This Is Spinal Tap - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

This Is Spinal Tap Reviews

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January 28, 2016
A comedic masterpiece.

A documentary producer/director, Marty DiBergi, follows the hard-rock band Spinal Tap around on their reunion tour of the US. This is the outcome: a rock documentary - a rockumentary. Through interviews of the band he covers their history and creative processes, and captures some of their behind-the-scenes interactions. He also films some of their concerts and music. There's a reason they're not that well known...

One of the funniest movies ever made. A great spoof of rock music, and the music industry in general. Just about every scene and line is iconic and quotable (eg "Our amps go up to eleven", the saga of the drummers).

Very relatable too, especially to anyone who follows rock music. So many scenes that remind you just how superficial, pretentious and sometimes plain stupid rock musicians can be. Cringingly close to reality at times.

Brilliant beyond description. So good this movie created a genre - the mockumentary.
January 26, 2016
Funny from start to end and with a story that is both believable and awesome, This Is Spinal Tap is an amazingly crafted mockumentary for the ages and a film that documents and spoof the rock n roll lifestyle in a funny and fairly accurate way in its own right.
January 24, 2016
absolutely hilarious in a very subtle way.
January 10, 2016
If I watch a film where a certain accent present throughout the movie, I tend to speak like that for the rest of the day. But after watching 'This Is Spinal Tap' I'm literally writing in British. This film's sense of humour is very different than the humour we are used to seeing in film's today. The jokes are so dumb but it has such a clever side to them as well. Think of the humour from films like Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead in a documentary style film which makes for some very memorable quotes. "The only question left is, how much more black could this be and the answer is... well... none!" A very funny film. Nuff said.
January 6, 2016
The movie that popularized mockumentaries does not hold up for me, 30+ years after it's release. Today's influx of mockumentary sitcoms might be to blame, ironically.
½ December 20, 2015
A true trail blazing comedy.
December 11, 2015
My cheeks hurt. Brilliance.
October 26, 2015
Very quotable and funny, but sometimes a little slowgoing. Not perfekt, but very enjoyable and well made.
October 21, 2015
The more you know about "rock'n'roll" the funnier it probably is, but even those not in the know will still find it laugh out loud hilarious. There's also some great tunes here, even when the lyrics make it unable to sing with a straight face.
Super Reviewer
½ October 4, 2015
Long time friends Rob Reiner and Christopher Guest partner up for this first great mockumentary that hits all the right notes. Spinal Tap even opened the '84-'85 season of SNL a few months after the movie opened (Guest was a cast member that season after all). Guest, Reiner, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer all share writing credit on this improvisational gem. Hilarious songs and performances including the "archival" footage showing the band's phases through the '60s and '70s. We get a look behind the scenes with this British heavy metal band, their manager (Tony Hendra), and the girlfriend who nearly breaks up the group (June Chadwick), with cameos by Fran Drescher, Billy Crystal, and Fred Willard. I once used the "This amp goes to 11" scene to illustrate an argument in a philosophy class in college. We were talking about the two schools of thought: Rationalists and Empiricists. Listen to what Reiner and Guest say in this scene and their tone of voice. I'm with Marty, who I identify as being in the Empiricist camp. Amps go to 10, whatever the loudest level is should be called 10, you don't just invent 11 and all of a sudden your amp is better than any other. These British rockers are not all there in the head, so Nigel, the "Rationalist," is stumped when Marty presents his evidence and argument. The Rationalists are the philosophers generally arguing that there are ideal forms apart from the physical world, and arguing for the existence of God. Anyways, these were the ideas discussed in my one philosophy class, and that will continue to be discussed. Let's not forget that this movie is hilarious. I also love the scene where they get lost in a Cleveland theater trying to find their way to the stage from their dressing room. This movie set the stage for all future Christopher Guest mockumentaries.
½ August 19, 2015
Quirky doesn't begin to explain it. Mockumentary done right.
August 16, 2015
Fake documentary of the worst-but fictional-Heavy Metal group.Sit down and relax listening the mostly absurd,sexist songs of genre,the Stonehenge sequence is solid gold
½ August 7, 2015
This Is Spinal Tap gets 4.5/11 stars
August 6, 2015
Failure can be fun. So this is about the fictional band Spinal Tap, a group that has been around the block a few times, and has released 15 albums during their 17-year career. They are all set to go on their North American tour, but when egos and management clash, things are bound to go awry. Now this may not be the first mockumentary ever made, but it is definitely known for starting the trend. If you didn't know any better, you would just think that this is some obscure British band that is big in England, but small in the States, and the film is well crafted enough for you to buy into it. It makes for a novel effect and a memorable experience. Another classic from Rob Reiner, Spinal Tap is filled with memorable jokes. It's so short and compact that you actually retain a lot long after you walk away, and it is easy to see why this gained its cult status. For example, how many times have you heard somebody reference turning something "up to 11". Have you ever heard the line, "No one knows who they were, or what they were doing"? Spinal Tap is the movie that's responsible. Between creative lines of naturally flowing dialogue, the Stonehenge prop and the outrageous egos and insatiable personalities, you have hilarity ensuing all over the place. This is all about beautiful failure, and the fact that this band is oblivious to the fact that their glory days are far back in the rear view mirror makes for terrific entertainment. Now I know this movie has a huge following, so a lot of you probably already know everything that I'm writing down here. I also know that this entire review has been nothing but aglow with praise, but I don't actually love this to a point where I would label this as one of my top favorite movies, but I do really like everything that it does. It's nothing personal, just a matter of preference, and I completely understand the many people out there that have this in their regular rotation of films that get frequent viewings. It's so short that you can watch it easily at any time, and the parody of it all demands that you watch it at least once. At the very least, this is a definitive answer to the following question: "is it better to burn out or fade away" (it's definitely, DEFINITELY burn out).
July 11, 2015
Not as consistently funny as its reputation, but.... this is one of very, very few movies which can lay claim to having scenes at the same level as Monty Python and the Holy grail. The stonehenge scene in particular is one of the greatest in the history of film comedy. Spinal Tap can also be credited as giving birth to the bountiful mockumentary genre, and the members of Spinal Tap have continued the gag brilliantly beyond the release of the film.

