Critics Consensus

John Waters' musical ode to the teen rebel genre is infectious and gleefully camp, providing star Johnny Depp with the perfect vehicle in which to lampoon his pin-up image.



Total Count: 54


Audience Score

User Ratings: 211,388
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Cry-Baby Photos

Movie Info

Eisenhower is President. Rock 'n' Roll is king. And Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker is the baddest hood in his high school. Johnny Depp heads up a supercool cast as the irresistible bad boy whose amazing ability to shed one single tear drives all the girls wild - especially Allison Vernon Williams (Amy Locane), a rich, beautiful "square" who finds herself uncontrollably drawn to the dreamy juvenile delinquent and his forbidden world of rockabilly music, fast cars and faster women. It's the hysterical high-throttle world of 1954 in director John Waters' outrageous musical comedy.

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Johnny Depp
as Wade Walker
Amy Locane
as Allison Vernon-Williams
Susan Tyrrell
as Ramona Rickettes
Polly Bergen
as Mrs. Vernon-Williams
Iggy Pop
as Belvedere Rickettes
Ricki Lake
as Pepper Walker
Traci Lords
as Wanda Woodward
Kim McGuire
as Mona 'Hatchet-Face' Malnorowski
Darren E. Burrows
as Milton Hackett
Kim Webb
as Lenora Frigid
Troy Donahue
as Hatchet's Father
Mink Stole
as Hatchet's Mother
Joe Dallesandro
as Milton's Father
Joey Heatherton
as Milton's Mother
David Nelson
as Wanda's Father
Patricia Hearst
as Wanda's Mother
Willem Dafoe
as Hateful Guard
Jonathan Benya
as Snare-Drum
Angie Levroney
as Dupree's Girlfriend
Vivienne Shub
as Mrs. Tadlock
Ken Curtis
as Whiffle #2
Robert Marbury
as Angelic Boyfriend
Susan Lowe
as Night Court Parent
Dan Griffiths
as Snake-Eyes Hood
Mary Vivian Pearce
as Picnic Mother
Steve Aronson
as Mean Guard
Kelly Goldberg
as Pepper's Baby
Drew Ebersole
as Whiffle #1
Kenny Curtis
as Whiffle #2
Scott Neilson
as Whiffle #3
Reggie Davis
as Conk #3
Nick Fleming
as Conk #4
Robbie Jones
as Conk #5
Skip Spencer
as Strip Poker #1
Holter Graham
as Strip Poker #2
Kirk McEwen
as Convict #1
Eric Lucas
as Convict #2
Frank Maldonado
as Convict #3
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News & Interviews for Cry-Baby

Critic Reviews for Cry-Baby

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (39) | Rotten (15)

  • For a while the actors seem intimidated by the '50s references, but the film eventually develops a musical energy that carries the day.

    Jan 21, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Cry-Baby is often sweet-spirited even when its crummy, but there's also something fetid in its foolery.

    Jan 21, 2015 | Full Review…
  • If Cry-Baby has a message, it's that Cry-Baby and Allison deserve each other because they're young and they're beautiful, which certainly runs counter to Waters' affection for the grotesque, the bad and the ugly.

    Jan 21, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • The wizard of odd still runs amok.

    Jan 21, 2015 | Full Review…
  • It all adds up to zany, wide-eyed, quintessential Waters havoc -- the "kinder, gentler" 1990s brand, perhaps. But the genuine article, nonetheless.

    Jan 21, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • I don't quite know how Waters did it (and I have absolutely no idea why he did it), but the fact that Cry-Baby is fun suggests that the filmmaker possesses an instinctive understanding of what made those Elvis pictures so successful in the first place.

