Playing a character rooted in his own background, and surrounded by the real-life members of his Minneapolis-based musical 'family,' rock star Prince makes an impressive feature film debut in Purple Rain, a rousing contemporary addition to the classic backstage musical genre.
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San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
Fresh music and silly dialogue - those aspects of Purple Rain haven't changed over the years. [Review of re-release]
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The New York Times

By Vincent Canby
However, like many album covers, Purple Rain, though sometimes arresting to look at, is a cardboard come-on to the record it contains.
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Christian Science Monitor

By David Sterritt
The pop-music star Prince makes his movie debut in this bizarre drama about a rock singer with a troubled career and a miserable home life.
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TV Guide

If you like Prince's music, you'll love this movie. If not, stay away.
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A fairly dappy and overlong attempt to turn Prince the then emergent rock-funk superstar into a movie star.
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Chicago Reader

By Dave Kehr
The project would have been much more palatable as a TV special; as it stands, it's just another symptom of the American cinema's addiction to facile mythmaking.
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The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Jay Scott
Purple Rain is not a revolution. It's not even a good movie. What it is, is a cosmic letdown. [27 Jul 1984]
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45 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.