Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Reviews

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July 20, 2017
A fun, campy musical with slapstick humor, set to the Beatles' music. Far from a bad movie, this is a delightful romp.
October 16, 2016
Get serious, people. This wasn't supposed to be anything more than fun and a chance to see Barry, Robin, Maurice and Peter looking good despite a lousy script. And how easy would the best screen writer find it to invent a coherent story for those songs? It's a romp....not much different than "Help" in its farcical fun and games. Why all the profanity and nit-picking over a long-ago musical "comedy"? I, personally enjoyed the Bee Gees' and Frampton's music and they're not bad to look at either. To each his or her own.
June 8, 2016
By far one of the worst movies I've ever seen.
April 10, 2016
One of the worst movies of all time bar none. A horrible Hollywood attempt to cash in on The Beatles, by throwing Peter Frampton and The Bee Gees together to sing a classic album songs and attempt to string it all into a cohesive plotline. The film is so bad that it will turn your stomach from revolt. Rock albums are not meant to transform into film.

I'm sure the producers thought they had a slam dunk. Successful Beatles album, Peter Frampton, Bee Gees, etc. However, this abomination is the mirror (white) image to "The Wiz" film with Michael Jackson and Diana Ross.
February 26, 2016
A kids movie mistakenly thot to be for adults.
If this had been hosted by The Muppets and the Jim Henson team, this would have been a sensation for young and old alike.
As is, it's an imaginative fantasy kiddie movie sans Muppets with little bits of humor - directionless nonsense, but not without flash and psychedelia.
I did like the quirky-cool robots.
It really needs some Miss Piggy to make it hilarious, and Gonzo with his harem of chickens to make it interesting.
½ September 6, 2015
What kind of a movie is this? It's so unbelievably unwatchable and a glorious trainwreck; The bee gees cannot act and make these stupid facial expressions throughout; even sandy farina playing strawberry fields. Who put this movie into existence? It's so incredibly bizarre surreal and strange; I felt pretty bored watching this
½ August 31, 2015
still just torture to try & sit threw
June 5, 2015
Saw this when it first came out. Got the itch to see it again. Who's with me?
½ April 17, 2015
I knew that this had a bad reputation before watching it but didn't know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. The Bee Gee's and Peter Frampton star as the band in a pasted together non-important stupid story meant to provide a background link to each of the beatles songs they sing. The only dialogue other than the songs is some very basic naration, which is also irrelevant. The movie is sort of fun though, the songs are great (obviously) and it's interesting to see them sung by the bee gees, Aerosmith, Earth Wind and Fire as well as by Frankie Howard and Steve Martin who also make nonsense cameos. It's original and no doubt does what it set out to do and nothing more.
January 17, 2015
L'histoire de ce film ; ça ne va pas du tout ! En fait, on aime seulement entendre les chansons des Beatles et voir les artistes faire des cameos
½ December 26, 2014
As bad as this movie is I give it 3 stars for the musical performances.
September 8, 2014
One of the best not too well known musicals with bands that are still round today. Loved it when I first seen it as a young teen back in 1978.
September 7, 2014
It's had lot of famous singers and actors.
April 28, 2014
That one star is for Billy Preston's dancing feet at the end.
½ February 16, 2014
The songs may be enjoyable as a musical, but as a film they serve no point.
December 25, 2013
Cinematic version of the legendary album by The Beatles by the same name, Sgt. Peppers' Lonely Hearts Club Band is more a novelty act than something to be taken seriously. Not a word of spoken dialogues and really just a series of musical set ups. Quite awful to say the least, this is neither a film for Beatles fans nor for musical fans. In fact, it has very little reason to exist.
August 10, 2013
a good movie with songs by the beatles
½ July 1, 2013
This movie is great. I don't care if there's not much of a plot; I still found it enjoyable. The music is decent, and the story is somewhat self-explanatory. Overall, I call this film a mixed bag at best. Needless to say, I would recommend watching this flick for what it is.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
June 25, 2013
"Gotta keep on rockin', that boy has got to stay on top, and be in a jukebox musical (He's got stars in his eyes)!" I've got plenty of Beatles songs to reference, yet I figured I'd reference Foreigner because I wanted you to get a good idea of how cornball this film is when it's at its coolest, and plus, may faith in Beatles music has been momentarily shaken by this film. Yeah, about the only cool thing about this film is Aerosmith's cover of "Walk This Way"-I mean, "Dude Looks Like a Lady"-I mean, "Love in an Elevator"-I mean, "Come Together". Yeah, I'm not saying that certain Aerosmith songs run together, but even their covers sounds like more than a few of their own "original" hits, though, in all fairness, "Come Together" seems like a song that could well-Aerosmithed up, and it just had to be intentionally selected, seeing as how it is, like, well, more than a few other songs on this film's soundtrack, not even on the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album, or at least I don't think it is, seeing as how plenty of the Beatles' songs also ran together. No, people, I'm kidding, because once the Beatles started to stray away from their pop-rock roots and, well, got much better (Man, mainstream music even watered down the full potential of guys whose pop image, alone, broke ground in the making of cool music), they took plenty of diverse steps, though at least kept consistent in producing songs that could easily be made cheesy, as this film and, of course, plenty of others who paid tribute to the Beatles around this era will tell you. Hey, War's cover of "A Day in the Life" is amazing and all, but that horn section mimicry of the Oriental riff that followed Eric Burdon's proclaiming that the "[u]Chinese[/u] army had just won the war" is by no means the only moment in which that eleven-minute long, psychedelic soul/jazzy funk rock epic got kind of carried away. Well, at least Burdon was cheesy in a cool, though that's not to say that he could save this film from cheesiness, and yet, as corny as this film is, Aerosmith isn't it's only commendable aspect.