    Jan 21, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Cry-Baby

  • Dec 19, 2016
    In John Waters' movies, everyone is a walking caricature and everything looks like a witless self-parody, and this is an irritating musical that sounds silly and superficial when trying to be a clever commentary, as well as a horribly unfunny comedy filled with awful dialogue.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 20, 2014
    Johnny Depp's first starring role is as a sensitive "drape" who falls in love with a "square" in this campy John Waters juvenile delinquent musical. There's quirky humor (love the orphanage modeled on an animal shelter), and the doo-wop styled music is good, but the (deliberately) cardboard plot and underdeveloped characters failed to engage me.
    Greg S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 07, 2012
    odd characters but fun at the same time. john waters always had interesting stories to tell.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Nov 25, 2011
    Man, "Gilbert Grape" was in production much longer than I thought. They were working on that thing back when Depp was taking on his first leading role in this, which was about four years before "Grape" came out, or at least that's why I think Depp's crying, because if I was trying to breakout and one of my very first majorly acclaimed films involved me having to try to carry a film with Leonardo DiCaprio as my co-star, I'd also be pretty down in the dumps, because you have about a snowball's chance on a summer day in Texas of that scenario ending in your favor. Well, he doesn't have to worry about that anymore, because now he's recognized as an actor that's so good that... he's virtually unrecognizable in a lot of roles he plays. Now, I know what you must be thinking: "That's the joke you came up with?" Hey, it's hard to come up with a joke about this film, because it's hard to make a joke about a comedy, and teen musicals are pretty darn laughable. Well, I last reviewed "The Astronaut's Wife", a 1999 sci-fi-horror-drama film, and somewhere along the way, I ended up talking about Eric Bana for most of the first paragraph, but I guess that it was relevant to the film at hand, seeing as watching Bana try to "act" is a dramatically horrifying experience, seeing as he's probably a robot, incapable of emotion. Jeez, I've been ribbing on that hack so much that "I" feel sorry for him... to the slighest of degrees, but luckily, I didn't have to deal with him in this film, which isn't to say that this film doesn't have its own problems that kind of damaged my enjoyment of it. Earlier, I joked that teen musicals are pretty darn laughable, but really, I was a ways away from the head of the nail, because a lot of teen musicals are more sigh-worthy than anything, and this is most certainly no exception, even if it's a joke. Now, it's not hard to tell that this film is a parody on those cheesy teen musicals of the '70s, but this is too much, and most every bit of exaggerated cliche, forced writing and - oh lord - really bad acting hits a little too hard. Don't get me wrong, as entertaining as those musicals are, it's high time someone came in and stuck it to them, but this satire definately stands to be subtler, and believe me, subtlety is far from a word that's appropriate for this film, and although this film is pure parody, that's not really a complement, because it gets to be a bit too over-the-top. The first four minutes is just the kids getting flu shots in order to establish who they are... just by showing them. There's no real development. Most of these characters are devices to the parody, but as I said, the satire is too much to pull it off at points, and that of course begs the question "What in the world does this film have going for it?" Pardon my typically forced tone change into enthusiastic, but the answer to that question is "enough to keep it going and keep it from falling completely flat." Yes, all of those early teen musicals were so blasted cheesy, but as I said earlier, they were fun, and this film, also being a bit of an homage to those old teen musicals, at least gets that right. There's so much camp in the tone and dialogue, and sure, there are plenty of points where it's just too much, but more often than not, it's effective, sometimes to the point of not just being campy, but full-on snappy, complete with plenty of delightufl "Oh!"s. A lot of the credit for the snap has to go those who are delivering the dialogue. True, campy performances are not always-oh forget it-are rarely genuinely enjoyable, because they are just so cheesy, but at the same time, that's what makes them so charming. Of course, Depp shows just how much everyone else does overdo it, because he delivers on the over-the-top camp with enough charm in his presence to really pull you in every time the spotlight hits him. Of course, a campy teen musical wouldn't be complete without, well, the musical aspect, and in that department, the film delivers on restoring the style and flair on those upbeat '50s throwback musical numbers. No, none of this keeps the film from being a mess, but it still makes the film pretty funny, pretty catchy and generally pretty entertaining, and really that's all it needs. Overall, the parody on the cheesy camp and cliches of the teen musical genre get to be overwhelming, due to the total absence of subtlety, but most of all, it's parody really hits, and as an homage to the teen musical genre, the film does its job at restoring the camp and charm in tone, dialogue, as well as music, and with the aid of a slickly charismatic Johnny Depp making a charming first impression as a film lead, "Cry-Baby" is ultimately left a generally fun throwback to the campy '70s throwbacks to the charming '50s. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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