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Overall Rating
4.26

Awesome59.83%
Worth A Look: 20.92%
Average: 10.88%
Pretty Bad: 2.51%
Total Crap: 5.86%

15 reviews, 149 user ratings


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Almost Famous
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Justin Helmer

"It's all happening...just not like I thought it would."
4 stars

Melancholy soaks into every frame of Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Famous.” As we see through the eyes of a young reporter, the ideal of rock and roll music has always been very different from the reality. Taken from the very real experiences that Crowe went through as a young writer for Rolling Stone magazine, the overall feeling is one of constant longing for something that was never really there in the first place.

Art is always a subjective experience…one person’s gold is another’s junk, but when the fan base is as dedicated as fans of rock and roll are, everyone tends to create his or her own ‘perfect world’. Almost Famous is set in two worlds that have a particular stake in this mythic status, rock journalism, and the bands themselves. On their own both of these groups are in the business of creating this image, it’s a mutually abusive relationship in many ways.

As the movie opens William Miller’s (Patrick Fugit) family is falling apart. His father has died; his sister is in a constant state of war with his mom (Frances McDormand) and nothing makes any kind of sense anymore. His sister determines that it’s time to make a break, but before she leaves she tells her brother that she has left something for him under her bed. It’s her contraband stash of rock music, and from the moment William spins The Who’s Sparks his world will never be the same.

Jump forward a bit…William has become a writer for the local underground music rags, when one day he hears that Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is going to be at the local radio station. He hijacks Bangs and convinces him to give him a shot at writing for Creem magazine. Miller wheedles an assignment on Black Sabbath out of Bangs, along with the advice that he should never let himself become personally involved with the musicians. He is not going to be their friend. His job is to report what he sees and to show no mercy.

He never gets any further with Sabbath than the assignment; which allows Crowe to insert Stillwater as the opening band. Stillwater is sort of an amalgam of a number of different groups that where popular at the time, but what really hooks William is Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) one of the self-styled ‘band-aids’ that travel in the circle of friends and fans. Fame is presented here as a loose arrangement of circles of access, Penny fancies herself on the furthest inside circle.

William is drawn into Stillwater’s traveling circus, which gets him a freelance gig with Rolling Stone writing a story on this up and coming new band. Every one of the main characters in this film at some point has to come to grips with the loss of innocence of seeing the holes in their perfect world. Stillwater themselves are a tightly-wrapped bundle of insecurity and distrust, periodically one of them will make some noise about the importance of the music, when they aren’t worried about there relative importance to the band. Billy Crudup and Jason Lee play the guitarist and lead singer respectively, and they both do very well conveying the complexity of the relationship.

