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HD   R Closed Captioning

Randall Miller

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About the Movie

Alan Rickman leads an all-star cast in this rocking biopic on the birth of New York's vibrant Punk Rock scene. When the eccentric Hilly Kristal opens a grungy Lower East Side bar in 1973 he hopes it will be a venue to bring “Country Bluegrass and Blues” to the city. Instead his iconic “CBGB's” quickly finds itself the birthplace of underground rock – in the process launching the careers of thousands of bands. Featuring music from the Talking Heads, Blondie, The Velvet Underground, The Ramones, The Police and more.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 39
  • Fresh: 3
  • Rotten: 36
  • Average Rating: 3.3/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: I would swear on a stack of Dead Boys T-shirts and a first pressing of Richard Hell and the Voidoids' "Blank Generation" that it could not possibly have been like that: so silly, so trivial, so boring. – A.O. Scott, New York Times, Oct 10, 2013

Rotten: The music rocks, but little else does, in Randall Miller's sitcom snapshot of New York's iconic punk incubator. – Scott Foundas, Variety, Oct 15, 2013

Rotten: CBGB misses the opportunity to educate. But its biggest sin, unlike many who performed there, is that it also misses the opportunity to entertain. – Brian McManus, Village Voice, Oct 7, 2013

Rotten: The movie feels like a Las Vegas imitation of a place that was once scuzzily, beautifully alive. – Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News, Oct 10, 2013

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


A wish they choose another actor to play Joey Ramone..

this is just copy and paste here and there ...

i wish i could only give half the star.....

the music is awesome but they are all placed at the wrong moment just to make the movie look cool (for example, Heroine in the first bit of the movie was kinda irrelevant and trivia)

the movie should not have been about whether or not they play exactly like the real characters back in the days but in this movie they all
tried too hard to be like them which gives kinda contrived feeling,,

Punk Attitude the documentary was far better to be entertained and informed.

Its not as good as it should've been

CBGB's was legend to people who followed music in the early '80's. This film was really important since unsurprisingly CBGB's is now gone.
The cast is great, no one slopped on performances. The atmosphere was accurate, according to legend.
And the music is history of rock gods and paupers alike.
It was the final vision of the film that required further thought to bring forth the movie to honour the dishonourable. Tying the mag to the movie was needed but there could've been more visual effects added for the effect. Over all the film turned out as it did simply because no one today understands the under ground punk new wave music scene and its importance to today's artists. Its like asking Norman Rockwell to paint a portrait of William S. Burroughs, its just not gonna look right. And something gets lost in the final product. But watch this for the history, the performances. Its worth it.

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