We Are Your Friends (2015)

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Critic Consensus: We Are Your Friends boasts magnetic stars and glimmers of insight, but they're lost in a clichéd coming-of-age story as programmed as the soundtrack's beats.

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Set in the world of electronic music and Hollywood nightlife, an aspiring 23-year-old DJ named Cole spends his days scheming with his childhood friends and his nights working on the one track that will set the world on fire. All of this changes when he meets a charismatic but damaged older DJ named James, who takes him under his wing. Things get complicated, however, when Cole starts falling for James' much younger girlfriend, Sophie. With Cole's forbidden relationship intensifying and his friendships unraveling, he must choose between love, loyalty, and the future he is destined for.

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Critic Reviews for We Are Your Friends

All Critics (130) | Top Critics (37)

A plethora of beats drop but little else of note - musical or otherwise - happens in the Zac Efron DJ fest We Are Your Friends.

Aug 29, 2015 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
USA Today
Top Critic

It's the perfect one-last-blast movie for the end of summer.

Aug 28, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

It's as if a Michael Lewis story or a 1980s Paul Schrader movie were intercepted by studio marketing execs who said, "You should turn Saturday Night Fever into a commercial for SunnyD."

Aug 28, 2015 | Full Review…

Director Joseph captures the vital energy and druggie haze of EDM parties, providing a peek into a world not often seen on the big screen.

Aug 28, 2015 | Full Review…

Its poignance comes from the film's desire to treat the aspirations and emotions of its tender-hearted, kinda dim hero seriously while maintaining enough distance to feel wiser and more mature than he is.

Aug 28, 2015 | Full Review…

It's all big, dumb, broad strokes, with plot points visible from miles away. But it works where it matters: The music is fantastic, and the film invests you in its central relationship.

Aug 28, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for We Are Your Friends

One of Zac Efron's better movies of late. His portrayal as a deejay trying to be the next big thing and not another brick in the wall is convincing. The music could have done with more licenses tracks but ultimately this coming of age drama is enjoyable.

Ian Walker
Ian Walker

Super Reviewer

½

An okay party awesomely DJ-ed, Zac Efron's latest drops some block-rocking beats so far as a soundtrack but misses the mark so far as drama by sampling too many other underdog tales. You've seen similar stories countless times before, just not set in the world of Los Angeles MCs. It spotlights as small (and, sadly, forgettable) a microcosm as arm wrestling in Over the Top or skateboarding in Gleaming the Cube, but such meticulous loving care gets afforded the specific craftsmanship that the flick manages to break even. One vervy sequence finds our protagonist losing his earphones and rooting out the natural sounds of the San Fernando Valley before recording and appropriating them into a mega-mix. It seems like small stuff but this process and his philosophy behind beats-per-second elevate the goings-on above Below Average status. Given that his low class friends keep this possible breakout star from making his mark a la Good Will Hunting and a back-stabbing romance threaten his future a la Wedding Crashers, this proves to be no small feat of elevation. In this R-rated drama, aspiring DJ Cole Carter (Efron) finds himself caught between a forbidden romance with the girlfriend (Emily Ratajkowski) of his mentor (Bentley) and the expectations of his friends in his attempts to find the path in life that leads to fame and fortune. Zac Efron, long due breakout success of his own following High School Musical and 17 Again, is in fine form but clearly isn't the star. Once the soundtrack takes over, it's nearly impossible not to step into the ebb and flow of the beat. The soundtrack, boasting cuts from EDM artists including Justice, Tchami, Will Sparks, Dom Dolla, Hayden James, The Magician, Years & Years, AlunaGeorge, Klingande, Seinabo Sey, Gryffin, Deorro, Carnage, Bro Safari and The Americanos, makes the only noise truly worth hearing in this already forgotten distraction. Bottom line: Dub Misstep

Jeff Boam
Jeff Boam

Super Reviewer

½

While not the critical disaster that everyone is saying it is, "We Are Your Friends" is not all that good either. Zac Efron leads this film as an aspiring DJ who's passion trumps the needs of his crowd. After befriending a DJ legend, he must impress him while also falling for his girlfriend behind his back. Cliche after cliche, you see the entire film coming, but if you are able to look past how dumb it can be, there is some mild fun to be had here. I enjoyed my viewing of this film, but the only time I would ever give it any kind of recommendation or second viewing, would be during a party when people are only half paying attention. There are a few life lessons in some great character moments and there are some cool Dj sequences, but that is about it. Playing out like an elongated music video, "We Are Your Friends" suffered greatly. A disaster of a film? No, but unless you are few drinks in, I cannot recommend it either.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

We Are Your Friends is a movie accompanying a soundtrack rather than the other way around. It is a movie about a DJ and we all know how rough the plight of a DJ can be. The problem with the premise in general is that it does feel rather inconsequential in the wide range of stories to be told and it seems wasteful that a movie about a DJ gets such a wide release instead of something more substantial. And so, the question is: does this DJ tale use it's opportunity to say something more? Unfortunately the answer is no. While the trailer for the film did in fact hint at something more-is the cost and the grind of the collegiate system worth the job it grants you afterwards that is largely utilized to pay back those student loans? The film hints it might not be if you do something worthwhile with that time, but Cole Carter (Zac Efron) and his friends aren't doing much besides melting away in the San Fernando Valley. Despite it's rather hollow exteriors I was optimistic that the film might actually take the opportunity to explore a few existential themes that become prevalent for the first time in your early twenties, but it keeps in key with it's hollow exteriors by being a hollow portrait of the sunshine state lifestyle. To say that is to say there isn't much to the film and again, unfortunately that is true. Director Max Joseph (MTV's Catfish) makes his narrative feature debut here and while he is keen on tapping into that younger audience he knows so well, at thirty-three this drama of young angst feels more manufactured than authentic. We Are Your Friends is one of those movies about a group of friends who are in the midst of trying to accomplish their dreams and fulfill their aspirations, but feel stuck or even worse, know they don't have what it takes to make it out of their hometown. The thing about Cole though is that he's basically granted unprecedented access to a well-known DJ and all the resources he could ever need in order to flourish and yet there isn't enough drive there for him to take the obvious path. read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com

Philip Price
Philip Price

Super Reviewer

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