Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

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Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Weak drama but great rock-'n'-roll (plus sex and drugs).

Movie R 2013 101 minutes
CBGB Poster Image

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By no stretch of the imagination is CBGB a well-made movie. It falls prey to the moldiest aspects of the biopic genre, such as the "miraculous, sudden realization that this thing is going to be big," which takes place in just about every scene. And while Alan Rickman's lead performance is amusing, not a single other character has enough screen time or development to become anyone interesting or relevant. Director Randall Miller tries to present the movie with an outrageous, or at least silly, quality, employing things like comic book frames and embellishments (like Iggy Pop jumping on stage) to liven up the story. The famous bands are sometimes portrayed by recognizable stars (Malin Akerman as Debbie Harry, Joel David Moore as Joey Ramone, Justin Bartha and Rupert Grint as the Dead Boys, etc.), but they lip-sync the real music. And since the lightweight plot and great music make this less annoying than Rock of Ages, fans of the era may find something to enjoy.

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