CBGB Synopsis
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 in 1973 originally as a home for “country, bluegrass and blues” (thus the club’s name) and which...
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings



By Andrew O'Hehir
CBGB has more of the original prankish punk spirit than it even recognizes.
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By Mark Jenkins
Rickman is too theatrical, and too British, to vanish entirely into the person of Hilly Kristal. But he's entertaining to watch, and...
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Arizona Republic

By Bill Goodykoontz
You can’t help feeling as if Miller has missed an opportunity. Punk rock was all about manic energy, unbridled (and often unfocused)...
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The Hollywood Reporter

By John DeFore
Alan Rickman's lead performance highlights a sincere but insubstantial rock pic.
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New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
As a film, the result is static, like Ang Lee’s similarly muddled “Taking Woodstock.”
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The absolute antithesis to the pioneering punk spirit it tries to portray.
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The Dissolve

By Keith Phipps
No doubt a decent movie could have been made about the behind-the-scenes life of CBGB, but CBGB isn’t it. It’s as flip about the club as it...
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Los Angeles Times

By Robert Abele
In its stylistically flailing stab at authenticity, CBGB ends up merely a mess of caricatures.
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Slant Magazine

By Tomas Hachard
As the film moves from one musical performance to another, the result increasingly feels like a series of celebrity impersonations set to a...
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Village Voice

CBGB's biggest problem is that it's taken such electrifying source material and done absolutely zilch with it.
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Stana Katic is amazing!

By pburgess
I went to this movie solely because Stana Katic has a role in it. It was hard to find the movie, had to see it while travelling for work in California. I had read negative reviews so was prepared...

Its About Art Being More Important Than Money - Not the Punk Movement

By Proactive100
Many of the reviewers have complained because it didn't reflect the punk movement the way they felt it should. Save that criticism for Sid and Nancy or some of the numerous other lousy movies about...

Great music

By yhameed
I'm not a fan of punk, but the music was great, especially in surround sound. Acting great, untold story of Hilly nice to see. Telling all my friends to go. I saw Gravity last weekend and even...

CBGB Was A Wonderful Movie

By alan976
CBGB was a wonderful movie reflecting the passion of Hilly Kristal. Hilly would do anything to help a musician and was truly a legend in his own time. No wonder the New York Times put his obituary of...


By fun59
2 1/2 stars. Points for recreating the atmosphere of late 1970's NYC. Unfortunately not enough story line to make it a really great movie. Anyone who fondly remembers the club and the city...

Hey Ho, Let's Go!

By earnum
It's a movie, not a documentary. So not everything is exactly the way it really happened, but it does capture the grittiness of the club and the bathrooms and the craziness of the performances. For...


By raidermanny31
I was very happy that this movie was made to show us the history of Hillie and CBGB. A lot of great came out of this little club. You had a great vision Hillie. If your a punk rock fan or not it's a...

Best movie I've seen in months!

By JuanVillarDVM
If you were born in the sixties, lied in NYC in the seventies, or like music in general, this movie is for you!...

By novemberrose77
A lot of this movie was unfortunately lost on me since I didn't know any of the music, being a child of the 80's. but if you remember the music I think you'll love it. Alan Rickman is great as usual...


By letty_adorno
I'm glad that I took the negative critic reviews with a grain of salt. I enjoyed the film. There are fictional aspects that might put off some people but this isn't a documentary. It paid homage...

More Info

Rated R | For for language throughout, some sexual content, drug use, and a scene of violence
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Weak drama but great rock-'n'-roll (plus sex and drugs).
Read the Common Sense Media Review