Reviews

Feb 11, 2016
A highly flawed, occasionally dumb, but fascinating blast of neon, revisionist girl power, and social media wanderlust.
Feb 9, 2016
Every line, every twist and every note of music feels painstakingly focus-grouped.
Nov 9, 2015
For a movie about someone learning to come out of their shell, Jem and the Holograms is utterly confounding about what it even means to be authentic.
Oct 29, 2015
Sure, Peeples has a nice (if unmemorable) voice, but the vapid storyline with fantastic overtones transports Jem and the Holograms into another dimension, one that's utterly flat.
Oct 29, 2015
Jon M. Chu's weaksauce adaptation of the 1980s Hasbro toy turned cartoon not only fails resoundingly as a film, it also fails as a nostalgia piece -- which, honestly, might be the greater sin in today's pop cultureverse.
Oct 24, 2015
'Jem' has less in common with its neon-drenched '80s source material than with the real-life Internet-to-red-carpet trajectory of Justin Bieber - a similarly generic teen idol with moves dully modeled on superior artistic predecessors.
Oct 24, 2015
As silly and sometimes nonsensical as it is, the movie is surprisingly sweet and well-intentioned.
Oct 23, 2015
What it lacks in humor it makes up for in sheer weirdness -- it's a master class in How Did This Get Made? It feels focus-grouped to within an inch of its life, but it's so strange that it's impossible to imagine what process led us here.
Oct 23, 2015
Not being part of the generation that watched the show, I can't vouch for its merits. But it's safe to say that it must be miles ahead of this wan, bloated screen version which forgoes the original's sci-fi and thriller aspects.
Oct 23, 2015
Hardcore fans won't find much of the Jem they loved under the movie's achingly hip millennial trappings, while young newcomers will be left wondering what a robot has to do with a rock band.
Oct 23, 2015
It's the screenwriting equivalent of Ryan Adams sucking the pop vitality out of Taylor Swift's deliriously produced tunes.
Oct 23, 2015
There's hardly tension, barely any drama and the sugar high you might expect from an eighties redux is replaced by a dull aspartame buzz.
Oct 22, 2015
Intercutting the story's action with eclectic performance clips from YouTube delivers the film's most intriguing point. You're going to find much more raw talent online than anywhere else in this movie.
Oct 22, 2015
In revisiting the pop rock quest of a multiracial group of adopted sisters in suburban California, Chu has made a stylish and self-aware musical fantasy for the YouTube generation.
Oct 22, 2015
"Jem and the Holograms" is one of the weirdest big screen adaptations of a cheap TV cartoon that I've seen. That's praise.
Oct 22, 2015
It seems to be merely tossing ideas into the pot that it thinks might appeal to 9-year-olds.
Oct 22, 2015
Director Jon Chu stretches "Jem" to a ridiculous 2 hours, via endless amateur-musician YouTube clips. Anyone can be a star, they attest - and always be yourself! (Except when you're Jem. I guess.)
Oct 22, 2015
Jem and the Holograms is Mac and Me to Josie and the Pussycats' E.T.
Oct 22, 2015
After a few crackling, resonant digital-age scenes in the opening act, the filmmakers settle in and make Jem into a mediocre Disney Channel movie -- with, for no good reason, a pet robot.
Oct 22, 2015
Jem has lost her outrageousness and gained a robotic sidekick in an overlong, low-budget big-screen reboot of the 1980s toy-selling cartoon series.