Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Rock of Ages Hits a Sour Note

Plus, That's My Boy is juvenile.

by | June 15, 2012 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a rock ‘n’ roll romance (Rock of Ages, starring Julianne Hough and Tom Cruise) and some father-son bonding (That’s My Boy, starring Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg). What do the critics have to say?

Rock of Ages

Given the runaway success of Glee, it’s no surprise that the hit jukebox musical Rock of Ages — featuring songs by Journey, Bon Jovi, Poison, and the like — made the transition from the stage to the screen. Unfortunately, critics say this headbanger’s ball is unlikely to rock you like a hurricane; though it provides some campy thrills, the film is overstuffed with underdeveloped characters and plot strands. Rock of Ages stars Julianne Hough as Sherrie, a small town girl with dreams of rock stardom. She works at a struggling club on the Sunset Strip, where high-maintenance rock god Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) rules the scene. The pundits say Rock of Ages‘ talented cast (especially Cruise) is clearly having a lot of fun, but the plot is wafer thin and the antics surprisingly tame, given the excess of the period it’s supposedly celebrating. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Cruise’s best-reviewed movies.)

That’s My Boy


Adam Sandler has never exactly been a critical darling, but his most recent starring vehicles (Jack and Jill, Just Go with It, Grown Ups) have been rated lower than usual. The trend continues with That’s My Boy, which critics say is more juvenile than most Happy Madison Productions. The Sandman stars as Donny, who fathered a son named Todd (played by Andy Samberg as a grownup) while in middle school; when Todd turned 18, Donny disappeared from his son’s life. Now strapped for cash, Donny attempts to end their estrangement in order to persuade Todd to take part in a reality TV show; hilarity, in the form of familial discord, ensues. The pundits say That’s My Boy has a few decent lowbrow yuks, but it’s relentlessly sophomoric and tasteless. (Check out 24 Frames for a pictorial rundown of Sandler’s most memorable roles.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

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