Boogie Nights (1997) Poster


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A Funny Tough Beautiful Modern Classic
Malthe Tuxen5 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I don't even know where to begin with this amazing movie. I just wanna say that this is without a doubt one of the 1990's finest movies, and in my opinion Paul Thomas Anderson's best movie to this day. Even now when he has made movies like, There Will Be Blood, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love, and The Master, I still must say that this is his best movie yet.

I am convinced that in maybe 50 years people will call this a classic. Even though I know many, including myself, who already consider it a classic. For me this movie is perfect, it is both funny, sexy, sad, happy, and everything you could want from a movie. Paul Thomas Anderson does an amazing job exploring everything in this movie from love, sexuality, drugs, friendship, and everything relevant to human life.

The story is incredible and the movie is almost like an adventure. It got one of the best soundtracks I remember hearing, if not of all time. Paul Thomas Anderson is amazing as a director, especially considering it was his first time. The cinematography is amazing and just the whole camera style is just very impressive.

It got one of the best movie casts I know of, starting with the young Mark Wahlberg (the main character) who gives a very impressive role, but definitely not the best in the movie. Burt Reynolds gives in my opinion his best performance yet, as the sleazy porn director. Julianne Moore also gives one of her finest performances as the almost mother like porn star, Phillip Seymour Hoffman gives an incredible performance well worth remembering. William H Macy gives an hilarious but also frightening performance, that I consider one of his best. I could say more about the cast but I think you get where I'm going with it.

I am gonna finish by saying if you like movies that are not afraid to go beyond the line then this is a perfect example, PS this is not a movie you should watch with your kids, or any kids. I hope you found this review helpful and I hope you will love the movie as much as I do. 10/10
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A modern masterpiece.
billyacewilliams23 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Paul Thomas Anderson's stylish and compelling take on the 70s porn industry follows Eddie Adams, aka Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg), through six years of sex, drugs and disco. His chance meeting with pornography director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) starts his career as one of the greatest adult actors of the time. Dirk's character is based on real-life porn actor John Holmes, who, like Dirk, was renowned for being extremely "well-endowed". This is where Dirk finds initial success.

The main themes in Boogie Nights are the obvious ones relating to a film of this genre; pornography, drugs, sex, betrayal, violence and music. Boogie Nights deals with the pornography theme with some control. It is not overplayed and the sex scenes are surprisingly minimal, but mentally explicit when they take place on screen.

Throughout the film cocaine is abused enormously, and the film's setting, Los Angeles 1977-1983, reflects the popularity of the drug at that time, which the film captures perfectly. However, Boogie Nights does not promote cocaine, as there are some scenes involving addiction and overdoses. For example at Jack's party, they find a girl who has recently, and graphically, overdosed; blood pours from her nose and she begins an unconscious fit. The film, before this scenes, has been fairly upbeat and comic, but from this point it foreshadows the darkness that it will occur.

The music scenes are executed brilliantly, from superbly-staged disco scenes to a down-and-out Dirk singing terribly in his new music career. The soundtrack too is excellent, featuring tunes from The Emotions, ELO, The Beach Boys and the unforgettable Sound Experience. The standout scene in the whole film comes down to the music; Dirk, Redd Rothchild (John C. Reilly) and Todd Parker (Thomas Jane) visit drug dealer Rahad Jackson's (Alfred Molina) house in order to make some quick cash from selling phoney drugs, but Night Ranger's Sister Christian, which is playing in the background, increases the intensity of the scene incredibly, proving that music can bring so much more depth to a scene. Boogie Nights is filled with those kind of scenes, which makes the film even more fantastic.

The standout performance in Boogie Nights is Burt Reynolds as the enigmatic, yet moody, film director. In the scene where he attacks a young guy for slating his movies, it is a complete shock for the audience, because before this point he has been pretty mellow and content. Other notable performances are Julianne Moore, Heather Graham as the beautiful Rollergirl, John C. Reilly, and Mark Wahlberg, who delivers the performance of his career.

Boogie Nights is also a surprisingly original film, using common themes but filmed in its own sharp and realistic way. Anderson's approach has been fully captures these characters in a time when nothing seemed to be going wrong, or at least until the 80s arrive. From then on, things turn very dark indeed, and all signs of the recognisable characters and situations from the first part of the film have gone. This does not, however, reduce the high level of engaging entertainment that this film offers.

