Sid and Nancy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sid and Nancy Reviews

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August 9, 2016
The film oscillates between Sid's and Nancy's legend and the reality. The ending is particularly beautiful as legend overcomes reality and the pair are given to a perfectly mangled Sid and Nancy version of heaven.
July 31, 2016
Gary Oldman is phenominal as the punk 'icon' Sid Vicious. The film shows the self destruction of Sid Vivious, something which Sex Pistols groupie Nancy understands. As the relationship goes on, Sid Vicious is pulled into a world of addiction and hopelessness, with tragic consquences. Although the film is relevant on so many levels, I really don't think Sid Vicious should be heralded as some icon, he was a talenless junky poser who behaved like a violent, deluded headcase. Although some of it stems from the senseless world he found himself in where his violent behavior was held in high regard by many supposed punk morons! That said, the film is still quite sad to watch, but at the same time, he never had much in the way of potential. Also, one of the most depressing films...ever!
July 28, 2016
Max's Kansas City, bay-beee!
Super Reviewer
½ April 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.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
November 7, 2015
Good acting but relentlessly despairing.
August 22, 2015
Great, fucking movie! I love Sid. He's cool. I've had hallucinations of him on drugs sitting inside of an inviting black hole in the sky of the room.
August 17, 2015
Such a great biopic! The themes of love in the gutter is so touching. The self-destructive lifestyle leads to a tragic end that is quite the gutpunch.
July 15, 2015
While this ain't doing Johnny Rotten any favours (and he has been vocal about how much he hates it and how inaccurate it actually is), Sid and Nancy is definitely one of the best films ever made about the punk movement (certainly the best I've ever seen!). To his credit, Cox doesn't exploit the chaotic relationship of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen nor the mysterious circumstances surrounding Nancy's death and that's an achievement in itself. Some of the sequences play as a beautiful homage to punk and Gary Oldman's breakthrough performance definitely deserves a watch! A young Courtney Love (before all the plastic surgery) may have missed out on the leading role but had a small part written specifically for her so she would not be left out entirely. That she would, unpredictably become some kind of Nancy Spungen herself only adds to the film's cult status.
July 10, 2015
I can remember the sense of excitement I had when I was able to see it. I can also remember the shock of seeing Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb approach their respective roles in such a vitally realistic way. It was not what I expected from an Alex Cox movie. But what he delivered was so much more than I thought he could do.

The film itself is often truly gutting, but just as you feel like you're sliding into a cinematic hole of darkness -- Chole Webb would desperately growl out a line like, "What about the farewell drugs?" or "AAGGHH! I look like fuckin' Stevie Nicks in hippie clothes!" --- and we'd be temporarily pulled back up into dark comic genius. It is the constant mix of harsh realism, dark comedy and surrealism that allows the viewer to survive the experience of the film and the two performances that never ring false.

Even then, I knew that much of what I saw on the screen was realistically done -- but not truth. No one really knows what went down in that room at The Chelsea Hotel. But anyone who was into PUNK or aware of The Sex Pistols "story" would never be able to buy the idea that Sid Vicious could have murdered Nancy Spungen. Actually it would have been more believable for her to have murdered him. Alex Cox knew PUNK better than most and he knew this too. He never intended to offer "truth." He was articulating not the tragic lives of two junkies, but paying homage to an idea.

Sid & Nancy is less about the "reality" of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen as it is about the "idea" of what they came to represent. Cox is applying his ideas to form another level to the legend of these two misfits who managed to find some very limited success.

26 years later, Sid & Nancy remains a potent examination of co-dependancy, addiction, despair, self-loathing, loneliness and true human horror. But in between all of these profoundly dire moments there is a great deal of twisted comedy.

It is impossible not to laugh as Sid & Nancy navigate their way through the mayhem and chaos they often create. Cox even manages to inject some clever uses of Surrealism. I'm fairly certain that the original title for this movie was "Love Kills" but that became the tag line used to promote the movie. And of course, the idea of love as killer can be taken more ways than one.