By the time it’s all over the band is at the very verge of stardom, and self-destruction at the same time. While it’s mostly a love note to one of the most remarkable periods of Crowe’s life, (The man has to have one of the coolest ‘how I lost my virginity’ stories in the history of the world.) I also got the feeling that there was a gentle history lesson going on. Many people, myself included, have at one time or another whined about the soulless state of the music industry today. I was left with the overall impression that Crowe was saying that there has always been that disconnect between art and commerce. It’s a very hopeful message; ultimately whether it’s Motzart, Elvis, or Led Zepplin the magic is where you find it.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3454&reviewer=315
originally posted: 01/16/03 22:30:41
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell boring as fuck i hate this movie 1 stars
1/11/13 Martel732 Rock in the early '70s,according to ditzy,hippy airhead flibberdegibbet ,Nancy Wilson 1 stars
11/30/12 Leonard over-hyped-- This could have been Disney...was the screenplay written by a 15 yr old, too? 2 stars
3/31/12 Peter Reilich "rock stopped being art and started being a product of big business" is untrue. always both 1 stars
10/10/10 Dymphna Kahl Very good movie & acting, , song "Tiny Dancer" the best. 4 stars
8/11/10 art a GRAND 1970's HIPPIE MOVIE! 4 stars
8/06/10 Heather! One of my favorite movies ever! Hilarious and moving...I love Cameron Crowe! 5 stars
12/28/09 Bert I have to say this is my favorite movie of all time! 5 stars
11/05/09 Jeff Wilder Perfect rock and roll film. 5 stars
7/05/09 MP Bartley Soft peddles everything to the detriment of the film - nice while it lasts, though. 4 stars
3/02/09 Samantha Pruitt very interesting with great characters and acting! 4 stars
1/17/09 matt flawless 5 stars
7/04/07 fools♫gold I give you up, mb: your totally personal life I know little of seems empty. 5 stars
3/18/07 mb Gave It Up After 37 min. ... seemed empty 2 stars
11/25/06 David Pollastrini very good 5 stars
10/24/06 Jess loved it! all the performances are wonderful! 5 stars
4/24/06 Annie Made me remember being a teen of the 70's! Oops, telling my age here! 5 stars
4/02/06 I'll stay anonymous this time if you don't mind A rock film for people who don't like rock. Or movies, particularly 2 stars
8/20/05 ES If you dream of bing a rock groupie this is your film 1 stars
8/05/05 ^podo incredible.... 5 stars
5/22/05 Chlo ...don't you mean the 70s, cris? 4 stars
5/05/05 Cindy Lovell I loved it, Jason Lee was awesome 5 stars
3/14/05 cris i will always love this movie! for 2 h, i live in the 60s 5 stars
2/28/05 Lorrin Great movie, not once did I want to turn it off 5 stars
2/14/05 sbpat21 a modern classic; masterpiece 5 stars
2/07/05 Desperado Touching,amazing, brilliant coming of age story that makes me want to grow up in that era 5 stars
12/17/04 sully no sex,no drugs,no rock&roll,dumbed down after school special 1 stars
12/09/04 Joshua Hitchens Amazing 5 stars
9/17/04 Jacqui Ambler Touching, but never a cliche, complex but never full of its own edginess. 5 stars
9/15/04 anna wicked 5 stars
7/08/04 Denise Duspiva where is the story 2 stars
5/23/04 muffin cool film! 5 stars
5/13/04 This girl A solid three star movie from the always good but never earth-shattering Cameron Crowe 3 stars
5/02/04 Nicole Settimi This is one of those instances where you will feel it is more than "just watching a movie". 5 stars
4/11/04 Peter It brought back fond memories of the era 5 stars
4/05/04 Charlene Javier Another Crowe classic! 5 stars
12/15/03 Christia Bjørnskov One of my all-time favourites...everything rings true. 5 stars
10/31/03 Veronica Lodge One of my top faves... this movie is absolutely beautiful, nostalgic, and poetic 5 stars
10/17/03 sarah i h8 it, it really sux 1 stars
10/10/03 Erik Van Sant Great upon first viewing...then you realize what a stupid, annoying slut Kate Hudson is. 3 stars
8/23/03 yulia loved it! penny lane - amazing screen presence... 5 stars
6/23/03 cochese overrated, the kids annoying and so is kate hudson. 3 stars
6/04/03 Charles Tatum A perfect film 5 stars
3/24/03 Winthrop J Applesmythe III damn fucking good. this is in my top 15 of all time. 5 stars