Boogie Nights was not a box-office success, earning only £2 million at cinemas in the UK. But this is not the film's, or the director's concern. Anderson recognises quality, not popularity, which is evident in his three other films, Hard Eight, Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love. I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a simple parable filled with excellent and variable situations, because at the end of this film you will realize that Boogie Nights is a simple morality tale, but one which will stay in the mind days after you watch it. Boogie Nights is at once shocking, hilarious, devastating and both visually and audibly outstanding.
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Brilliant, Bold, Powerful!
hb_ver15 October 2002
Director Paul Thomas Anderson has created a fascinating account of a family of pornographers in the late 1970s. It is a frank, compelling, and disturbing vignette of unforgettable characters. Mark Whalberg (in his best performance to date) plays a well-endowed 17 year old who begins working in the porn industry under porn director Burt Reynolds (in an Oscar nominated performance). John C. Reilly plays a fellow porn star, Julianne Moore (never better) as a famous porn queen, Philip Seymour Hoffman as a timid homosexual porn crew member, William H. Macy as a fatalistic loser who's wife is always cheating on him, and Heather Graham (Reynolds daughter) as a rising porn star. Everybody does a fine job. The best scenes belong to former porn star couple Don Cheadle and Nicole Parker who add some of the comic relief to the film. What's intriguing is the way the actors interact with each other and the way they struggle to find their self-identity, plus a bravura script, colorful and startling cinematography, and a rousing rocking 70s soundtrack that make Boogie Nights one of the best films of 1997. It is a touching, humorous, and shocking film bursting with originality with an overall message of: redemption and forgiveness.
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Boogie Nights OR "How I learned to ignore the consequences, and love the freedom of the 1970's."
paul_monks8 August 2001
Boogie Nights is perhaps one of the greatest examples any would-be filmmaker should take a long hard look at. Sure, you could spend loads of quality time reviewing the clasics from Hitchcock to Scorsese; but lets follow suit for the modern generation and study half-heartedly.

Where to begin, I suppose one could look at the film as simply a story, perhaps even docudrama which focuses on the late 1970's porn industry-and what an industry it was! The other half could focus on the incredible detail one brillant filmmaker can achieve simply by using polyester and *ahem* rubber. But honestly, Boogie Nights brings back the pure, no-bul!shi$, in your face kind of cinema I haven't experienced since the film greats of the 1970's...ironic...or stroke of genius. The story is full of richly detailed characters, all of which you either can relate too, love, or hate; but the impact is clear-you are feeling something for them. Among the characters the two performances which stand out are: Burt Reynolds as Director Jack Horner, and Mark Wahlberg as Eddie Adams/Dirk Diggler. Julianne Moore is also brillant, as is Heather Graham...but if I focus on any one actor it would have to be John C. Reilly. John's performance is a perfect balance of comedic timing and character driven emotion...I'm a sucker for the line "Ever see the movie Star Wars?...People say I look like Han Solo." Anyway, the look of the film is incredible, the Director of Photography and Director/Writer/Producer, have come up with a vibrant colour, and flashy style that compares to Martin Scorsese, and Stanley Kubrick(in terms of his perfection of his craft); but with creating his own unique look, and pushing the edge with the longest single shot I'ver ever seen...that being the New Year's party sequence.

The music, like in any great film, is a character of its own. At times, it consumes oneself with sorrow or grief...but mainly its all about fun, dancing, and having a good time; the spirit of the 1970's. OK, back to the performances.

Burt Reynolds plays the character of Jack Horner, a porn director who feels the burden of what the future of "film" means to his genre. The awful transition from shooting on film to recording on magnetic tape. The lose of his art, as it were...and the changes in mentality to the people he works with. Walhberg adds the perfect blend of innocense and sexual bravado needed for the character. For all those individuals who have seen Burton's Planet of the Apes, pay no attention to the performance of Wahlberg in that boogie nights and see what a difference a good script can make!

Julianne Moore plays the would-be mother to all, and with that comes the torment and anguish she feels, as life imitates art; and she loses all those close to her. Heather Graham is the eye-candy, but later holds her own, and steals some of the scenes from even the great Mr. Reynolds himself. Each character is multidimensional, rich with life, and performed by actors that seem to be picture perfect for the part.

The film itself is often funny, tragic, exciting, and provides a uncompromising look into the turblulant lifestyle of the fast-pace 1970's. It makes no excuses, and tells no lies; and offers the audience a trip back. But even more importantly, the movie gives us a grand example of how films should be made; and a new director whose bold visions bring back art in film.
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Fantastic use of camerawork and of pop culture, get ready for a movie that will make you laugh, tense, cry, and make you squeamish
miralvr5 August 1998
Boogie Nights is an excellent picture. You don't have to have be a part of the whole 70's scene either to appreciate it. The title is very misleading to some who do not generally read reviews beforehand. This movie is an exhilerating piece on a late 70's-early 80's porn star. Yes, it sounds like a very simple plot and much gratutious sex. But it's so much more. While you may be thrown off by the violence and the sexuality Boogie Nights is nowhere near pointless. It features great acting all across the board-even Reynolds is very sympathetic. Some advice though, seeing this movie more than once is a good idea. It grows on you. This movie takes you to the deep down threshold of your heart. It shows you the rise of a porn star and the downhill spiral that follows it. Even in some of the sleaziest of characters can a human being be reached out to. Rent this one tonight - and who cares about all that talk about the use of prosthetics anyway. This is the pulp fiction of the 70's porn industry, "a low class subject made in a high class way".
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an odd family
mandyhd8 August 2001
Boogie Nights is full of surprises, nothing quite prepares one for it its soul. Yes, it does have soul, whilst tackling the tackiest of subject matter, with both a wry smile and respect. Brillantly cast and wonderful character development, the performances somehow combine the best of stage acting with improvisation within a cinema verite style.

