Rock of Ages


Fun and impressive musical stage-to-screen adaptation Discuss this article

What do American Idol, Glee and the new jukebox musical Rock of Ages have in common? All three have now cannibalised ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ for crowd-pleasing purposes. Journey’s happy-hour staple functions as the ‘Purple Rain’ of this pandering stage-to-screen adaptation. The year is 1987. Sparkly-eyed poppets Sherrie (Julianne Hough) and Drew (Diego Boneta) are a small-town girl and a city boy who fall in love amid the stench of cheap perfume in a fictional Sunset Strip rock tavern. In a missed opportunity, neither are called Tommy nor Gina.

This is more plot than you strictly need to enjoy a film whose every scene is tenuously built around an infectious singalong of ’80s soft-rock classics, from ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’ to ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’. It’s Glee-filtered nostalgia, but as with Shankman’s knowingly naff Hairspray, the sheer performance gusto on display proves to be a thoroughly winning recipe.

Cruise, wickedly cast as faded hair-metal god Stacee Jaxx, is having more fun than he’s permitted himself in years, while everyone from Zeta-Jones to Mary J Blige to Russell Brand gets at least one moment to kick it on this most deliciously starry of karaoke stages.

By Guy Lodge
Time Out Doha,

Rock of Ages

  • Duration: 123
  • Released: Thu, 21 Jun
  • Classification: 15+
  • Language: English
  • Website
  • Director: Adam Shankman
  • Stars: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Erica Frene, Bryan Cranston, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Add your review/feedback

Subscribe to weekender newsletter



Explore by

Our favourite features