Box art for Boogie Nights

Boogie Nights

comedy, drama

Set in 1977, back when sex was safe, pleasure was a business and business was booming, an idealistic porn producer aspires to elevate his craft to an art form when he discovers a hot young talent working as a busboy in a nightclub.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Unflinching look at porn industry; lots of sex, drugs.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Boogie Nights is a movie for adults with extensive sexuality, drug use, violence, and vulgar language. Sexual acts (some with full nudity) occur throughout with startling realism. Vivid depictions of drug use and addiction are intense and purposefully wrenching. Characters suffer brutal beatings and are killed both by gunfire and drug overdose (there's no skimping on the bloody aftermath in either instance). Language is harsh and unrelentingly obscene.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the nature of tragedy in this film. Discuss some examples of internal (self-generated) and external forces working together to bring a character to the edge of destruction. Why do you think some characters survive and others don't?
  • This movie can be described as a cautionary tale. Does the characters' shocking behavior make you think about the consequences of risky lifestyle choices?
  • How much realistic violence, sex, language, etc. do you think is necessary to make a point? Where would you draw the line?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 1
    see all Boogie Nights reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: An epic story of self-delusion with a skill and grace that many more experienced filmmakers would be hard put to match.

- Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide, Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Boogie Nights is a spectacular drama film about the rise of fictional porn actor Dirk Diggler during the golden age of porn in the 1970's. Paul Thomas Anderson has crafted a unique drama film with style. There is a tremendous ensemble of gifted actors here, and even the now washed out actors ( John C Reilly, Burt Reynolds) shine here. Boogie Nights definitely captures the feel of the 1970's porn boom. Anderson has tremendous talent, and his directing abilities help to create something truly unique on screen. Anderson knows how to use this impressive cast of actors and all of them deliver great performances. Boogie Nights overall is a one of a kind drama film, and one of the best drama films of the 90's. Paul Thomas Anderson's second feature film is an impressive work and it's a more polished film than Anderson's first film. Boogie Nights is Anderson's best film, and he would later direct the equally impressive There Will Be Blood. However this film stands alone as an in your face type of movie because it touches on a sensitive non Hollywood friendly issue: Porn. Anderson's film is terrific and it rips across the screen and considering it's subject matter, it's able to be a smart, well written film without being too incorrect for a mainstream audience. Boogie Night is a film that tells the story of the porn industry, the good times and the bad, and as a major Hollywood production, it's very interesting to see a film like this bring to light a subject that usually isn't your typical idea for a film. This is Paul Thomas Anderson's best film, and Boogie Nights cemented his name as a top notch director. A very enjoyable, yet at times disturbing ride.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Wednesday, November 10, 2010

4 stars

It seems highly improbable that a movie steeped in both disco and porn would be top-notch in every way. Well, guess what? It is.

- janna, Monday, September 20, 2010

3 stars

Unflinching portrait of the 70's and 80's porn industry. Hardcore (no pun intended), violent and depressing, with a bit of humor thrown into the mix. Strong ensemble cast portrays converging lives filled with sex and drugs, not so much rock and roll.

- fernandorafael, Sunday, August 8, 2010