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Rock of Ages Review Critics


Dave White Profile

You can, in fact, stop the beat. Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

Light to Moderately Heavy Metal Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Don't stop believing. Just avoid clichéd musicals that try to capture the anarchic spirit of rock with trite commercial re-treads.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    He (Shankman) succeeds in draining most of the fun from a vehicle that was all about the winking humor of its flagrant cheesiness.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    What's not fine is the dead zone occupied by the monster of the piece, Tom Cruise's veteran rocker, Stacee Jaxx.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Most of the numbers in Rock of Ages are flatly shot and choreographed, and they look as if they'd been edited together with a meat cleaver. With rare exceptions, they don't channel the excitement of the music - they stultify it.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Rock of Ages reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 15+

Musical has more glam than grit, except for drinking.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Rock of Ages is based on a Broadway musical comedy about rock 'n' roll, of which there is plenty (particularly heavy-metal hits from the '80s). There's also a lot of drinking, especially by an often-wasted star whose favorite drink is scotch, straight from the bottle, but no drugs or smoking. Words like "s--t" and "ass" are used (plus one "f--k"), and there are many suggestive scenes (think writhing, willing groupies and strip clubs) -- though there's no graphic nudity, and the sex scenes are more choreographed dance than erotica. The star-studded cast includes Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Russell Brand.

  • Families can talk about rock music. Do you agree with some of the people in Rock of Ages who say that rock can inspire debauchery and wears away community morals? Or is it a means of self-expression that shouldn't be censored?
  • Do you think the rock star in the film is realistic? Do some musical legends live like this, surrounded by groupies and drunk most of the time? Or is this a stereotype?
  • How is drinking depicted in the movie? Are the consequences realistic?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Drew is hoping to make it as a rock singer in Los Angeles, but he loses track of his identity when a slimy manager tries to remake him into whatever might sell. His girlfriend's faith helps him rediscover himself and salvage a budding musical career that was almost scuttled by a detour into boy-band territory.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Stacee Jaxx is the epitome of an aging rock legend who's become a self-absorbed diva, his manager is a complete sleaze, and the anti-rock activist is a hypocrite with a secret past. But on the other hand, the young couple at the heart of the film is seeking love and the true spirit of rock 'n' roll, and the brusque-yet-kind nightclub owner is certain that good music will redeem all of his problems.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Some heated arguments and one powerful slap when a guy says something especially spiteful to his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend. Bouncers sometimes throw people out of nightclubs, and a few bodyguards growl menacingly. A pet baboon throws things at people he dislikes.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Lots of suggestive scenes, exaggerated cleavage, and innuendo throughout, including scenes that suggest couples are about to or have just finished having sex. In one scene a couple is passionately kissing when a bunch of packaged condoms fall on them. A rock legend is almost constantly surrounded by scantily clad groupies writhing suggestively. He frequently greets women by groping their chests and passionately seduces a music journalist in a scene that features plenty of implied activity and a woman in her underwear, but no graphic nudity. Opposite- and same-sex couples kiss romantically, while others kiss with so much excess tongue activity that it's clearly played to be way over the top. A cocktail waitress at a strip club must endure unwanted touches from her customers; eventually, she considers dancing herself.

  • language false3

    Language: Language includes one "f--k," plus "s--t," "ass," "crap," "hell," "damn," "suck," "t-ts," "oh my God," and "blow me." One character flips his middle finger.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Visible brands/products include Greyhound buses and Budweiser beer. The sets are filled with signage for brand names, and many well-known Los Angeles businesses are shown. Many famous rock bands are name-checked, often by showing their albums.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: No smoking or drugs (a bit of a surprise in a movie about rock stars), but lots of drinking. Much of the film takes place in nightclubs where many people are drinking, and some get quite drunk. A rock legend is almost always wasted; his preferred drink is scotch, straight from the bottle.