While Spinal Tap may be an ingeniously ridiculous creation the Spinal Tap movie isn't just a gagfest. It is even more so a picture of burnout, symbolic of the (big) bottoming out of rock and roll culture at the time yes, but more specifically of the physical and emotional burnout of the band members, amid an aimless playing out the string. There are entire stretches of the movie that lag, which is why I've rated Spinal Tap slightly lower than Guffman and Best in Show. The draggy pace and empty sections may be for a purpose, but that purpose isn't comedy, which this movie at its best does better than nearly any other. Other films can show how drab and exhausting being on tour can be; only Spinal Tap can produce the sights, sounds, and yes, the smells, of rock culture at its most riotously, at times almost endearingly stupid and neanderthal. When it does, it soars, head-bangs and thrusts its way down from comedy heaven
Super Reviewer
June 29, 2015
Welcome to my 400th review since March 2011!

What better movie to take a look at other than 'This is Spinal Tap'. A cult classic. These guys put on a fantastic show over a brief 80 minutes thanks to Rob Reiner's astute portrayal of the rock and roll lifestyle. It's considered a rockumentary. A coined term for this special genre. The laughs are hearty and the dialogue is easily quotable. If you're a lover of music and have taken classes about the history of rock like I did, you'll easily recognize every little nuance they interpret from some of the most famous bands. The one part that slayed me was the Stonehenge bit.

It's cleverly written pieces like this that make you look back on what cinema was like back in the day and you only wish there was more like this on a consistent basis.
June 28, 2015
This was one of those films that I always meant to see but never did. Now that I have seen it, I am glad I did. Its a very unique film. I loved all the cameos in it. Its one of the better mocumentaries out there. I wish I had seen it long ago though, I think I would appreciate it more.
½ June 27, 2015
It's like trying to extrapolate the universe
June 24, 2015
I think I'm in the minotrity who haven't seen it.
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