in 1984. Roger Ebert gives this movie 4/4. I'm not sure what he saw that I missed. I see some bad acting by James Remar, Richard Gere and Nicolas Cage. They play over-the-top "gangsters". Thank god Bob Hoskins and Fred Gwyne were in this because they save the movie from being a complete loss. A young Diane Lane looks beautiful and fits in her role very nicely. Gregory Hines is a dancing fool that will help keep your mind off of the average story.

    This movie got some decent critical acclaim back in 1984. Roger Ebert gives this movie 4/4. I'm not sure what he saw that I missed. I see some bad acting by James Remar, Richard Gere and Nicolas Cage. They play over-the-top "gangsters". Thank god Bob Hoskins and Fred Gwyne were in this because they save the movie from being a complete loss. A young Diane Lane looks beautiful and fits in her role very nicely. Gregory Hines is a dancing fool that will help keep your mind off of the average story.

  • Jul 26, 2020

    Francis Ford Coppola's reminiscence of razzle-dazzle pizzazz and mob violence at the titular famed jazz-era nightclub is an incandescent furor of disjointed stories and sketchy characters.

    Francis Ford Coppola's reminiscence of razzle-dazzle pizzazz and mob violence at the titular famed jazz-era nightclub is an incandescent furor of disjointed stories and sketchy characters.

  • Jul 13, 2020

    There was little character or plot beyond the superficial.

    There was little character or plot beyond the superficial.

  • Dec 31, 2019

    If you are a jazz fan this is a must, especially with Gregory Hines tap dancing. Plot is straightforward and simple. Whats not to like?

    If you are a jazz fan this is a must, especially with Gregory Hines tap dancing. Plot is straightforward and simple. Whats not to like?

  • Dec 26, 2019

    A stellar crime drama hindered by a middling jazz musical. Francis Ford Coppola's historical crime drama and jazz musical The Cotton Club (1984) is a mixed bag of strangely chosen tone and decent to amazing acting. I watched the "Encore" edit of Coppola's period epic and it's supposedly the version Coppola wants us to see. I can see how he polished off this film with a complex story, but too many characters and stoic emotional moments make you still not connect with The Cotton Club entirely. Coppola is a master of the mob movie genre and The Cotton Club does not disappoint with any of the gangster thrills. Coppola directs The Cotton Club as if it's The Godfather with the underhanded mob dealings and shocking sudden gunfire hits. His use of smoky atmosphere, shadowy cinematography, moody lighting, and creative cuts keep you in the time period all the while you're watching The Cotton Club. The Cotton Club is well made and beautifully directed by Francis Ford Coppola, but he's got some problems here. You do not like any of these people, so you don't really root for anyone. Every character is cheating on someone or killing somebody. It's hard to watch such a long film with such a slow burn pace when you do not actually want any character to make it out alive. Now, onto the main issue I have with The Cotton Club. I have to mention that as a musical The Cotton Club fails spectacularly. The jazz score from John Barry is apt for the sleazy underworld of crime, but once you get to the actual jazz performances in The Cotton Club you zone out. Barry's moody jazz fits the slowly driving cars pulling up for a drive by or star crossed lovers meeting in secret, but everything is over the top for the stage show. If you don't like show tunes type jazz, The Cotton Club is not for you. The singing is great, but feels passionless and distracts from the main story with very long numbers. Aside from Lonette McKee's song numbers as Lila Rose Oliver, I was not dazzled by the singing in The Cotton Club. She bears a believable chemistry and charm with Gregory Hines. The problem is that the tap dancing from Gregory Hines is impressive as Sandman Williams until to get to the fantastic scene in the gentlemen's club wherein every elderly black gentleman outdances Hines with phenomenal moves. Hines is a compelling dramatic actor at times in The Cotton Club, but he's not even the best dancer in the movie! Richard Gere is cool and engaging as a jazz player and movie star leading man Dixie Dwyer. His chemistry is palpable with the sultry Diane Lane, who is hypnotizing every second she is on screen. Her character Vera Cicero is affable in a fast and loose kind of way. Lane plays the typical femme fatale with some nice genuine moments like a lesser Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest or Faye Dunaway in Chinatown. I absolutely adore Gwen Verdon's supporting actress role as Gere's lively mother Tish Dwyer. Bob Hoskins, James Remar, Fred Gwynne, and Tom Waits are all amazing as hateful mobsters trying to fight off the competition. Nicolas Cage goes overboard and ruins his scenes with ridiculous acting. Jennifer Grey is wasted here with nothing to do. Laurence Fishburne is cool as a pimp gangster, but he's not really in much of The Cotton Club. Overall, The Cotton Club is one of Coppola's lesser films, but it's got some amazing kills and endearing moments in here.

