The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years 1988

The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years

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90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 10

77%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,949

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Movie Info

In this follow-up to the 1981 punk rock documentary "The Decline of Western Civilization," filmmaker Penelope Spheeris dissects the world of heavy metal. Through live performance footage and interviews that feature popular hard rock musicians, Spheeris examines the metal genre and the opulent Los Angeles music scene of the late 1980s; highlights include Ozzy Osbourne discussing the tedium of sobriety over breakfast and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler claiming to have spent a small fortune on drugs.

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Critic Reviews for The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (1)

  • Spheeris has a keen eye for absurdity and her interviews with older, wiser rockers underline the fact that you can't put an old head on young shoulders.

    October 10, 2018 | Full Review…
  • [The Sequel] focuses on the kind of extravagance that the kids in the first film were rebelling against, at least insofar as it manifested itself in stadium-ready rock 'n' roll and its brand-new baby brother,

    November 9, 2017 | Full Review…
  • There's so little respect for the music that we never see or hear a number from beginning to end, and we rarely hear any of the musicians speak more than a few seconds at a time.

    October 23, 2009 | Full Review…
  • For all the amusingly fatuous remarks heard here -- and Miss Spheeris has a great ear for these -- the overriding dimness of most of the fans and musicians is frightening.

    October 23, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Rather like watching a car wreck on the opposite side of a motorway.

    October 23, 2009 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Despite the frenzied atmosphere and the verbal raunch, this lively blend of concert footage and bad-boy interviews strikes a note of nostalgia: every decade has its rebels without causes.

    February 27, 2020 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years

  • Feb 15, 2013
    A very interesting documentary and capture of the life of metalheads in the late 80s. I was really looking to watch the first part, but I loved seeing all the great bands in this movie. It wasn't as funny as I heard it was, but it was interesting, as I said.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Apr 05, 2009
    Pretty good rockumentary, that features alot of my favorite hair bands back in the day with an awesome soundtrack. Watch for a very very drunk Chris Holmes (w.a.s.p.) and a special breakfast interview with Ozzy. worth a look for any headbanger.
    Lee K Super Reviewer
  • Apr 23, 2007
    I grew up with metal, and I have a real soft spot for this documentary...it's hilarious! It's EXACTLY like This Is Spinal Tap...but it's REAL!! THESE PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY SERIOUS! Comedy genius!
    xGary X Super Reviewer

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