1/17/03 y2mckay FEVER DAWG, SCRATCHIN' AT MY BACK DOOR . . . Jason Lee rox, Kate Hudson quite droolworthy 4 stars
12/03/02 Monster W. Kung Entertaining and interesting, but not a masterpiece. Doesn't try to go deep enough. 4 stars
11/16/02 Big Ted One of the Bests of 2000. Billy Crudup delivers an amazing perf. 5 stars
10/27/02 MarktheShark6 Jason Lee and an appearance by Jimmy Fallon. A great flick, no doubt. 5 stars
9/27/02 mell it was the sh*t!!! 5 stars
9/15/02 Joe Zappa (I'm Back!) I like it because it's funny and it has Jason Lee in it. 4 stars
8/13/02 guisada crap. 1 stars
8/08/02 Silellak A truly amazing movie 5 stars
8/06/02 hum story is really nothing special and yet its a very enjoyable flick 3 stars
7/21/02 Sofia just a really great movie, from beginning to end. 5 stars
7/15/02 Dan Rapp A great film that captures the feel of the early-mid seventies. 5 stars
7/08/02 Mr. Punch If you don't smile during the entire movie, then it's time to order your gravestone. 5 stars
6/23/02 The Conscience Objector simply put:crowes greatest 5 stars
6/06/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi sweet!!! 5 stars
6/02/02 sdjfsdkjf top notch. Kate hudson was really good in this, I was suprised. Loved the music. 5 stars
5/29/02 Gary Highly enjoyable comedy fleshed out by excellent performances. Brilliant. 4 stars
5/27/02 Nicole Great movie.....gotta love the end 4 stars
4/30/02 katie my favorite movie. loved everything about it! 5 stars
3/16/02 Sara Goldfarb's Red Dress 'Tiny Dancer' sing-along a great movie moment..rest was kinda shite 4 stars
3/08/02 Mo Anand I think this movie has all the essentials...comedy, drama, and great music 5 stars
3/02/02 Chowie Fucking AWESOME! 5 stars
3/02/02 Alan Smithee A most excellent film (especially the director's cut)...and I want to marry Kate Hudson. 5 stars
3/01/02 melissa if your into the 70 era, its your your movie. Its awesome 5 stars
2/21/02 luda hoe good script 4 stars
2/09/02 Veronica Tatterworth Almost aimless would be more like it. And the point is? 2 stars
1/24/02 Andrew Carden Boring and Unlikeable Rock-Movie. Maybe This Would Have Been Better In 1972. 1 stars
1/14/02 Flick Chick did we all see the same movie???? 1 stars
12/17/01 Fred Emmer fabulous and touching story that sinks into your skin 5 stars
12/04/01 Peter Reilich The Spinal Tap of rock music critics, without trying to be funny = double satire 1 stars
10/14/01 gus nice 5 stars
10/08/01 Tzila Seewald it's great and make me move somewhat 5 stars
10/04/01 daniboy best 2000 film by far 5 stars
9/14/01 Donelle Bourne I loved the movie!! 5 stars
9/05/01 Revster.Jeffster a really sweet film- drags a little here and there 4 stars
9/02/01 john cramer limp, insipid, bad original music, wasted talent...waste of time 1 stars
7/08/01 John Lyons Loved it. Really impressed with Kate Hudson! 5 stars
6/22/01 Josh Tybur One of those movies that makes you feel better about life.... 5 stars
6/18/01 Shuttle Doc If you grew up then, and this doesn't grab you...your dead inside. Simply awsome 5 stars
6/13/01 il siciliano thet'n nice film writing 5 stars
6/10/01 Phil M. Afficianado Watch this and a warm feeling should come over you. If not, get a checkup for cynicism. 5 stars
6/03/01 R.W. Welch Not heavyweight stuff, but nicely done and effectively written. 4 stars
5/30/01 Jake Frances does it again. 5 stars
5/20/01 BillP brilliant script and Kate Hudson's sweet smile carry a very fine movie. 5 stars
5/11/01 J Good movie but FAR from being 2000's best. 4 stars
5/06/01 Gariess Excellent, Almost lost me at the start. Took a little too long to get going. 4 stars
4/26/01 bombshell it was one the greatest movies i have seen 5 stars
4/18/01 Brian Good Film, Awesome Music 4 stars
4/09/01 Girl 9 Just could have been done so much better. 3 stars
4/02/01 gellybean182 I loved it... it's so real 5 stars
3/26/01 LadyZoe WOW - the soundtrack rocks! Tthe movie is funny, sad & painfully truthful re road life.. 5 stars
3/20/01 Monday Morning Almost great...very good slice of the 70s w/ terrific characters. 4 stars
3/15/01 TheRock Anyone who doesn't like this film is crazy 5 stars
3/14/01 Onyx Almost enjoyable. Doesn't seem to be going anywhere. 3 stars
3/04/01 Suzz loved it 5 stars
