Netflix

Another day, another musical biopic, as is the case with Netflix’s new film “The Dirt.” The film tells the story of glam metal band Mötley Crüe and their many raunchy highs and lows, and their misadventures throughout their career.

Just from the premise alone, it comes to no surprise that “The Dirt” is nothing more than a typical music biopic that hovers between mediocrity and less than that. There is an effort to give the story an unflinching flair, but much of it leans into shock-value territory, especially during the first half. The second half feels more grounded, but in the process jumps around a lot between different events to wrap up character arcs and does so in a very predictable manner. It doesn’t help that a good majority of the film consists of montages that feel monotonous very quickly.

The film does make a solid attempt to flesh out each member of the band. During the first half, we get time to see where each member came from and their motivation to be a part of the group. Yet, the development given to them as things progress feels beyond cheesy. The performances from the cast were nothing special and it didn’t help that the dialogue given to them felt very unnatural at times. A notable scene towards the end where the band comes back together was especially forced and nearly laughable when you consider the dialogue.

Much like the acting, there isn’t much going for the film production-wise, but there are some decent elements. The overall production and costume design worked in capturing the mood of the time, as did much of the lighting and color saturation. The editing and cinematography was alright for the most part, but both elements had their obnoxious moments, especially during a lot of the montage scenes — which ultimately messed with the pacing.

At the end, “The Dirt” may not be the worst film ever, but there is no reason to seek this one out. No matter how many foul-mouthed, sexualized, drug-spewing, shot-taking raunchiness is thrown on the screen, the tiresome tropes from dozens of other biopics leave a stain that’s hard to miss.

Review overview

Storyline4
Pacing3.5
Acting5
Visuals6
Interesting 3

Summary

4.3In trying to stay true to the feeling of its subject matter, "The Dirt" ends up crafting an overly raunchy, cliched and hollow experience.