Maybe Burlesque will serve as the imitation goods that spurs a consumer revolution for something more authentic. Aw, who am I kidding? It won't.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
A movie that quickly proves achingly dull, with none of the madness, verve or talent of Paul Verhoeven's "Showgirls" or even the workmanlike energy of Rob Marshall's "Chicago."
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
Tucci is great and underused, and Cher acquits herself nicely in her first film role in seven years. But writer/director Steve Antin has his stars sashaying between dance numbers with little narrative thread.
Scott Bowles - USA Today
This corny guilty pleasure of a movie is a fitting two-hander for these seasoned pros.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
It's entertaining enough, like watching a celebrity workout film with a plot. But never once is it believable. Really, the movie should last 30 seconds.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
Instead of leading with what Aguilera does best -- belting, vamping, spotlight hogging -- the movie shoehorns her into a rehashed backstage musical conceit.
Karina Longworth - Village Voice
Two hours of recycled plots and plastic acting.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
If I seem fixated on appearances here, what can I tell you; there isn't much else here on which to fixate one's attention.
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
Has the glitz and allure of a Victoria's Secret ad. What it doesn't have is an imaginative reinvention of the show-biz cliches that have so adamantly inspired it.
Bruce Diones - New Yorker
It's more hallucination than story, but hey, If you think of it as a slightly deranged long music video divathon it can be a lot of fun.
Nell Minow - Chicago Sun-Times
The choicest dialogue in Burlesque provokes the sort of laughter that other, intentionally funny films only dream of generating.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Even the dances feel cozily dated, as choreographers Denise Faye and Joey Pizzi borrow liberally from Bob Fosse.
Andrea Gronvall - Chicago Reader
Burlesque is a preposterous and intermittently entertaining lesson in how to make a movie musical with a little brains and a lot of talent.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
Not as bad as "Showgirls" but not nearly as good as "Chicago," "Burlesque" hits its marks and high-kicks its way offstage just before it gets the hook.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Every Thanksgiving needs a turkey, and this year's comes wrapped in a lacy bustier.
Adam Graham - Detroit News
I's not interesting enough to be a disaster.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
This one is strictly for Cher fans who like their campy shtick loud, lewd and ludicrous. But the biggest problem among many is that it's not her movie. She's hardly in it.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
An overwrought, underwritten hootchy-kootchy tuner that desperately wants to be Cabaret, but lacks the edge and historical context to pull it off.
Peter Debruge - Variety
Aguilera can dance like nobody's business, but her acting debut isn't going to keep Anne Hathaway awake at night.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
It's more corny than campy and more silly than sexy, much more's the pity. No one could say that Aguilera doesn't give it her all, though. This is her first real acting assignment, and by God, she's going to act.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Falling in the pillowy cleavage between mildly awful and slightly entertaining, Burlesque is a cliched rags-to-diva story that culminates in a series of Christina Aguilera videos.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
A campy, satisfying showcase for the impressively flashy vocal and sartorial stylings of Cher and Christina Aguilera.
Jessica Grose - Slate
A refreshing throwback to movie musicals that celebrates its stars while indulging in sexy fun.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
The rest of Burlesque plays like an extended version of the "Lady Marmalade" video, with a few contrivances to provide vague conflict.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
The movie is frivolous fun, but not, as I had sort of hoped, as sinfully awful as Showgirls, Mariah Carey's Glitter or Britney Spears' Crossroads.
Mary F. Pols - TIME Magazine
Rated a family-friendly PG-13, Burlesque never loses its s---, never gets erotically out of hand, never devolves into delicious camp.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
"Burlesque" is top-heavy from start to finish. Maybe that's what you do when you have nothing new to say.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
Just terrible enough to make you wish it was even worse.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
It's totally ridiculous, utterly unbelievable and deliciously naughty as much as a PG-13 movie can be.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
What Antin should take away from this experience is that it takes a lot more than a cliched-filled story, some dancing, forgettable music, and a bland script to make an interesting and engaging musical.
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
...wears out its welcome to an almost astonishing degree...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Welcome back, plotline of 1933; you haven't aged a bit.
Dave White - Movies.com
The alarmingly plastic surgery-ified Cher, with her face looking like a condom stretched over a beach umbrella, gives a performance here as the club owner that's not so much 'still' as 'immobile'.
Dominic Corry - Flicks.co.nz
This is all about the music and director/writer Steve Antin has fashioned a spectacle worthy of Broadway.
Roger Tennis - Cinemaclips.com
Burlesque may be aiming for Cabaret-style glamour, but mostly it plays like stale cheese.