    A stellar crime drama hindered by a middling jazz musical. Francis Ford Coppola's historical crime drama and jazz musical The Cotton Club (1984) is a mixed bag of strangely chosen tone and decent to amazing acting. I watched the "Encore" edit of Coppola's period epic and it's supposedly the version Coppola wants us to see. I can see how he polished off this film with a complex story, but too many characters and stoic emotional moments make you still not connect with The Cotton Club entirely. Coppola is a master of the mob movie genre and The Cotton Club does not disappoint with any of the gangster thrills. Coppola directs The Cotton Club as if it's The Godfather with the underhanded mob dealings and shocking sudden gunfire hits. His use of smoky atmosphere, shadowy cinematography, moody lighting, and creative cuts keep you in the time period all the while you're watching The Cotton Club. The Cotton Club is well made and beautifully directed by Francis Ford Coppola, but he's got some problems here. You do not like any of these people, so you don't really root for anyone. Every character is cheating on someone or killing somebody. It's hard to watch such a long film with such a slow burn pace when you do not actually want any character to make it out alive. Now, onto the main issue I have with The Cotton Club. I have to mention that as a musical The Cotton Club fails spectacularly. The jazz score from John Barry is apt for the sleazy underworld of crime, but once you get to the actual jazz performances in The Cotton Club you zone out. Barry's moody jazz fits the slowly driving cars pulling up for a drive by or star crossed lovers meeting in secret, but everything is over the top for the stage show. If you don't like show tunes type jazz, The Cotton Club is not for you. The singing is great, but feels passionless and distracts from the main story with very long numbers. Aside from Lonette McKee's song numbers as Lila Rose Oliver, I was not dazzled by the singing in The Cotton Club. She bears a believable chemistry and charm with Gregory Hines. The problem is that the tap dancing from Gregory Hines is impressive as Sandman Williams until to get to the fantastic scene in the gentlemen's club wherein every elderly black gentleman outdances Hines with phenomenal moves. Hines is a compelling dramatic actor at times in The Cotton Club, but he's not even the best dancer in the movie! Richard Gere is cool and engaging as a jazz player and movie star leading man Dixie Dwyer. His chemistry is palpable with the sultry Diane Lane, who is hypnotizing every second she is on screen. Her character Vera Cicero is affable in a fast and loose kind of way. Lane plays the typical femme fatale with some nice genuine moments like a lesser Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest or Faye Dunaway in Chinatown. I absolutely adore Gwen Verdon's supporting actress role as Gere's lively mother Tish Dwyer. Bob Hoskins, James Remar, Fred Gwynne, and Tom Waits are all amazing as hateful mobsters trying to fight off the competition. Nicolas Cage goes overboard and ruins his scenes with ridiculous acting. Jennifer Grey is wasted here with nothing to do. Laurence Fishburne is cool as a pimp gangster, but he's not really in much of The Cotton Club. Overall, The Cotton Club is one of Coppola's lesser films, but it's got some amazing kills and endearing moments in here.

  • Oct 22, 2019

    Saw the encore cut and yet the film is just Hollywood popcorn with plenty of stale butter. It lacks focus, perspective and it’s completely disconnected, especially for 1984. (Gandhi won an Oscar the year it was made.) It fully condones black exploitation for the sake of entertainment just as those good old days (that is if you were white and owned a plantation). The title itself is absurd even if it was the actual name of the club. A ‘Roger Rabbit’ lie, a white-man mystification of events, the past and history. A bs fantasy-land of tommy gun gangsters and smoky jazz clubs. Hard to sit through the meaningless plot and listen to Richard Gere talk with a Brooklyn accent. At least some of the talented ‘extras’, performers and costume designers got paid. ‘Stormy Weather’ should have opened the movie since it’s the best act and everything before could have been edited out. Diane Lane is the only good white actor in it to deliver a charming performance. A huge out-of-touch misfire even when it came out. Oh yeah ‘the jitterbug dance’ of course, and Nicolas Cage Coppola, I almost forgot. Let’s all tap dance back to the car now and drop the dvd into the library box.

    Saw the encore cut and yet the film is just Hollywood popcorn with plenty of stale butter. It lacks focus, perspective and it’s completely disconnected, especially for 1984. (Gandhi won an Oscar the year it was made.) It fully condones black exploitation for the sake of entertainment just as those good old days (that is if you were white and owned a plantation). The title itself is absurd even if it was the actual name of the club. A ‘Roger Rabbit’ lie, a white-man mystification of events, the past and history. A bs fantasy-land of tommy gun gangsters and smoky jazz clubs. Hard to sit through the meaningless plot and listen to Richard Gere talk with a Brooklyn accent. At least some of the talented ‘extras’, performers and costume designers got paid. ‘Stormy Weather’ should have opened the movie since it’s the best act and everything before could have been edited out. Diane Lane is the only good white actor in it to deliver a charming performance. A huge out-of-touch misfire even when it came out. Oh yeah ‘the jitterbug dance’ of course, and Nicolas Cage Coppola, I almost forgot. Let’s all tap dance back to the car now and drop the dvd into the library box.

  • Jan 02, 2019

    A lost gem, Francis Coppolas understated and smooth direction really lets its stylish and up and coming cast sparkle amidst the prohibition era jazz. The whole film never goes off into the deep end and never loses its grip on reality. Its criminally underrated, worth critics turning around on.

    A lost gem, Francis Coppolas understated and smooth direction really lets its stylish and up and coming cast sparkle amidst the prohibition era jazz. The whole film never goes off into the deep end and never loses its grip on reality. Its criminally underrated, worth critics turning around on.

  • Aug 05, 2018

    Great movie My favorite

    Great movie My favorite