Tremaine, Jeff (Dir.)- The Dirt (Film review)

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Director: Jeff Tremaine
Title:  The Dirt
Studio:  Netflix
Released: April 2019
Reviewed: 2019
Rating:  Average of all reviewers:  3.75/5

It is extremely rare for the mainstream film or television industry to recognize  the existence of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal.   It is even more rare to see a big studio actually produce a film about a Hard Rock or Metal band.   Accordingly, there was quite a bit of interest and hype about the Netflix original film, THE DIRT  the Motley Crue story.

By now many of our readers may have enjoyed (or not) the film which debuted on March 22nd, 2019.    We are a bit late to the party with our review as over 400 people have written reviews of THE DIRT on IMDB alone!   However, we at  Metal Rules Global Command  wanted to have some fun with it, and so we present a few short reviews all mixed into one mega-review.  Enjoy!

Erich   Rating:   4 / 5

The Nextflix film biography THE DIRT takes its inspiration from the bestselling book of the same name from 2001.  Anyone that grew up during that era will instantly recognize the fashion, the lingo, and numerous other memories of the 80s.  For me, The Dirt reminded me that Mötley Crüe really was the Kiss of the 80s.  They proved that the ability to write catchy songs, an over the top image and attitude can overcome any shortcomings in musical or lyrical chops.   THE DIRT is inspiring Mötley Crüe streams, merchandise and album sales because the songs were good.  If they were not, new generations of viewers would have stopped after listening to the first few tunes.

Many critics have called Mötley Crüe the luckiest band in the word, and the film does touch the band being at the right place at the right time. Crüe touring with Ozzy, a brief appearance of Slash on the couch, Tommy marrying Heather Locklear are reminders of how big a band they were at the time.  We also see that this was band with a lot of inner demons, most that remain unresolved to this day.

As the title implies, nobody comes away clean though the film glosses some things over and treats with kid gloves others.  For one, Vince Neil never learned from his killing Razzle. As recently as 2011 he was arrested for drunk driving.  Hanoi Rocks insists he never apologized for killing Razzle.  The movie could have included their perspective for a fuller picture of the incident.  Likewise, it is well documented that Vince did not simply divert his attention from the wheel. He was driving 65mph in a 25mph zone, was highly intoxicated and an 18-year old girl was also injured in the crash.  She ended up in a coma for a month.

Tommy Lee became a serial cheater and spousal abuser and also assaulted a Jewish photographer while sporting a Swastika tattoo.  Nikki Sixx has both apologized for and then retracted his statements of a rape that took place in THE DIRT.  Ultimately, Mötley Crüe, as THE DIRT reveals was always about themselves.  They wrote great music and had a long run of success, but they were faithless to friends, harmful to loved ones, and generally not very good people. THE DIRT only captures part of that reality and while the film is fun and a nice nostalgia trip, there is a darker layer to the band that will never wash off.

EvilG   Rating:  4/5

Many 80’s metal fans all knew a Cruehead who had their room plastered in Motley Crue posters. The ceilings, the walls, nearly every square inch covered. Well I was that guy. I wore out 2 copies of the cassette for Shout at the Devil alone, and to this day that album is one of my all time favs.  So take this little blurb on the film as an old/longtime fans’ perspective.  I have no idea what the film might be list to someone who isn’t into the band or who never followed their history.

For me this movie was very nostalgic. There were scenes from music videos and home VHS videos that were recreated perfectly. It’s is not a full on recreation of the bio “The Dirt”, as I enjoyed reading that much more than this film. However for the visuals, I was super impressed by the recreation of the “Looks that Kill” video and the Shout-era visuals (clothing and stage set) the most. The actors they got to play the band roles did an excellent job. The actor for Vince really brought “dem feels” for the Skylar scenes, it was almost painful to watch. At times, at the right angle, you’d think it was the Crue as well.  A lot the vulgarities were toned down in the film, otherwise this would have been x-rated, so I wasn’t surprised by that. There were things left out of the story, like for example who whole Tommy & Pamela relationship thing. But for me, that didn’t bother me. I would of liked more details on the music anywho. Relationships and the band’s drug use were never what made me a fan of them in the 80’s, it was the music.