Julie Rigg - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
The tone is earnest, verging on sentimental. Or maybe it's just the effect of Antin's leaden dialogue, for it inspires some execrable acting. As a movie star, Aguilera is yet to shine.
Sandra Hall - Sydney Morning Herald
So bad it's good or just plain bad? Terribly entertaining with emphasis on the terribly, or just, you know, terrible?
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
Burlesque is unlikely to convert any new followers to either its stars or its subject matter.
Fiona Williams - sbs.com.au
The images are murky and off-putting, the wisecracks fall flat, and the musical numbers aren't stylish or excessive enough to be memorable.
Jake Wilson - The Age (Australia)
Yes, Burlesque is bad, but it's the good kind of bad, with plenty of unintentional laughs and a powerfully dreadful lead performance by Cher.
Jim Schembri - The Age (Australia)
While campy and cliched, this is a surprisingly enjoyable piece of escapism with Christina Aguilera delivering an impressive turn in the lead role.
Annette Basile - FILMINK (Australia)
Burlesque offers such an archetypal Hollywood narrative that explaining what happens in the film is almost irrelevant.
Clem Bastow - The Vine
Burlesque is awful. The script is horrendous. The acting is dismal. The musical numbers are glitzy and glittery, but even all the half-naked women on stage can't make this film particularly thrilling.
Melissa Wellham - Trespass
Yes, it bears absolutely no resemblance to the historical art of burlesque, but that's like complaining Jurassic Park didn't have enough palaeontology in it.
Catherine Bray - Film4
Burlesque manages what seemed impossible: It is filled with half-naked dancing girls, yet it's still boring.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
[Steve] Antin hasn't really written Burlesque, he has merely spooned the story out of a can labelled 'Instant Musical: Just add eyeliner.'
Anders Wotzke - Moviedex
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
Rarely have so many straight-faces been employed in the service of so many risible lines and hackneyed plot-developments as in Burlesque.
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
Collapses under a heap of boring love triangles, tame backstage rivalries, ear-splitting musical numbers and hyperactively edited routines.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
Small potatoes to Verhoeven's masterpiece are still quite good.
Rob Humanick - Projection Booth
There hasn't been a movie this fabulously awful since Showgirls.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
Not enough films hit the sweet spot that Burlesque does between ridiculous, flagrantly decrepit and yet game enough in spangly execution to sweep you along.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
So bad it's moderately entertaining, Burlesque is a lesson in how not to put on a musical.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
There's an innocent sweetness about this showcase for Christina Aguilera's vocal and dance skills that just about excuses its utter hokiness.
Alan Jones - Radio Times
Expect sequins, sparkle and camp fun, just don't go looking for sensual thrills.
Roz Laws - Birmingham Post
verything works out very well - except for the audience, which is lumbered with all the embarrassment the film refuses to feel.
Leo Robson - Financial Times
For a film with so much camp promise and the world crying out for a successor to the so-bad-it's-good cult Showgirls, this cliche packed film is disappointingly mediocre.
Abigail Bamsey - Sky Movies
Although the story contains absolutely nothing new (there is a comforting familiarity to it, in fact) Burlesque has balls.
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
Burlesque explodes on screen with raunchy, contemporary razzle dazzle and knock out performances by the sizzling hot Christina Aguilera and the legendary Cher
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Try to make 'Showgirls' for 12 year olds and you please no one. What a tease.
Ben Walters - Time Out
First off, I just can't hate any movie that features the vocals of both Cher and Christina Aguilera, not to mention a few minutes of the wonderful Alan Cumming in a scene reminiscent of 'Cabaret.'
Linda Cook - KWQC-TV (Iowa)
Intentionally or not, it might be the comedy of the year.
Helen OHara - Empire Magazine
Oh God, it's terrible ... but God, it's wonderful.
Jane Crowther - Total Film
Camper than Lady Gaga riding a unicorn down Brighton seafront.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
It's difficult to imagine a more outrageously camp movie than this glittery romp, and fortunately there's a sense that the cast and crew understand this.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
It's two movies in one, one of which achieves Showgirls-level badness. Burlesque's soundtrack is a much better investment than a movie ticket.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
"Get your ass up, show me how you burlesque," growls one of this indulgent movie's indulgent musical numbers that swaggers with pearls, glitter and red lipstick - if not grammatical verb usage.