The plot proved richer than I expected and the underlying themes are teased out quite profoundly as each "B grade" human being is brought, through crisis, into perspective.

A sociologist's dream case study, the film resonates the raw truth of what we all know about self-esteem, parental love and lack of it, attention/love deficit and its manifestation in adulthood, the desperate need to belong. Something for everyone here.. almost camouflaged as issues of untouchables and their separate milieu but of course they are universal.

The film works on a number of levels. The ironic loop is that the milieu portrayed exists only because of the voyeur, who happens to be watching the film...

Boogie Nights is non judgmental of its subject matter and characters, a rarity. It deserves every accolade it has achieved and more.
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An example of film making at its most incredible.
triple821 February 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Boogie Nights is one of the best films to come out of the 90's and I'd go so far as to say it should be in the IMDb top 250. I can actually understand why many would dislike it, due to the subject matter. I personally feel however as many do, judging from the aclaim this film's received by viewers and critics that it's topnotch film making.

The direction and acting in this film surpass good and reach the level of brilliance.There is not one scene in this movie that isn't amazing. The individual characters reach out and touch you. Given that this is a movie about the porn industry, one wouldn't imagine the sex scenes could be handled with such sensitivity but they are. The direction is among the best I've ever seen-and I've seen a lot of films.

The film isn't about one particular personal individual's story, it's about many.It's a character study about people who have many layers to them and who maybe in an industry most would find alien but who still dream the same dreams and have both bad and good to them. Boogie Nights draws you into their story from the beginning, and though the film is long(I believe almost 3 hours) you honestly don't even notice. And when it ends you kind of don't want it to....

I'm not easy to impress, meaning there aren't many movies I'd give a 10 of 10 rating to but this is one. Beyond the multiple character study, is the use of music in the film. I have never, in all my years of seeing movies seen music tell a story as well as in this movie.There was such flawlessness to it, you know it's not something your gonna see everyday.

Burt reynold's performance was perhaps the best I've ever seen him do, and Mark Wahlberg is incredible(I'm astounded there are still people saying he doesn't act well. I don't know how anyone viewing this could possibly think that)but the person who really surprised me was Heather Grahem(Rollergirl) who is absolutely fantastic in her role, in particular the one memorable scene with Burt Reynolds in the Limo, towards the end.

Again, I'll echo other IMDb reviewers in saying this movie is not for everybody. But I still think this was topnotch.10 of 10.
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Quite simply, a modern masterpiece
Cathy Young15 May 2000
Warning: Spoilers

"Boogie Nights" may well be the best film of the 1990s. I cannot remember the last time I was so overwhelmed by a new film.

Interestingly, I was not planning to see it. I knew nothing about the director, I've never cared for Burt Reynolds, and the only thing I knew about Mark Wahlberg is that he had been an annoying boy singer and Calvin Klein model. Nor was I all that interested in seeing the story of an extremely well-endowed porn star.

A couple of months ago, I tuned in, about 20 minutes into the film, when "Boogie nights" was on cable -- and I was hooked. I have seen the entire film twice, and it has become one of my favorites.

First of all, P.T. Anderson is brilliant ... it's daunting to think he was only 27 when "BN" was made. Despite the "borrowing" from Scorsese and Altman, I believe he brings a profoundly individual vision to his work. What sets him apart is that his keen observation and satirical vision are enhanced by warmth, compassion, indeed love for the people who populate his film.

Is Anderson "judgmental" toward his characters? A friend who watched "BN" at my suggestion said that one thing he loved about the film is that it's moral but not moralistic. Anderson makes it clear that these people's lifestyle is often destructive. The critics who complained about the abrupt shift from hedonistic fun in the '70s to horror and disintegration in the '80s were mistaken. The first half has many intimations of darkness: the girl who ODs on coke at Jack's party, face streaked with blood, limbs twitching; Amber's son trying in vain to reach her at the party; Little Bill's anguish at his wife's infidelities. Clearly, too, most of these people aren't very smart, and their pretensions -- Dirk's belief in his stardom, Jack's belief in his "art" -- are ridiculous. Yet we never lose connection with their basic humanity. When Amber/Maggie is denied visitation with her son, we know it was probably the right decision yet we sympathize with her anguish.