My only complaint – the film is  too short. How can you compress a band’s 30+yr history into under 2 hours? It can’t be done. I would have loved to see this as a mini-series of 14 60min episodes that delved deeper into the bands formation and overall story. But for what it is, its a great and fun walk down memory lane. Fire it up on Netflix if you haven’t already!

John Haseltine    Rating:  3.5 /5

Motley Crue, love them or hate, there usually is not too many out there on the in-between. I have always been a fan and even amongst my ‘heavier’ metal peers have been proud to admit that. Not that I like all their stuff, but a lot of it.

I had not had the chance of reading THE DIRT in book form prior to watching this biopic. It actually was not even on my radar of things to check out. There has been so much hype about this movie; I was pretty much over it before it was even finished. I obviously gave it a watch and have mixed feelings about it. Overall, it was a pretty cool flick. As many of you have already seen it, a review now will not make any difference one way or another. I found that in relation to the timeline represented from start to finish, there were too many holes in the story. This should have been a 10-episode mini-series. Once again, I have never touched the book.

As even a half-assed fan of the band over the years, there is really nothing new to learn about the band. It is more like a brief, “hey look at what we did” type of movie on the band which seemed to focus a bit more on the debauchery of the scene back then than anything else. Which, that is what the book was supposed to represent more than anything. Right?

So in a nutshell, this is a cool biopic. It was extremely weird to watch the actors portray Motley, but they all did a pretty good job at it. For those of you who have never really watched or read anything about The Crue over the years, there will be several ‘OH WOW!’ moments in here for you. As for the rest of us, it is a very repetitive series of short stories and happenings by what is, and yes they are, “the most notorious rock band in history.”

JP   Rating:  3.5/5  

In my circle of friends I think I’m the only one without Netflix.  For a while month since this came out I had multiple people ask me what I thought of this movie and I had to explain I hadn’t seen it.  I was beginning to feel like the only old rocker o the planet who had not seen it!    However, my good buddy,  ‘the Metal curmudgeon’ has the almighty Netflix and invited me over to see about a month after it came out.

I read THE DIRT and loved it.  Tt is the quintessential sex, drugs and rock and roll biography, even if it might be taken with a grain of salt.  I’m also a staunch Motley Crue fan, own all the albums, have seen them many times…so I was certainly interested in how it would play out.   Here is the issue..the people (Hollywood, Netflix, big studios, however, are very, very rarely actual fans of  there book, comic or band they are making a movie about.   Most of the time it is about money and profit.    That is why, in my opinion, the vast majority of films adapted from a source fail to be accurate.  Because the creators have little to no interest in the original material they are willing to over look facts, willing to make omissions,  make up stuff, cut out stuff and so on.  Let’s be real…the people who made this don’t give a damn about Motley Crue or being faithful to what happened.    This thing is loaded with mistakes, errors, omissions and so on. If you wanted a realistic portrayal, this is not it.

However, having said all that…I knew all the negative stuff that going in and that  it would be a travesty if you over-analyzed it,  so I suspended my own issues and enjoyed it, as it was intended, purely as pop-culture entertainment and it was wonderful!  I loved it!   It was big, loud, brought, colourful, dumb…just like Motley Crue.  Lots of sex, drugs and rock and roll, tons of boobs(!) and I appreciated that, not for the reasons you might think,  but for the fact that the story was not too sanitized.  There were quite a few clever moments and inside jokes for Motley fans and the ending montage was quite well done.  It was slick and delivered the high octane goods.  It was Motley 101 and it was great!   I hope it comes out on DVD!

Movie Trailer:


Directed by: Jeff Tremaine
Produced by: Allen Kovac, Erik Olsen, Julie Yorn, Rick Yorn
Screenplay by: Rich Wilkes
Based on: The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Neil Strauss, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx


  • Douglas Booth
  • Colson Baker
  • Daniel Webber
  • Iwan Rheon

Music by: Paul Haslinger
Cinematography: Toby Oliver
Edited by: Melissa Kent
Production company: 10th Street Entertainment, LBI Entertainment
Distributed by: Netflix
Release date: March 18, 2019 (Hollywood), March 22, 2019 (United States)
Running time: 108 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English