Sid and Nancy


Sid and Nancy

Critics Consensus

Visceral, energetic, and often very sad, Sid and Nancy is also a surprisingly touching love story, and Gary Oldman is outstanding as the late punk rock icon Sid Vicious.



Total Count: 65


Audience Score

User Ratings: 33,884
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Movie Info

Punk rock's first great embodiment of the motto "live fast and die young," Sid Vicious joined The Sex Pistols when they were already established as the most controversial rock band in British history; and it soon became apparent that he couldn't play his instrument, had a magnetic attraction to chaos, and possessed a dangerous thirst for booze, drugs, and violence. Sid & Nancy opens shortly after Sid (Gary Oldman) joined the band, when he meets an obnoxious American punk groupie named Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb). Nancy claims that she can get drugs, and Sid naively gives her his money. Nancy doesn't show up with the goods, but when Sid runs into her a few days later, she has a tall tale about getting ripped off - and Sid sympathizes with her. Before long, Sid and Nancy have fallen in love, and while they argue with uncommon vehemence, they also depend completely on each other. When The Sex Pistols break up, Sid has few prospects and an increasingly voracious appetite for heroin, and Nancy's attempts to "manage" his career only hasten his downhill slide. Former Clash leader Joe Strummer wrote the film's theme song, "Love Kills," and The Pogues, The Circle Jerks, and Pray for Rain contributed to the soundtrack. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


Gary Oldman
as Sid Vicious
Chloe Webb
as Nancy Spungen
Andrew Schofield
as Johnny Rotten
David Hayman
as Malcolm McLaren
Jude Alderson
as Ma Vicious
Edward Tudor Pole
as Hotelier (UK)
Peter McCarthy
as Hugh Kares
Tenpole Tudor
as Receptionist
Pete Lee-Wilson
as Duke Bowman
Coati Mundi
as Desk Clerk
Ed Pansullo
as Detective
Courtney Love
as Gretchen
Fox Harris
as Old Stain
Xander Berkeley
as Bowery Snax
Biff Yeager
as Detective
Sandy Baron
as Hotelier
Andrew Bradford
as Dick Bent
Barbara Coles
as Reporter
Milton Selzer
as Granpa Spungen
Gloria Le Roy
as Granma Spungen
Sy Richardson
as Caseworker
Iggy Pop
as Prospective Guest
Stuart H. Fox
as Rock Head
Niven Boyd
as Rock Head's Trainer
Miguel Sandoval
as Record Company Executive
Patti Tippo
as Tanned and Sultry Blonde
John M. Jackson
as Lance Boyles, M.D
Desiree Erasmus
as Mrs. Hugh Kares
Dan Wul
as Guitarist
Bob Ellis
as Fireman
Alexander Folk
as Riker's Guard
Dick Rude
as Riker's Guard
Keith Morris
as Riker's Junky
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Critic Reviews for Sid and Nancy

All Critics (65) | Top Critics (15)

  • They are more than zombies doing needlepoint on each other's veins. Both are brought to life in complex, deeply felt performances from two actors who have abandoned themselves to enormously demanding and difficult roles.

    Aug 9, 2016 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Sid & Nancy is an honorable try, but it could have been better had Cox found a way to imbue the movie with some of the sheer zaniness of his Repo Man.

    Aug 9, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Once we sense a glimmer of talent and accept these people as human beings, the tragedy of their drug use resonates enormously.

    Aug 9, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • This is a love story -- an unlikely, perverse, disturbing love story, but a genuine one.

    Aug 9, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The film stars Gary Oldman as Sid and Chloe Webb as Nancy, both dialled up to 11 on the acting-ometer, perhaps as manic and irritating as their characters were.

    Aug 5, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • It's fascinating to hear the Sex Pistols' No Feelings again. This film makes me think it's their most powerful track.

    Aug 4, 2016 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Sid and Nancy

  • Mar 01, 2017
    Fully invested with all the hormones of youth, drugged up past all rationale, famous and infamous and not giving much of two fucks, this is a love story and a commentary on us. Simply beautiful.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 16, 2016
    "Sid and Nancy" is the 1986 punk rock romantic tragedy directed by Alan Cox that builds off of a great script and great acting from Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb. The movie takes place from the moment Sid meets Nancy. Sid has just become the new bass player to the hottest band in punk music and possibly the United Kingdom in 1977, the Sex Pistols. Nancy is an American who came to London as a groupie who had high ambitions of steering a musician towards her version of greatness. Together they build a relationship built mostly around their use of heroin and their subsequent descent into addiction and despair. Not much is given about Nancy's life, but she was a troubled child who was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 15, got expelled from college and left the United States for London. This may explain some of her behavior, she was dubbed "Nasueating Nancy" by the press. She is always on the defensive about everything involving Sid, his music and his career. After the Sex Pistols break up after a disatrous tour of the U.S., she becomes Sid's manager as he embarks on a solo career. Sid barely knows how to play the bass guitar and through most of the movie he strums a little while jumping up and down in a drugged out haze for show. His solo career included one album and the cover of the song Sinatra made famous, "My Way." Director Alex Cox even recreates the controversial music video for "My Way" where on a stage he pulls out a gun and blasts away at the audience. He includes Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren (David Hayman) and Nancy in the audience as corpes. While everyone lays dead, Nancy's dead body awakes and joins Sid on the stairs in an embrace as the lights go down. There are times in the film when you have no idea if what is going on is real or a part of their imagination. A lot of the film involves the two shooting up heroin or trying to score heroin. Maybe this wasn't the most factual tale of Sid and Nancy, as lead singer of the Sex Pistols Johnny Rotten had dismissed the film as "fiction" and all the scenes of the two lovers alone had to have been imagined as there is no way to know what went on between them.
    Joseph B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 02, 2013
    Biopics are always wonderful because we get to see an interesting character brought to life through film. In the case of this film, it is Sid Vicious, the volatile bass player for The Sex Pistols. Gary Oldman is absolutely mesmerizing in the role of Vicious, and he really makes this flawed film worth seeing. I say flawed because according to Johnny Rotten, events in the film didn't happen as such and it is full of inaccuracies. Now I'm not into punk rock and I tend to lead more on Heavy metal music than anything else, so I wouldn't know how accurate the film is. However it definitely is a compelling, well acted drama that belongs on the shelf of the best biopics ever filmed. Oldman is a great actor, and he is perfect in the part. Sid & Nancy is a film that manages to overcome its flaws by its strong performances alone. Whether you like the music or not, this is worth seeing if you love Gary Oldman's work, and with such talent, I'm surprised that he hasn't won an Oscar. This is an overlooked film in his career, as he would take on better roles in future films, nonetheless this is a stunning performance that showcases his talents as an actor at such an early phase in career. Directed by Alex Cross, Sid & Nancy is a film that should be seen by any cinema buff looking for a well acted biopic about an interesting musical icon and his volatile, drug induced life and his short term stint with The Sex Pistols.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Oct 30, 2011
    An amazing ride through the short life of the Sex Pistols and Sid Vicious featuring Gary Oldman in one of the best performances I've seen.
    Graham J Super Reviewer

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