It's the ultimate cliche to say that a film will make you laugh and cry. With "BN," it happens to be true. The "Brock Landers" clips and the preparations for Eddie/Dirk's porno debut are just two of the riotously funny scenes. On the other hand, the confrontation between Eddie and his mother or the scene of Dirk coming back to Jack asking for help have more genuine emotion and poignancy in a few brief minutes than there was in all of "Titanic." And some scenes are both comical and moving (Amber and Rollergirl talking as they snort coke, Scotty making a pass at Dirk).

This film will also make you think, without beating you over the head with a message (the way "Three Kings" does, for instance). Many say that its theme is family; but equally important is the theme of self-deception. Most of the characters are prisoners of their dreams and delusions. For Jack and Dirk, it's the delusions of glory and greatness; in Amber's case, her self-image as a good mother. (Right after telling Dirk she sees him as a son, she introduces him to cocaine -- his eventual undoing.) Why do Jack and Rollergirl unleash their fury on Rollergirl's former classmate? Because, with his comment on how squalid their lives actually are, reality intrudes on their self-enclosed world of illusion, and they can't take it.

There's no real "happy ending," either. At the end, Jack has reconciled himself to being a rich hack. A wistful-looking Amber sits at her makeup table; while Jack tells her she's the "foxiest bitch in the world," clearly her looks will be more and more difficult to keep up. As for Dirk, he has presumably kicked the drug problem and is back working, looking slick yet somehow lifeless. Note that in the infamous final shot, when he exposes his penis in front of the mirror, we don't see his face. He has been dehumanized, reduced to a sex machine -- and that's all there will ever be for him. (Think of the early scene of Eddie telling his girlfriend, "I'm going to be a star, a big bright shining star," his eyes gleaming, his voice aglow with hope, and contrast it with him saying at the end, "I am a star. A big bright shining star" -- his voice flat, his face invisible ... the real "star" is his penis.)

Despite the film's setting in the porn industry, I think "BN" has something to say about the larger culture of media glitz and celebrity-seeking.

A word about the acting. Burt Reynolds is superb; Julianne Moore truly shines. (It takes courage for a female movie star to take on a part where she often appears physically unattractive.) Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alfred Molina, John C. Reilly and Heather Graham stand out in a supporting cast that doesn't have a single bad performance. As for Mark Wahlberg, he proves himself to be one of the finest young actors working today. He is utterly convincing as he shows Eddie/Dirk's evolution from an eager-to-please, innocently amoral kid with a dopey but radiant smile to an obnoxious, egomaniacal, paranoid prima donna, and then the despair of his downfall. During the drug-deal scene, there's a close-up of his face for more than a minute, with no dialogue, and he conveys a complex range of emotion as Dirk "spaces out" listening to "Jesse's Girl" -- obviously thinking of better days, then of how low he has fallen -- and then snaps back to reality and is terrified.

"BN" is not without weaknesses. A few scenes are too long; the theme of Amber's "mother" role is overemphasized; a few plot strands are left unresolved (were there any legal consequences to Jack's and Rollergirl's assault on the guy in the limo, or to the drug deal/attempted robbery that ended in two dead bodies?). But these are minor flaws in a near-perfect work.
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fearless sophomore effort from a very talented writer/director
sweet_love29 July 2002
One of my absolute favorite movies. Relaxed by the opening circus theme and then blasted by "Best of My Love," no movie has ever grabbed my attention so fast as with Boogie Nights. The opening steady-cam shot is one of the best. The rest of the movie doesn't drop off a bit. The music, the costumes, the shots and the drama are all phenomenal. The humor is great, too, and what makes it truly funny is that most of the time the characters aren't even trying to be funny. Just when it seems like PTA won't be able to top himself, the next scene brings with it something even more brilliant. And of course the ending...

What else can I say, I love this movie. Paul Thomas Anderson, you got "the touch."
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A great film
ckad794 December 2003
One of the things that I like about PT Anderson, is that he has the guts to take talent that most people push to the side or have pushed to the side and makes them stars. Case in point, a washed-up... Burt Reynolds delivers a great performance in this film. And if proving Adam Sander can be a great actor (Punch Drunk Love) wasn't enough... here comes Mark Whalburg... like you've never seen before.

I think many people pass up "Boogie Nights" cause they are anti-porn, or just flat out hate the adult industry and can't overlook that aspect of this film. But underneath that is a great story about characters losing everything and battle to regain themselves. There is a beautiful film... and it's too bad that enough people see that.
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