Movie Review: Rock of Ages

Movie Review: Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages


PG-13 for sexual content, suggestive dancing,
some heavy drinking and language.
Genre: Musical
Running Time: 2 hours 3 minutes

Just a small-town girl who meets a big city boy. The two find their fates intersecting on the Sunset Strip and then ride a wave of romance through the height of their “hair metal” scene as the off-Broadway musical rocks its way to the big screen.

Rock of Ages is described as a rock-jukebox musical building around some classic hits from the 1980’s – especially from the famous glam jam bands of the decade. The musical features hits from the likes of Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Steve Perry, Poison and more!

“I wanna rock!”

Toe Tapping Tunes From the ’80’s

Re-living the late 1980’s music scene on the big screen! I went into this movie not knowing a whole lot about it. I didn’t even know it was based on an off-Broadway show. But once the movie got rockin’ along it wasn’t too hard to figure out. Rock of Ages firmly falls into the category of musical. Make no mistake the plot line is thin and pretty much all of the dialogue – or lack there of – is carried via music and song. It is no secret that I usually do not like musicals. I just have a hard time sitting through movies where the lines are sung instead of spoken. I find them hokey and at times contrived and forced.

Make no mistake – I still do not like musicals…
But I did enjoy the music in this movie.

I’m not rushing out to buy the soundtrack. After all, while I was surprised at the fact that Tom Cruise can sing, I have no interest in hearing him sing over and over again. But I will say I enjoyed Rock of Ages because I remember the music well. It’s the music of my late teens and early 20 years! Those years also correspond with my time as a radio announcer actually spinning those tunes and making them hits on the air! So you can well imagine musical this was a stroll down memory lane for me.

The only way to really review this movie is with broad brush strokes. If you’re looking for quality story line and top notch acting – you will not find it with Rock of Ages. While those involved in the movie may not admit it, this flick is more about the music than it is about the quality of acting. I’m not saying it’s a total loss and waste of time because Rock of Ages does include a decent line up of actors. While Diego Boneta seems out of place as Drew Boley, the performance of Julianne Hough – also of Footloose fame – puts in a good performance as Sherrie Christian.

Tom Cruise is less than stellar as Stacee Jaxx, but lets also be honest, the hard rocker, hard drinking strung out on drugs character was probably a little bit of a stretch for Cruise in the first place. Alec Baldwin seems to bring a form of stability as a long time music hall owner just trying to make a buck off rock and roll and his counterpart – Russell Brand – brings a sense of humor that sprinkles some great laughs in along the way.

If you’re looking for a family-friendly movie Rock of Ages is far from it. If you grew up in this music time period and think it would be a fun movie to let your kids know what you lived through – don’t do it! This is yet another example of a movie that needs a “M for Mature Audience” rating as it is not for the young at all.

While Rock of Ages doesn’t leap off the screen and while it is not a really strong movie, I must admit I did like it simply from a music stand point. I found it a nice stroll down memory lane put to the soundtrack of some great 1980’s rock and roll.

Enjoy the show!

Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.