Almost Famous (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Almost Famous (2000)



Critic Consensus: Almost Famous, with its great ensemble performances and story, is a well-crafted, warm-hearted movie that successfully draws you into its era.

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Movie Info

Writer and director Cameron Crowe's experiences as a teenage rock journalist -- he was a regular contributor to Rolling Stone while still in high school -- inspired this coming-of-age story about a 15-year-old boy hitting the road with an up-and-coming rock band in the early 1970s. Elaine Miller (Frances McDormand) is a bright, loving, but strict single parent whose distrust of rock music and fears about drug use have helped to drive a wedge between herself and her two children, Anita (Zooey Deschanel) and William (Patrick Fugit). Anita rebels by dropping out of school and becoming a stewardess, but William makes something of his love of rock & roll by writing album reviews for a local underground newspaper. William's work attracts the attention of Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman), editor of renegade rock magazine Creem, who takes William under his wing and gives him his first professional writing assignment -- covering a Black Sabbath concert. While William is unable to score an interview with the headliners, the opening act, Stillwater, are more than happy to chat with a reporter, even if he's still too young to drive, and William's piece on the group in Creem gains him a new admirer in Ben Fong-Torres (Terry Chen), an editor at Rolling Stone. Torres offers William an assignment for a 3,000-word cover story on Stillwater, and over the objections of his mother (whose parting words are "Don't use drugs!"), and after some stern advice from Bangs (who says under no circumstances should he become friends with a band he's covering), Williams joins Stillwater on tour, where he becomes friendly with guitarist Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup) and singer Jeff Bebe (Jason Lee). William also becomes enamored of Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), a groupie traveling with the band who is no older than William, but is deeply involved with Russell. Lester Bangs and Ben Fong-Torres, incidentally, were real-life rock writers Crowe worked with closely during his days as a journalist. Almost Famous' original score was composed by Nancy Wilson of Heart (who is also Crowe's wife). ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Billy Crudup
as Russell Hammond
Frances McDormand
as Elaine Miller
Kate Hudson
as Penny Lane
Jason Lee
as Jeff Bebe
Patrick Fugit
as William Miller
Noah Taylor
as Dick Roswell
Anna Paquin
as Polexia Aphrodesia
Fairuza Balk
as Sapphire
Zooey Deschanel
as Anita Miller
John Fedevich
as Ed Vallencourt
Jimmy Fallon
as Dennis Hope
Bijou Phillips
as Estrella Starr
Eion Bailey
as Jann Wenner
Terry Chen
as Ben Fong-Torres
Erin Foley
as Alison the Fact Checker
Zach Ward
as The Legendary Red Dog
Olivia Rosewood
as Beth from Denver
Alice Marie Crowe
as Mrs. Deegan
Mark Kozelek
as Larry Fellows
Michael Angarano
as Young William
J.J. Cohen
as Roadie Scully
Gary Douglas Kohn
as Roadie Gregg
Ray Porter
as Roadie Mick
Rainn Wilson
as David Felton
Charles Walker
as Principal
Jay Baruchel
as Vic Munoz
Pauley Perrette
as Alice Wisdom
Mitch Hedberg
as Eagles Road Manager
Devin Corey
as The Who Road Manager
Pete Droge
as Hyatt Singer
Elaine Summers
as Hyatt Singer
Eric Stonestreet
as Sheldon the Desk Clerk
Marc Maron
as Angry Promoter
Shane Willard
as Ticket Scalper
Chris McElprang
as Aaron Amedori
Kate Peckham
as Quiet Girl
Júlia Schüler
as Waving Girl
Brian Vaughan
as Real Topeka Kid
Anthony Martelli
as Poolside Provocateur
Ian Ridgeway
as Topeka Partier
Isaac Curtiss
as Topeka Partier
Chris Lennon Davis
as Topeka Partier
Reathel Bean
as Warwick Hotel Clerk
Tom Riis Farrell
as Plaza Doctor
Samuel Aaron Roberson
as High School Band Member
Brian Andreasen
as High School Band Member
Jared Hren
as High School Band Member
Mary Dragicevich
as High School Band Member
Aura Barr
as High School Band Member
Daniel Wilson
as Journalism Teacher
Holly Maples
as Flight Attendant
Matt Griesser
as PSA Co-Pilot
Susan Yeagley
as Have a Nice Day Stewardess
Nicole Spector
as Hippie Girl at Airport
Patrick Irmen
as Wanna Get High Guy
Nick Swardson
as Insane Bowie Fan
Cindy Weber
as Shocked Elevator Family Member
Kris Weber
as Shocked Elevator Family Member
Kaitlyn Weber
as Shocked Elevator Family Member
Kimberly Weber
as Shocked Elevator Family Member
Kristin Weber
as Shocked Elevator Family Member
Samer Sourakli
as Mustache Boy
Michelle Moretti
as Swingo's Desk Clerk
Ana Maria Quintana
as Arizona Housekeeper
Lisa Buchignani
as Arizona Housekeeper
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News & Interviews for Almost Famous

Critic Reviews for Almost Famous

All Critics (166) | Top Critics (36)

In Almost Famous, writer-director Crowe is still contending with the dueling voices in his head, and he still can't bring himself to take the harsh road. His movie gives off the warm glow of mercy.

March 6, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The movie's so clever and endearing, you can forget the almost.

August 19, 2008 | Full Review…

None of the non-musical components on the screen matched the excitement of the music.

April 27, 2007 | Full Review…

It's a sweet-minded, picaresque story, woolly with some of its dramatic details, but stacked with attractions...

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…

A blissfully sweet coming-of-age movie in which everyone, young and less young, comes of age.

August 7, 2004

This is the celluloid version of a glossy magazine feature -- easily perused, modestly entertaining, the kind of piece designed to please the publisher by not taxing (or offending) the reader.

March 19, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Almost Famous

Majestic in storytelling and musicality, Almost Famous displays the brilliance of Cameron Crowe as well as breakthrough performances from Kate Hudson and Frances McDormand. The film's sleek humor and originality is a highlight that puts this above Crowe's achievements as well as listings for the year. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer


It is almost impossible not to fall in love with this wonderful autobiographical delight that has a wonderful soundtrack - oh man, isn't the soundtrack just wonderful! - and a wonderful ensemble cast that makes everything so funny, sweet, moving and tremendously charming.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

One of the best films about music ever made, with standout performances from everyone in the cast, including a rocking soundtrack that brings this simple, breezy road-trip of a kid following a band on the rise up to "greatness" status. It's just a wonderful movie, and does a good job of being engaging right from the first second and it never really lets up. Kate Hudson's hypnotizing performance is the real standout as a seductive and carefree fan who, like the lead character, experiences the good and ugly things the rock and roll lifestyle brings to an individual. We need more movies like this made about music, ones that don't for a minute feel artificial, and ones that deliver memorable scenes and provide interesting characters that won't leave you quickly.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

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