Groove (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Groove (2000)



Critic Consensus: Though high on energy and great techno tunes, Groove's characters and plotlines are too cliched to be engaging.

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Set during the course of a single evening centering on an illegal rave thrown in a San Francisco warehouse, Greg Harrison's exuberant film is really more a snapshot of the PLUR culture than a real story, but that doesn't matter in the least. Anyone who has attended any club or rave event since the Ecstasy revolution began will recognize all of the characters here: the guy whose roll doesn't start until he leaves, the over-enthusiastic candyraver, the amateur chemist, the smarmy would-be gigolo, the nervous, young DJ, the amateur philosopher, the guys who can never find the party, and so on. Indeed, Harrison doesn't leave a recognizable rave story line untouched, from the young woman (Mackenzie Firgens) who gets a shock when she finds her rolling fiancé (Denny Kirkwood) making out with another guy, to the inevitable self-destructive kid on GHB and nitrous. There's even a police raid and a brief appearance by superstar DJ John Digweed to keep things lively. If the film has a focus, it's the slow, reticent romance which develops between a bookish first-time raver (Hamish Linklater) and a sweet but world-weary rave veteran (Lola Glaudini) who has clubbed all over the world but forgotten to start a real life. It's an interesting commentary on the scene, and Harrison manages to realistically present both the positives and negatives of rave culture without becoming preachy on either count. The film could have easily become an anti-drug polemic on one hand or a rose-colored happycore love-fest on the other, and it is to Harrison's credit that he avoids both extremes. For better or worse, and actually quite a bit of both, this is Glowstick, U.S.A. Love it or leave it. Co-starring Rachel True from The Craft, Steve Van Wormer, Chris Ferreira, and Bing Ching as the memorably insecure DJ Snaz.
  • Rating:
    R (Drug use, language and brief sexuality.)
  • Genre:
  • Directed By:
  • Written By:
  • In Theaters:
  • On DVD:
  • Runtime:
  • Studio:
    Sony Pictures Classics

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Denny Lee Kirkwood
as Colin Turner
Hamish Linklater
as David Turner
Mackenzie Firgens
as Harmony Stitts
Lola Glaudini
as Leyla Heydel
Vincent Riverside
as Anthony Mitchel
Rachel True
as Beth Anderson
Steve Van Wormer
as Ernie Townsend
Nick Offerman
as Sergeant Channahon
Ari Gold
as Cliff Rafferty
Angelo Spizzirri
as Todd Lowman
Jeff Witzke
as Neil Simonton
Bradley K. Ross
as Aaron Lubiarz
Lew Baldwin
as Tobin Claussen
Maggie McMullen
as Elizabeth Sun
Bill Neuman
as Chris Ferriera
Jill Jose
as Monique Adderly
Chris Stone
as Geo Lafont
Karl Ackermann
as Shep DeBone
Christoph Klotz
as Arty Phipps
Wendy Turner-Low
as Lisa Monroe
John Digweed
as Himself
Bing Ching
as DJ Snaz
Chris Ferriera
as Bill Neuman
Forest Green
as Herself
Wade Hampton
as Himself
Aaron Langridge
as Joe Torres
Monty Luke
as Himself
as Herself
Elizabeth Sun
as Maggie McMullen
Lisa Monroe
as Wendy Tuner-Low
DJ Caliban
as Himself
DJ Garth
as Himself
DJ Polywog
as Herself
John Selway
as Himself
Jonah Sharp
as Himself
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Groove

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (13)

If this movie achieves anything, it makes you realize how dull parties really are.

Full Review… | April 11, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic

A little bland, but it puts you in the mood to forgive it: relaxed and mellow and accepting.

January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Manages to both capture the spirit of a counterculture and reflect on the essentially conventional lives of those who lose themselves in the buzz.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Detroit News
Top Critic

Nothing new, but cliches are cliches because they work.

January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Likable and energetic, basically artificial, and quite a bit of fun.

January 1, 2000
Top Critic

By the end ... we're wishing the lot of them would either overdose or go to bed.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Groove


A perennial favorite, I gave this one another look recently, as I've apparently been on a nostalgic kick for the late '90s/early '2000s, and I have to say that I still love this one every bit as much as I did back then. I say this as someone who loved dance music but never had any interest in being part of that scene, this is a really fun ensemble piece that follows a disparate group of people through a rave, all brought together by their love of the music. The only thing that is distracting now is that the cop who wanders through is played by the guy who has now come to fame as Ron Swanson on Parks & Recreation on NBC, so it's hard not to be taken out of the movie by that. Highly recommended.

Bill Bryant
Bill Bryant

This movie to me was amazing, maybe poorly shot, but it showed all the positives of raving. Instead of all the negativity that is portrayed. Since I am apart of the rave scene I have a higher opinion of this movie, even my dad thought it was a good movie. Also, it was amazing that it was shot in San Francisco, and it showed the beauty of the city. Maybe real raves now a days arent as pure in music and unity as they use to be, but for sure the movie shows what raves can be.

Jessica Hernandez
Jessica Hernandez

Being a part of the rave scene I guess I have a soft spot for these types of movies. The only problem I had with this was that the rave shown in this movie is nowhere near what parties are like now.

Sydney Spangle
Sydney Spangle

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