Box art for Rock Star

Rock Star

comedy, drama

Mark Wahlberg stars as a copier repairman who moonlights as the lead singer of a heavy-metal tribute band. Also starring Jennifer Aniston.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 14
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
4 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
2 out of 5

Not great, but moments of guilty pleasure.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie is rated R for very strong language, nudity, explicit sexual situations (including group sex and bisexual encounters), and abuse of every kind of licit and illicit substance (even hotel room furniture). Many characters give the finger. There's an explicit close-up of a very unhygienic nipple-piercing. A gay character is insulted and fired from his job. The overall message is that the sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll lifestyle is empty and destructive, but not unappealing, for a short time anyway. Interestingly, there is some suggestion that it is a cynical marketing strategy, though that appears to be rationalization. One nice shift from the usual format for this kind of movie is that Chris has parents who are entirely loving and supportive of his passion for metal, and genuinely enjoy the music themselves.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how some people limit themselves to dreaming that they can be exactly like someone else, instead of thinking about dreams that allow them to be most themselves. Why was it so easy for Chris to lose his way, while Emily saw that it was wrong? Why was it important for her to have her own life and career? What do we learn about Chris from the way he gets back on stage after his fall? What does he learn about himself? Do you agree with the comment that "we all owe somebody an apology along the way?"

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 28
    see all Rock Star reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: Mark Wahlberg looks yummy in tight leather pants and thats a good thing because theres not much else to recommend . . . ROCK STAR.

- Andrea Chase, Killer Movie Reviews, Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Fresh: The first half is hilarious but the second gives itself more to cautionary moralising and life lessons.

- Angie Errigo, Empire Magazine, Monday, March 15, 2010

Fresh: It works well in narrative terms, thanks to strong characters and surprising respect for the music.

- Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle, Friday, September 7, 2001

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Dream big. Live the life. Great Movie! Simplistic and Enjoyable. This was a very real movie of a real rock band. I think Mark and Aniston did great acting roles. The story was immensely interesting and it had a terrific ending that was just right. Very nice cast! Chris Cole was born to rock. His longtime girlfriend Emily believes his talent could take him all the way - but Chris worships at the altar of Bobby Beers, the fiery frontman for heavy metal legends Steel Dragon. By day, Chris still lives at home with his parents and spends his days repairing copy machines. But when Chris takes the stage, fronting Pennsylvania's premiere Steel Dragon tribute band, all of that disappears. Chris Cole is Bobby Beers - mesmerizing audiences with his perfect imitation of Beers' electrifying vocals. The night his bandmates boot him out of the group, Chris is devastated until an unexpected phone call changes his life forever: He, Chris Cole, has been tapped to replace Bobby Beers as the lead singer of Steel Dragon. In an instant, Chris rockets to the dizzying heights of sudden stardom, rising from devotee to icon, from rock fan to rock god the wanna-be who got to be. So what happens when an average guy gets everything he wants and discovers it's not enough?

- MANUGINO, Thursday, September 29, 2011

4 stars

It's actually a lot better than it gets credit for. It's one of Mark Wahlberg's best performances and a very captivating story from start to finish. It criticizes the hairbands of the 80s, but also show how many people they inspired and how much they meant. I love the message of being your own person, even if trying to be someone else can make you millions of dollars and fame up the wazoo. The supporting cast in this is amazingly underrated, much like the movie itself.

- ythelastman89, Thursday, December 16, 2010

3 stars

As a diehard fan of heavy metal music, I for one saw this film, and definitely loved it. loosely based on Rob Halford leaving Judas Priest and being replaced by Tim"ripper" Owens, a fan of the band and singer for a Priest tribute band. Rockstar should appeal to metalheads everywhere because this film simply rocks. The film has it's downs of course, it's not perfect, but it manages to entertain you with blazing metal music, and other metal hellraising shenanigans of the band in the film. The cast do a good enough job, and Mark Wahlberg is quite good as Chris Cole the lead singer of Blood Pollution a Steel Dragon Tribute band. One Day after a fight, Chris gets kicked out of the band, and receives a call from Kik Cuddy, guitar player for Steel Dragon. Steel Dragon want Chris to come to an audition because their lead singer has just been fired. Chris Cole goes to the audition and gets asked to join the band , which he accepts Neither he nor his girlfriend no what awaits them in the crazy world of heavy metal. Chris Cole rapidly becomes one of metals premier singers, and he discovers the debauchery of the life of a rockstar. Many real life musicians of the genre plays roles in this film , most notably Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society, Jeff Pilson Of Dokken and Ratt and Jason Bonham the son of the late John Bonham, phenomenal drummer of Led Zeppelin. I thought it was very cool that they had actual musicians in the film, and it added a touch of authenticity to the metal band in the film. This film may not appeal to a mainstream audience, but it will definitely appeal to musicians and metalheads. The performances are good enough, the soundtrack rocks and the film is a chaotic descent into the metalhead world. A very underrated drama. As a fan of the genre, and as a guitar player, I really do appreciate this film for what is is. Not flawless, but very good nonetheless.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Saturday, November 27, 2010