The Dirt review round-up: What critics are saying about Netflix's Mötley Crüe biopic
Titled The Dirt, the film is based off the band’s autobiographical book The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band, published in 2001.
The film’s synopsis describes it as “an unflinching tale of success and excess as four misfits rise from the streets of Hollywood to the heights of international fame.”
Directed by Jackass‘s own Jeff Tremaine, the film stars Douglas Booth as Nikki Sixx, Iwan Rheon as Mick Mars, Colson Baker as Tommy Lee, Daniel Webber as Vince Neil, and Pete Davidson as Tom Zutaut, an Elektra Records executive.
The film’s critical reception has been mixed. While it’s been labelled as a satisfactory biopic for fans, some critics have touched on the film’s hesitation in handling the more troubling aspects of the band’s history.
You can read what they thought below.
Digital Spy – Jennyfer J Walker
It's unquestionably misogynistic, and the sex and nudity are completely gratuitous for a Netflix Original. But since this is Mötley Crüe we're talking about – a band with a song titled "Girls Girls Girls" – it's probably just an uncomfortably accurate reconstruction of what life was like for them in their prime.
It’s unlikely to convert skeptics or reveal hidden depths to diehard fans but it moves at a clip and offers enough novelty to overpower the cliches as it chronicles both the punch-drunk nights and the sobering mornings after of this hard-living band.
The Dirt is a book from a bygone era and this in an adaptation that, in this day and age, shouldn’t have happened. If they’d made the dirty version it would have been morally bankrupt, but this cleaned-up version, for what it celebrates, and what it leaves out, is arguably even worse.
The exploits of Mötley Crüe are compelling enough to sustain much of the film, and The Dirt paints an honest picture of both the highs and lows of the men’s lives. Though it struggles to form a cohesive narrative, the end manages to tie everything together in a satisfying enough manner.
The former bad boys of the Sunset Strip, Mötley Crüe, get just the biopic they deserve in Netflix’s adaptation of the hair-metal band’s best-selling memoir, The Dirt. It’s cartoonish, fast-paced, a bit cheesy, and ridiculously dumb fun.
The reckless excess of Mötley’s rock ’n’ roll exploits -- which, during its decade of decadence on the charts, often overshadowed the group -- is a significant part of The Dirt. Despite this, it manages to humanize the band members just enough to encourage sympathy when they hit their various low points.
So if Shout at the Devil or Dr. Feelgood vinyls are perched prominently in your record collection, or if your Spotify playlist is chock-full of the band’s greatest hits, then you will probably enjoy The Dirt. You won’t learn anything that you didn’t already know, however, especially if you read the book when it came out 18 years ago, but hey, at least you’ll be entertained.