Amy Nicholson - I.E. Weekly
Horrible plotting, hilariously insipid dialogue, often-awkward performances - these things add up to a film you can joyfully ridicule with your friends.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
If you go to Burlesque expecting a campy hoot on the order of Showgirls, you may be in for a disappointment. It's not quite awful enough, although it's plenty bad.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
In essence, an update of an old Warner Bros. backstage musical, spiced with the ersatz-'Cabaret' naughtiness of its insular neo-burlesque club setting (complete with a barely utilized Alan Cumming as a Joel Grey-like eminence fey).
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
One dumb movie -- and that's about the nicest way of describing this amazing collection of backstage musical cliches.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
A paste jewel of a musical, replete with shoddy script and over-strenuous staging, but some overall glamour and intermittent fun.
David Noh - Film Journal International
It's no great surprise that Christina Aguilera can sing. But I'm sorry to report that her breakout movie is similarly revelation free.
Alexandra Cavallo - Boston Phoenix
A movie called Burlesque must be tacky and trashy. And lo! it is both of these things.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Aguilera's movable feast of a body and Cher's immobile face will draw an audience to see this film.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
It's camp alright: prison camp.
Corey Hall - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Wasn't it astonishing that the only nude scene involved not one of the burlesque dancers, but the posterior of the handsome male lead, who also has an on-and-off relationship with shirts?
Matt Soergel - Florida Times-Union
It's epically contrived and, like some kind of gay Avatar, completely weightless underneath all the surface sheen.
Simon Reynolds - Digital Spy
As a winningly knowing exercise in ludicrously OTT extravagance, it's hard to fault.
Charlie Lyne - Ultra Culture
Certainly, Cher doesn't need to sell herself: she's Cher, mesmerizingly fabricated, never finished. The movie doesn't seem to quite get that.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
a heaping helping of corn pone laced with a glittering cascade of glitzy production numbers
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
Burlesque is a camp fiesta and a shamelessly bad good time that should be played at midnight venues with cocktails and hors d'uvres served, an entire drag court in attendance and those slightly less fabulous along for the ride.
Diva Velez - TheDivaReview.com
Aguilera delivers a forgettable performance as an actress but unforgettable song and dance routines.
Annlee Ellingson - Moving Pictures Magazine
For what it's worth, it's probably the best 2-star movie of 2010 -- and if that's a prime example of damning with faint praise, it's nevertheless the best I can muster.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
You know how movie stars lie and say they never see their own films? The hilariously bad Burlesque would be a great opportunity to actually follow through on that.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
Directed and scripted by Pussycat Dolls producer Steve Antin, "Burlesque" is "Flashdance"-meets-"Showgirls" and proves that it is possible to make "Chicago" look good.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Tuneless. Monotonous. Dull. Most of Burlesque's music fits the first, the plot the second and the third describes acting that is so-so within a way-too-long story.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
An entertaining showcase for Christina Aguilera's amazing vocal talent. Plus glitzy showgirl routines liven things up with sexy, amusing, energetic fun.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
A familiar cliche-ridden backstage showbiz film that's been done a million times before, but mostly better.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
It's no turkey but a succulent bird, a (hot) pink flamingo with colorful plumage.
Nathaniel Rogers - Film Experience
The movie is an affront to all things screenwriting; a package of empty envelopes at the cliche factory that actually should have every cliche filing a class action lawsuit to stop the film from using their likeness.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
Approximately 10% of you are going to LOVE this movie.
Thomas Leupp - Hollywood.com
Aguilera's voice can only carry a movie so far, and Burlesque has nothing to fall back on once the novelty of watching her tear through numbers wears off.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
The whole thing's so safe, so straight, so completely anti-fabulous it could put Elton John in gray flannel.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
There isn't an original thought in the entire film. If the script stinks, nothing or no one can save the movie.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
All the jiggly bosoms, skimpy outfits, and garish songs can't disguise the fact that this picture is utterly brain dead...only things missing here are some type of cancer scare, vampires, and a cameo by Liam Neeson.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
This cast is forced to utter some of the most awful, cliched lines ever spoken on celluloid. I'd repeat some of them here, but I'm suffering from a sudden case of writer's block.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
Ignore the hamming; Burlesque is better at glamming, and that's just fine for those of us with a taste for glittery spectacle and earnestly campy theatrics.
Keith Uhlich - Time Out
The dialogue falls upon the ear like baseball bats.
Kurt Loder - Reason Online
We've seen these kinds of clubs before, usually with guys dressed up as Madonna, Barbra, Cher -- wait, there's the guy doing Cher now. In a sailor hat and tights. Oh dear God ... it actually IS Cher.
Kimberly Gadette - Indie Movies Online
Christina Aguilera's film debut in 'Burlesque' is not an updated version of 'Showgirls.' In fact, with the big screen return of Cher, along with the dance choreography and singing by the two leads, the film is really an enjoyable guilty pleasure.
