Boogie Nights, an epic tale of porn, pleasure, and excess, offers a purer hit of exhilaration than any movie this year.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Everything about Boogie Nights is interestingly unexpected, even the few seconds of darkness before the film's neon title blasts onto the screen. The director, Paul Thomas Anderson, [displays talent that] is as big and exuberant as skywriting.
Janet Maslin - New York Times
A concise, vigorously told yarn with a strong point of view and a deftly juggled cast containing at least a few familiar faces.
Dean Essner - USA Today
As a writer and director, Paul Thomas Anderson is a skilled reporter who fills his screen with understated, authentic details.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Susan Stark - Detroit News
Not since the mysteriously reclusive Terrence Malick has there been such an explosion of sheer talent on the American movie scene.
Andrew Sarris - New York Observer
Considering the potentially explosive nature of the yarn, set in the porn world, Anderson's strategy is remarkably nonjudgmental and nonsensationalistic, largely due to his love and respect for all the characters and his impressive storytelling skills.
Emanuel Levy - Variety
Boogie Nights is truly audacious because Anderson doesn't beat you over the head with his daring. In the first half, he goes about turning conventional morality on its head nonchalantly, almost sweetly.
Charles Taylor - Salon.com
Boogie Nights isn't just an expose of the porn industry -- it's a provocative and involving character study, as well.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
The film is bemused and entertained, as we are, by this pack of sexual extremists, and the eye it casts on them is both benevolent and wry.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Unflinching look at porn industry; lots of sex, drugs.
Renee Schonfeld - Common Sense Media
An epic story of self-delusion with a skill and grace that many more experienced filmmakers would be hard put to match.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Comparisons are invidious, but inescapable: Boogie Nights is the most stunningly accomplished, attention-grabbing movie by a sophomore director since Pulp Fiction.
Gary Susman - Boston Phoenix
...loud, gaudy, profane, thoughtful, and risque; you can't say it isn't fun in its own exuberant way.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
Call it the consummate example of director-as-DJ, at least for now.
Rob Nelson - City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
The flashy style cannot hide the slight story.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
...Paul Thomas Anderson cements his reputation as one of the most gifted filmmakers of his generation...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Probably the most enjoyable complete overrated swipe ever made.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
Aaaaw man, P.T. sure loves to move that camera around, and as a MAJOR fan of the general look and feel of movies, I totally got into his groove.
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
In terms of sweep, ambition and precocious cinematic competence, it heralds the arrival of a new talent.
Wally Hammond - Time Out
Anderson eloquently blends these characters together for a tantalizing seriocomic medley. He keeps his proceedings glossy and tantalizing, while steady and harshly real.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
This film will hit a huge chord with those who weren't in diapers in the 70's, but people who missed the era should find penty to enjoy as well.
Oz - eFilmCritic.com
An original film about a little-done subject, providing good acting and an interesting story.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
I would be lying if I said that Boogie Nights is anything but a perfect movie; at the very least, it is a film that delivers everything I am looking for in a film.
Patrick Byrne - Apollo Guide
Anderson creates a strong ensemble piece that explores the reasons and motivations people got into making porn.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Boogie Nights never exactly recovers the tightness of its first hour, but it certainly doesn't descend into permanent disorganization as some critics have charged.
Nick Davis - Nick's Flick Picks
...scrupulous about presenting these guileless, sad creatures to the point that they seem less than interesting.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Director Paul Thomas Anderson is unsparing with his deluded characters and their giddy, chaotic age -- but he is never cruel.
Margaret A. McGurk - Cincinnati Enquirer
If it weren't for the porn, drugs, and violence, this would be an ideal movie to take the kids to. It's all about belonging, and sticking with your family.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Boogie Nights features an impressive ensemble cast, and there's not a supporting actor whose performance is less than impeccable.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
With Boogie Nights we know we're not just watching episodes from disparate lives but a panorama of recent social history, rendered in bold, exuberant colors.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
A well-crafted, well-acted entertainment but one that doesn't dig too deep into its subject.
