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Review Roundup: ROCK OF AGES Movie!

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ROCK OF AGES will open in theaters tomorrow, June 15, 2012. The film stars Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx, along with Diego Boneta as "Drew," Julianne Hough as "Sherrie," Russell Brand as "Lonny," Alec Baldwin as "Dennis," Mary J. Blige as "Justice," Brian Cranston as the Mayor, Malin Ackerman as "Constance Sack," Paul Giamatti as "Paul Gill," and Catherine Zeta-Jones as the "Mayor's Wife."

ROCK OF AGES tells the story of small town girl Sherrie and city boy Drew, who meet on the Sunset Strip while pursuing their Hollywood dreams. Their rock ‘n' roll romance is told through the heart-pounding hits of Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Night Ranger, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Whitesnake, and more.

Lets see what the critics had to say about the film...

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: “Rock of Ages,” a jukebox musical turned junky big-screen attraction about making it in the music biz back when it still existed, is just entertaining enough to keep you from dark thoughts about the state of Hollywood. The movie is too insipid for such hand wringing, in any event, and the attention-grabbing turns by Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand and especially Tom Cruise as a rock-star crazy help enliven its overlong two hours.

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: It’s pretty simple: If the hair metal of the Reagan era has any meaning to you — if songs like “Just Like Paradise” and “I Wanna Rock” conjure up endless late-night drives during senior spring — you’ll probably enjoy “Rock of Ages,” which has been adapted from the 2009 Broadway jukebox musical. If your tastes run to either side of the 1980s, you should make other plans.

Peter Howell, Toronto StarDon’t stop believin’ just how far they’re willing to send up and celebrate both themselves and the music. This mitigates the film’s long running time and the syrupy sweet nothings of the only two characters in Rock of Ages who take the damn thing seriously: Julianne Hough’s power-ballad hopeful Sherrie and Diego Boneta’s pop-star wannabe Drew.

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: We have the popularity of "Mamma Mia!" to thank for a much thinner jukebox goof, the tribute to '80s glam, hair, metal and krrrrranggg! known as"Rock of Ages."A few days after seeing a screening, I was driving by a billboard for the movie, and I thought, well, who knows? That might be fun. Then I realized I'd already seen it. And forgotten it.

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: "Rock of Ages," a rags-to-riches rock 'n' roll musical set in mostly in a music club on Sunset Strip, wins no prizes for originality. A lot of it is zesty entertainment, with some energetic musical numbers; several big names (Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin) prove they can sing well enough to play the Strip if they lose the day job. The two leads are Diego Boneta, as a bartender in the Strip's hottest club, and Julianne Hough, as a naive kid just off the bus from the Midwest. They're both gifted singers and join the others in doing covers of 1980s rock classics.

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Well, what I wanted to write is that the musical numbers make it all worthwhile. That they're joyfully decadent and nostalgic fun. That they take songs like 'Any Way You Want It' and 'Cum On Feel the Noize' and wire you into their suburban-rebel, trash-the-bedroom vibe. On stage, Rock of Ages sizzled and popped. But the film's director, Adam Shankman, who did such a great job of bringing the Broadway version of Hairspray to the big screen, is a lot less sure-footed when it comes to the postures and emotions of rowdy kick-ass Americana. 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.

Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com: If it’s possible for a cultural product to completely lack either authenticity or sincerity, and yet possess a joyful innocence, that product is the jukebox musical “Rock of Ages,” a Broadway hit that now reaches the big screen as a ludicrous summer entertainment from director and choreographer Adam Shankman. Now, I understand that some may find the premise of this picture thoroughly obnoxious: An odd collection of movie stars and pop icons — from Alec Baldwin to Russell Brand, and from Catherine Zeta-Jones to Mary J. Blige to the utterly uncanny Tom Cruise — hoofing, hooting and generally goofballing their way through a bunch of production numbers built around a random assortment of pop-rock hits from the ’70s and ’80s.

Guy Lodge, TimeOut: This is more plot than you strictly need to enjoy a film whose every scene is tenuously built around an infectious singalong of a 1980s soft-rock classic, from ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’ to ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’. It’s ‘Glee’-filtered nostalgia, to be sure, and rocks about as hard as the Royal Variety Show, but as with Shankman’s knowingly naff ‘Hairspray’, the sheer performance gusto on display proves thoroughly winning. Cruise, wickedly cast as a mystic loon, is having more fun than he’s permitted himself in years, while everyone from Zeta-Jones to Mary J Blige to Russell Brand gets at least one moment to kick it on this most deliciously starry of karaoke stages.

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Let me state my bias right up front here: I cannot possibly dislike a movie in which Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand, equipped with abundant '80s tresses, sing "I Love Rock & Roll" into a hairbrush. (For the record, I didn't know I had this bias until last night.) Later, they croon REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight This Feeling" to each other, and you wish these two had their own movie, or at least their own late-night talk show.

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