‘The Dirt’ Film Review

Grade: B

Colson Baker, Douglas Booth, Daniel Webber, and Iwan Rheon in The Dirt (2019)

There is no denying that musical biopics are making a comeback. With the success of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, and the upcoming ‘Rocketman’ set to hit theaters this summer. It is even more prevalent with the new Netflix film, ‘The Dirt’, which is based on the best-selling autobiographical novel of nearly the same name (subtitled ‘Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band’) by the members of Mötley Crüe, consisting of Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, Vince Neil and Nikki Sixx. You would expect the story of one of the most controversial hard rock bands of the 80’s to be fodder for a documentary about the band itself (which was what I expected at first), yet screenwriter Rich Wilkes, and director Jeff Tremaine could not help but ride off the success of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.

If I was being accurate, ‘The Dirt’ had been stuck in development hell since 2006, when Paramount Pictures and MTV Films purchased the rights to the book, yet timing says otherwise. I will say that compared to the Oscar-winning Queen biopic, ‘The Dirt’ is a tad better. If not, it sure is a lot of fun; though it takes a lot of raunchiness and profanity to get used to; Mötley Crüe was not known for being wholesome. What seems to separate this music biopic from others is its sense of self-awareness of its subjects, content, and accuracy ensuring for a more entertaining experience while providing an in-depth look at the members.

‘The Dirt’ takes us inside the beginnings of Nikki Sixx (Douglas Booth), who had a troubled childhood dealing with his abusive mother (Kathryn Morris) and different stepfathers, Mick Mars (Iwan Rheon), who has Ankylosing spondylitis, Tommy Lee (Colson Baker), who, unlike Nikki, has a loving relationship with his family to the point where he will punch your lights out for insulting his mother, and Vince Neil (Daniel Webber), who is going through some personal problems of his own. It shows how the band is formed while dealing with the highs and lows each of them have to face, showing a more human side to the group. If you are a fan of Mötley Crüe, or music in general, then this is a definite recommendation.

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