Shlomo Schwartzberg - Boxoffice Magazine
Os dialogos sao afiadissimos, e Paul Thomas Anderson permite que seus atores se sintam livres para interpretar, sem preocupacoes com questoes tecnicas.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Boogie Nights is a shockingly well-made film.
Jeremy Heilman - MovieMartyr.com
Anderson, a director who makes no secret of his admiration for both Scorsese and the similarly iconic Robert Altman is clearly talented but here, rather than being his own man, he only succeeds in flattering his idols.
Martyn Glanville - BBC
I want to write a long essay on this because it's a complicated film experience but it's really great! The acting is great, the review (this one) is poorly written
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
A searing indictment of not only the adult entertainment industry, but the whole value-free Hollywood lifestyle of the late 1970s and 1980s. At the same time it has a certain sympathy for its characters.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
It does not dwell on the sex in a lurid manner, but neither is it judgmental toward porn makers.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
With fewer characters, tighter editing, and a more focused story, it would have been much more palatable and enjoyable. At the theater I was in, the audience all looked exhausted when they left.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
Boogie Nights weaves a fascinating web of complex characters who are swept up in a tale of excess.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
It simply tells a compelling story about shallow, damaged people trying in earnest to gain any kind of respect they can find, even through salacious means.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
Cautionary story-telling rarely gets this grim, electrifying and compelling.
Scott Renshaw - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Matt Easterbrook - Matt's Movie Reviews
I didn't dislike it, but it didn't do much for me.
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
With a movie based on the porn industry, you'd expect it to be trashy, cheap, and even tawdry. But it's not.
David Keyes - Cinemaphile.org
Like a version of "GoodFellas" where everybody can trust each other.
Ian Waldron-Mantgani - UK Critic
'You're a star,' goes the film's final line. Truer words cannot be spoken about Paul Thomas Anderson.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
What makes this film transcendent is Anderson's vast talent and the sheer exhilaration of his vision. Each of us is blessed with one special gift and Anderson certainly has discovered his.
Edward Johnson-Ott - NUVO Newsweekly
What's most fun and sophisticated here [is] the film's willful resistance, its twistings of its own stories, metaphors and meanings.
Cynthia Fuchs - Philadelphia City Paper
While all the actors give stunning performances, the real star of this film is without a doubt the Paul Thomas Anderson, writer and director extraordinaire.
Ted Prigge - rec.arts.movies.reviews
You'll need to swallow your preconceived notions, but I would not hesitate to recommend the film to just about anyone.
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
Already there are signs that Anderson could be our next Martin Scorsese.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
I'm not sure all of this works out as convincingly as Anderson intends in the movie's somewhat unsatisfying ending, but getting there is a wickedly enjoyable journey.
Barbara Shulgasser - San Francisco Examiner
I understand what Anderson is trying to show -- that none of these folks are likely to meet with a good end -- but the last hour or so of the film drags on and on, violently and eventually pointlessly.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Seldom have I taken such an active dislike to a widely acclaimed picture.
Bryant Frazer - Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
Technically brilliant, and with good acting, Boogie nights is a very good, but not great, film.
Madeleine Williams - Cinematter
On top of some preposterous and near-fatal plotting errors, Anderson makes the mistake of creating too many characters (supporting stars Graham and Cheadle don't get enough to do, while William H. Macy is wasted for the sake of a punchline).
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Boogie Nights creates a very plausible look at a moment in the history of the pornographic film when it looked like it might get some respectability from the mainstream.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Anderson draws us in subtly, using the perhaps-surprising amount of humour inherent in his material.
Keith H. Brown - Edinburgh U Film Society
Anderson proves himself a bold stylist with his dark and colorful tale of the rise and fall of a makeshift family of L.A. porno stars and auteurs.
Kevin Lally - Film Journal International
Boogie Nights at heart is the story about a group of characters and the de facto family that emerges from their relationship. A stunning ensemble of actors is essential to creating this seamless world.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
This film is proof positive that there should be an Oscar for ensemble acting.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
Both exhilarating and disturbing, a fast-paced epic about business, family, and self-worth.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat