Critics Consensus

All style and very little substance, Flashdance boasts eye-catching dance sequences -- and benefits from an appealing performance from Jennifer Beals -- but its narrative is flat-footed.



Total Count: 41


Audience Score

User Ratings: 79,113
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Movie Info

Jennifer Beals stars as Alex Owens, a Pittsburgh steel-mill welder by day, and bar dancer by night. Harboring dreams of a career in ballet, she is given financial support in this endeavor by her boss Nick Hurley (Michael Nouri) and moral support by demanding but big-hearted instructor Hanna Long (Lilia Skala). The film's signature scene is, of course, Alex's water-drenched dance audition, largely performed in long shot by her dance double Marine Jahan. Essentially an old-fashioned backstage yarn, Flashdance was given a contemporary spin by its pulsating, musical score featuring the Oscar-winning Best Song, Flashdance...What a Feeling, (music by Giorgio Moroder, lyrics by Keith Forsey and Irene Cara). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Jennifer Beals
as Alex Owens
Michael Nouri
as Nick Hurley
Belinda Bauer
as Katie Hurley
Lilia Skala
as Hanna Long
Sunny Johnson
as Jeanie Szabo
Lee Ving
as Johnny C
Ron Karabatsos
as Jake Mawby
Philip Bruns
as Frank Szabo
Micole Mercurio
as Rosemary Szabo
Cynthia Rhodes
as Tina Tech
Liz Sagal
as Sunny
Norman Scott
as Normski
Marc Lemberger
as Mr. Freeze
Wayne Frost
as Frosty Freeze
Robert Wuhl
as Mawby's Regular
Kenneth Gabbert
as Prince Ken Swift
Richard Colon
as Crazy Legs
Steve Price
as Mawby's Regular
Matt Landers
as Mawby's Regular
Frank Pesce
as Mawby's Regular
Helen Dexter
as Dancers at Repertory
Mark Anthony Moschello
as Dancers at Repertory
Debra Gordon
as Dancers at Repertory
Erika Leslie
as Blonde Skater
Jim McCardle
as Ice-Rink Official
Deirdre L. Cowden
as Stripper #2
Ernie Tate
as Ice-Rink Official
Deidre Cowden
as Stripper
Colin Hamilton
as Maitre D'
Marjean Dennis
as Woman in Restaurant
Bob Harks
as Priest
Ann Muffly
as Woman at Hanna Long's
Hank Crowell
as Racquetball Player
Marine Jahan
as Dancer for Beals
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News & Interviews for Flashdance

Critic Reviews for Flashdance

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (27)

Audience Reviews for Flashdance

  • Oct 16, 2014
    Montages! A soundtrack! A vague semblance of a plot! Yuck. So many movies have done the "working class kid has one dream and does everything for it" story better (Rocky, Billy Elliott, Rudy, even Saturday Night Fever...). Shows a flash (ha) of promise in its third act, but overall a randomly assembled compilation of music videos might appear to tell a more fulfilling story... not plausible, and doesn't allow you suspend your disbelief. A product of Reagan Era myth-making that should be forgotten long before it will be.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • Dec 30, 2013
    "She's a maniac, maniac on the floor..." Jennifer Beals stars in the classic '80s romantic comedy Flashdance. The story follows a steel-mill worker named Alex who moonlights as an exotic dancer, but dreams of joining a professional ballet company. The dance choreography is especially good, and adds a lot of energy and excitement to the film. Additionally, the soundtrack is amazing; features such pop hits as "Gloria," "What A Feeling," and "Maniac." Fun and charming, Flashdance is a little cheesy, but has a lot of heart.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 20, 2013
    Alex (Jennifer Beales) is a young woman with two jobs. A welder by day and an exotic dancer by night (at the most creative strip club ever conceived). She wants to get into ballet school and must overcome her fears in order to do so. Yes, the story is a fairy tale cliche, the acting is not brilliant and the plot is super thin but I feel that there is a lot more to Flashdance than that. It is usually put into the same bracket as Showgirls, Barbe Wire and other BAD movies. I feel that this is not the case and it is largely underrated. The dance sequences are amazing as is the soundtrack.The soundtrack is an impressive asset of Flashdance, and it won an Academy Award for best original song for "What a Feeling". I love the first scene in the club. The music is awesome, the dancing is sexy, the cinematography is inventive and the water is iconic. The movie is a lot darker than it lets on. There is a lot of crude sexual imagery, such as when Beals removes her bra from underneath her infamous sweater while on a date with her boss, or the scene in which she dines at a table, and erotically sucks on pieces of lobster meat. I find Flashdance a kind of female version of Rocky. From the title sequence, theme song, having one chance to make it big, the location (Pittsburgh) playing a part, montage, etc but dancing instead of boxing gloves. All Alex needed to do was cry out "AAADDDRRRIIIAAANNN" at the end of her audition and it would have been perfect. But as it stands I just love the audition scene anyway. Flashdance is more than just a time capsule of the 80s. It is a musically-themed picture infused with eroticism, spandex, pop music and a message to follow your dreams that comes through loud and clear. For me this is the most important part of the story and the basis of the movie. Over-coming fear of rejection and pursuing your dreams and passions; "When you give up your dream, you die", Take your passion and make it happen."
    James C Super Reviewer
  • Jun 23, 2011
    Another classic 80's movie! A must see!
    Bethany M Super Reviewer

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