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HD   R Closed Captioning

Randall Miller

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About the Movie

CBGB looks at New York's dynamic punk rock scene through the lens of the ground-breaking Lower East Side club started by eccentric Hilly Kristal (Alan Rickman) in 1973 which launched thousands of bands.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 38
  • Fresh: 3
  • Rotten: 35
  • 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

It was good movie

I enjoyed it very much !!!!!!! To each is own.

Now that was fun!

The main complaints I hear seem to be that this wasn't reverential enough to its subject or that it made fun of it. I love this music, I love these bands and these artists, and I thought it was great. If it made anyone seem silly, I saw it as a playful jab and never disrespectful. Also, I thought the musical sequences were amazing! Especially the guy they got to play David Byrne. And the Iggy Pop and Blondie "I Wanna Be Your Dog" sequence was very cool. The guys playing the Ramones were hilarious. Definitely my favorite portions of the movie (though I did miss their music; dang legal issues!).

Despite what critics might say, if you love the story and history of the foundation of punk or CBGB I think you'd want to see this movie anyway. Personally, I had a great time.

No Ramones music?

Yes, a good movie but even though The Ramones were properly depicted in the movie, the producers were apparently unable to license any of their signature tunes, so they are shown playing some generic tunes which were too slow-tempo'd in my opinion. Other than that significant flaw, it was OK. But a movie about a music club without the music of it's most influential band is not going to get more than 3 stars.