It is an odd film that captures the after-effects of PUNK while still maintaining the PUNK ideals. Cox's earlier movie, Repo Man, was actually the more PUNK movie. This film is more of a sadly comic ode to a quickly fading memory of an idea that never managed to fully form. And it is unforgettable. Even while it does not present a true depiction of the infamous couple, it is close enough. It is a fascinating, grim and often funny trip of a movie.

It also contains two truly incredible performances. Brilliant. A must see movie. Now, how do spell "holiday?"
½ July 5, 2015
While the real John Lydon has criticized the film, "Sid and Nancy" is one of the most well-acted and brashest biopics ever made, and that suits the late Sid Vicious perfectly.
½ June 17, 2015
It's hard to feel empathy for people as useless and devoid of character as Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen and there are times when even Cox seems disinterested in them, but there are shines of vivacious energy and poignant moments (particularly in scenes depicting the childish tenderness they often displayed to one another) to this portrait of drug addiction and doomed love that, dare I say, leaves you feeling a little sad for the junkie losers the film depicts and there are two sequences, the visceral my way stage performance and that truly haunting ending, that were revealing of the tragic, nihilistic character who Gary Oldman plays uncannily.
April 25, 2015
I thought the last half was too depressing. If a movie is going to make me depressed I want it to mean something. "Drugs are bad" has about as much meaning as "the sky is blue." I don't like the Sex Pistols so it wasn't interesting from a fandom perspective. I also didn't like Sid and Nancy. I have no problem with watching a movie about someone I don't like and their crazy lifestyle, but don't ask me to feel sorry for them. They are pitiful and tragic, though. The first half of the film is where the movie succeeds. I like old school punk culture and how self-destructive it is. I just don't want so much realism with my self-destruction.
February 14, 2015
Oldman is great, but the film is sensationalized. The story probably needed to be told, however.
August 22, 2014
Punk rock never dies!
July 26, 2014
(First and only viewing - 5/28/2010)
June 24, 2014
casting perfect 4 this punk rock love story
June 6, 2014
Hadn't seen this for years, it's lost none of its power. We all seem a little dull these days by comparison. Fabulous and moving in many ways.
½ June 5, 2014
FUCK YEAH. Just that. Such a dynamic, brutal and fun film. Hard-hitting, and supremely acted.
Gary Oldman should have won a couple of Oscars throughout his career, and the first one should have been for this extraordinary performance. That guy doesn't act, HE IS.
May 1, 2014
Written and directed by Alex Cox, then hot of the success of his feature debut Repo Man (1984), this started life as a script Cox wrote in 1980 called Too Kool To Die, lightly inspired by the death of Sid Vicious, however when he heard of a potential Hollywood version in development starring Rupert Everett and Madonna. Cox quickly got this version made, and it's a tragic and very painful love story. This tells the story of how Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman) met American groupie Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb), who came to England to bed the Sex Pistols, the two fall in love but after the Pistols split up after their ill-fated American tour in 1978, that brings Sid and Nancy closer together, it gives Sid more freedom to do what he wants. They move to Paris to start a solo career, but no-one will take Sid seriously, because he has a very bad heroin addiction, and he's become very unreliable. Sid and Nancy take residence in the bohemian Hotel Chelsea in New York, descending into a hellish abyss of dangerous drug usage. It might not have been historically accurate, but Cox succeeded at creating a punk Romeo and Juliet in a weird, twisted way. For a film about the noise and angst of the punk movement, Cox finds a sweet and doomed love story in the eye of the storm, but the film briefly made Cox a big name in Hollywood, shame it didn't last.
April 9, 2014
A biopic style romance about the relationship between Sid Vicious of the punk band The Sex Pistols and his American girlfriend Nancy Spungen.
The enjoyment level of this film depends quite heavily on whether you followed the band and/or the punk movement of the late 70's and early 80's.
I didn't and wasn't really a fan of the Sex Pistols, but I did find this a worthwhile watch simply out of interest.
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