Costing an estimated $18 million, the film was disappointed to find that it barely grossed past its budget, seeing as how it wasn't the priciest of films with status this high, which isn't to say that this film didn't spend what money it had well, for although the production value of this effort isn't glowing, if nothing else about this messy final product can be complimented as consistent strengths, it is Brian Eatwell's production designs and May Routh's costume designs, which colorfully spring this admittedly flashy world to life with a flare that ranges from nifty to genuinely rather dazzling. When it comes to visuals, I find difficulty in denying that this film delivers, because no matter how messy the substance is, style is reasonably sharp in some parts, and that livens things up a bit, though not as much as a certain major aspect in this film that has been complimented and criticized time and again: the soundtrack. A star-studded jukebox musical that celebrates many a classic by the Beatles, this film is driven by its soundtrack, which is not only a questionable key aspect to storytelling, but filled with fall-flat interpretations of Beatles songs that emphasize the original versions' undeniable cheesiness through sometimes embarrassing overstylizing, thus making for a soundtrack that hardly consistently works, but still manages to work just enough to turn in plenty of entertaining tunes that do a decent job of capturing their source materials' colorfulness in a typically unique fashion that is bound to keep you from falling out of the mess entirely. There is a weak musical number for every decent, if not genuinely good one (In all seriousness, Areosmith's "Come Together" is "the" highlight, and they're ironically presented in the film as definitive opponents of decency), but seeing as how this film is so driven by its musical aspects, the high points in the soundtrack do about as much as anything in saving the film, if not providing a small taste of what could have been: decency, but not much more than that. Yeah, there's not much to this film, and that really emphasizes what is so very wrong with this misguided project, and yet, at the same time, what strengths there are also go emphasized by the film's not being so demanding, supplementing a mild degree of entertainment value that is itself complimentary to a certain degree of charm, spawned from ambition that is hard to miss. Needless to say, while it isn't all that demanding, the ambition behind this film goes seriously unfulfilled by glaring flaws, of which there are many, though not so many that I found it hard to see the strengths that are in limited supply, but no less present as somewhat lively notes that guide the final product's narrow escape from contempt. Still, while the film goes saved by what handful of things it does reasonably well, it comes close to collapsing into disdain, which is ultimately kept at bay, yet made much too visible to battle back mediocrity, reinforced by an abundance of flaws, some of which can even be found within the musical aspects.

Again, there are highlights in the soundtrack, and they do a lot in almost saving the final product, but in so many ways, the music works to this musical's detriment, not just because plenty of numbers are weak, but because the musical storytelling aspects of this film hardly work, partially because the leaps between the unevenly used spoken word narration type of storytelling - powered by George Burns - and most prominent musical storytelling prove be about as jarring as the occasional considerable tonal shift that comes with sudden changes in certain songs of distinct types, and largely because the tight flow of musical narrative keeps you from meditating upon the progression of the "story", which is kind of ironic, seeing as how when this film is careful to not sum up too much with the musical number, it ends up having the music blandly meander along one sequence, sometimes dully. Like I said, there are entertaining spells that go anchored by the musicality, but there are dull spots which are also anchored by the musicality, or at least misusage of the musicality in the context of the telling of what story there is, which isn't to say that the performers in this film do more than just turn in both overbearing musical numbers and, well, some unconvincing attempts at lip-syncing. There's certainly not a whole for our performers to work with, so it's not like there are a whole lot of weak notes within the cast, some of whose members charm enough to earn a bit of your appreciation, but when the acting faults, there's no missing it, because we're talking about a cast that is mostly comprised of musicians with little, if any acting background who were crammed in simply because of the magnitude of their name, whose respectability is kind of shaken by unconvincing, if not cheesy physical acting that ranges from disconcerting to near-frustrating. Again, the occasional charming performer earns your attention, but on the whole, the mediocrity, if not incompetence of the acting hurts the effectiveness of this film's substance, which was, of course, never to be too rich, because what we have here is a paper-thin, overwhelmingly fluffy story concept that has little going for it, and would be easier to swallow if it wasn't so bland and uncompelling, even when it comes to the concept, whose execution into an aimless, unfocused narrative gets to be monotonous something fierce. Clocking in at just shy of two hours, this mindlessly directionless mess of a film outstays its welcome, being not so frustratingly overblown that it earns disdain, but certainly too long to have so much fluff, which makes things all the more irritating by getting mighty carried away time and again. Not simply paper-thin, this film's story is all-out dumb, and sure, the deliberateness of this "plot's" stupidity is obvious and could have added to the charming entertainment value, but ends up being much too milked by over-the-top cheesiness that results in lame jokes, painfully overbearing themes and embarrassing set piece, after embarrassing set piece, until the film ends up drowned in corniness whose liveliness can't even be consistently soaked up through the blandness. Sure, when the film doesn't have its entertaining moments, it's simply too bland to be bad, and such a formula, while kind of aggravating, saves the final product from contempt, but make no mistake, this film is an overblown, unfocused, cheesy and all around misguided mess that falls every bit as short of likability as it falls short of disdain, directly into mediocrity, at the absolute best.

When the day in a life is done, sharp production value, high points in the musical numbers and entertaining moments compliment the undeniable degree of charm within ambition that save the film from a collapse into contempt, but cannot dilute the sting of the unevenness, meandering spells and weakness within many a musical number, questionable occasions in acting, conceptually bland and aimlessly told "story", and overwhelming cheesiness that make Michael Schultz's "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" a messily misguided borderline disaster that could be worse, but is still much too sloppy to be genuinely likable.

2/5 - Weak
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