3/04/01 Donna Sindle I watched it FOUR times! I absolutely loved it! 5 stars
3/02/01 viking The most enjoyable rock film since "Still Crazy" 5 stars
2/24/01 matthew smith a very funny and nostaglic film 5 stars
2/21/01 Rich My personal favorite for 2000. An honest movie with a great story. 5 stars
2/20/01 Nick Berger cheesy shit...nothin i didnt expect though...cameron crowe sucks 2 stars
2/15/01 Michael Nicholls Almost good... 3 stars
2/15/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Sometimes...very rarely, but sometimes...it pays to believe the hype. 5 stars
1/22/01 Evan Price one of my favorite films EVER crowe's best work... magical 5 stars
1/11/01 Matt69 Definetly one of the best films of the year with great supporting performances all around. 5 stars
12/31/00 kevin Pretty good movie, it inspired me. Pretty real, the mom was good B+ 4 stars
12/09/00 Marya Perfect! 5 stars
12/08/00 ashley uh........IT ROCKED! 5 stars
12/03/00 scott wahls my only complaint is that it WASN'T four hours long, thank you GOD, um, MR.CROWE 5 stars
11/24/00 shawk Superior 5 stars
11/21/00 The Bill Head Along with Gladiator, this is one of the best movies of the year! 4 stars
11/11/00 spork-girl anyone who says this sucks is just heartless hellspawn 5 stars
10/31/00 kyle Over-rated. More Jerry Maquire than Singles. And what the fuck was that tiny dancer scene? 3 stars
10/26/00 Marc the most amazing film ever made 5 stars
10/23/00 Dan If you are a horney 15 year old you should like this crappy flick 1 stars
10/22/00 lindsey This was an excellent movie! 5 stars
10/21/00 Benji Graham Greatest fucking movie I've ever seen! 5 stars
10/16/00 monumentl sweet and tender, accurate and astringent...fabulous! 5 stars
10/10/00 PJ Beautiful perfromances, beautiful movie, I cried. 5 stars
10/10/00 Natasha I smile just thinking about how much I love this movie... 5 stars
10/10/00 Jay Excellent Bildungsroman, partially because it allows us to see more than 1 character grow 5 stars
10/09/00 TheBomb69 Awesome baby!!! 5 stars
10/07/00 Bob True beauty! Excellent! Hold me closer tiny dancer.... 5 stars
10/05/00 Bonnie This the absolute best movie of the year so far and it's totally hilarious. 5 stars
10/04/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble I lived through the '70's. Life was never this good, Believe me!!!! 1 stars
10/03/00 Marc A beautiful film that came straight from the heart! Kate Hudson will get Supporting Actress 5 stars
10/02/00 Alyssa After reading Erik the Movieman's coments, I could not agree more. It was wonderful!!! 5 stars
10/02/00 Image previous looked wacked..but when i saw the movie...it wuz juss PHUCKEN GREAT!!!! 5 stars
10/02/00 pigri i am in love with this movie. the "child-meets-world" theme is beautiful! 5 stars
9/25/00 Reeves Wow 5 stars
9/25/00 PJ Beautiful movie, Crudup, Lee, McDormand, Fugit, and Hudson shine, a classic, I fell in love 5 stars
9/25/00 Thor-Leo Best movie I've seen in months. Engaging, affecting, hilarious. 5 stars
9/24/00 The Rock A movie that is great in most areas. 5 stars
9/24/00 Chartsy Can it get any better than this? There's absolutely no way! 5 stars
9/24/00 Will Great acting all around, that was pretty great. 5 stars
9/24/00 Politicsman Cameron Crowe: Best Original Screenplay 5 stars
9/23/00 McSkeeter glorious 5 stars
9/23/00 Jenny-My-Fur this movie is incredible, a new classic is born 5 stars
9/23/00 Suzz great script; great performances 5 stars
9/19/00 Poetcdh Great Characters and music 5 stars
9/18/00 Michael Grimm Paul is a fucking moron, this movie rocks 5 stars
9/18/00 Paul If you are a moron then this movie is for you! 1 stars
9/17/00 Schlong Great all around. Crowe is incredible 5 stars
9/17/00 The Bomb 69 Crowe could not make a bad movie if he tried, worked on all levels 5 stars
9/16/00 Zeppelin Best movie of the year, so transcendantly uplifting & provoking. Kudos to Hudson & Crudup 5 stars
9/16/00 Justine Briggs Kate Hudson and Patrick Fugit are going to major stars after this movie. Its fantastic. 5 stars
9/10/00 frank i'm speechless. CAMERON CROWE is the fuckin man. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  22-Sep-2000 (R)
  DVD: 04-Dec-2001

UK
  N/A

Australia
  22-Feb-2001 (M)




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