Wilson Morales - BlackFilm.com
Burlesque gets by for a little while on its spirit and general eagerness to entertain....But it quickly becomes clear that Antin has miscalculated in some major ways.
Ethan Alter - NYC Film Critic
At least Aguilera's singing makes up for some of the rest of the film's misgivings. If only her acting was on par, and the film hadn't jumped headfirst into a tub of cliches. (Parental Review also Available)
Jim Judy - Screen It!
Tells a pretty hoary old story, but does it with just enough style and conviction to get by.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
As cheese, Burlesque is a processed American foodstuff pretending to be French.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Is it too much to ask for one wig to get snatched?
Eric Henderson - WCCO.com
No finesse. Just plot and dialogue that land with audible thuds.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
A love letter written in rhinestones, feathers and glitter glue.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
Sexy musical is forgettable despite talented stars.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
Burlesque may be this year's model of a solid song and dance 'feel good'. In truth, it's a trite feel nothing.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
A brain dead construct that trades in absurd cliches and obvious stereotypes.
Robert Levin - Film School Rejects
I was eagerly expecting Burlesque to be a gloriously bad movie. Unfortunately, it's just not bad enough.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
This is a music video; an ego piece for two fading stars that is one of the most creatively bankrupt pieces of cinema in years. Actually, most music videos are better.
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
This rags-to-sequins tale may be schmaltzy in its sincerity, but 'tis the season. Glitter is optional, but certainly encouraged.
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo - Boxoffice Magazine
You don't even have to know the title of one of Aguilera's pop hits to appreciate her performance: In case there was ever any doubt, Burlesque proves the girl's got talent.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
It's big, perfectly cast and entertaining in every way, but more than that it feels like a generous public event. See it with other people. See it with a crowd.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
I'm not a big fan of either woman, but they won me over with their willingness to commit to this script.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Shimmying, shaking and preposterous, it emerges as another splashy, sleazy showbiz tale, signifying very little.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
Mostly tries to copy Moulin Rouge and Chicago, but comes closer to recalling Mariah Carey's Glitter.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Las Vegas Weekly
Bugsby Berkeley with Botox. And if you're thinking pasties and poles when mulling about the movie and issues around truth in advertising, forget about it. This PG-13 contemporary rhinestone retro-romp is basically sexual innuendo with garments.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
It may not be the main course for the Thanksgiving weekend, but it's a pretty tasty dessert.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
The tremulous collision of Xtina and the face that launched a thousand drag shows... what happens when an irresistible sex object like Aguilera meets Cher's immovable upper lip. It isn't always pretty but on occasion it's guiltily pleasurable.
Steve Persall - Tampa Bay Times
Burlesque razzle-dazzles its way through a litany of familiar showbiz cliches and comes out, for the most part, with sequins and false eyelashes intact.
Jen Yamato - Movies.com
Bland Burlesque isn't even awful enough to qualify as a so-bad-it's-good guilty pleasure. Oh well.
Peter Paras - E! Online
It's Funny Girl in lingerie.
Fred Topel - Screen Junkies
Gosh, the piles of silliness in this magnificent piece of trash are almost too much to bear... [T]his is the sort of cinematic junk food that the term 'guilty pleasure' was invented for.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Makes one long for its NC-17-rated forefather, 1995's Showgirls.
A cliched drag that wastes talented actors.
Mike Russell - Oregonian
Showcasing Aguilera's attempt to sound like a 50-year-old black woman in the guise of white appropriation, Burlesque sells a myth about show business that is both unwelcome and shopworn.
Armond White - New York Press
A terrible film that will delight nearly everyone who sees it, whether they're 12-year-old Christina Aguilera fans or bad-movie buffs angling for a guilty pleasure.
Nathan Rabin - AV Club
Cher gets to be a den mother, fag hag and performer all in one. Aguilera wears outrageous costumes and is gifted with shoes that look like they ran away from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Gay men everywhere will rejoice.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Brassy, bombastic and cheerfully vulgar...like a Las Vegas casino show on steroids--a piece of glitzy trash that presumably aims to be campy fun but fails miserably to achieve even that low ambition.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
The movie features some terribly underdeveloped characters, [but] the showy musical numbers and a great debut from Christina Aguilera make it a lot more enjoyable than you might believe.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
About what you'd expect with burlesque show that determined to avoid an "R" rating.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
[a] curiously enjoyable diva mashup
Chris Barsanti - Filmcritic.com
But Antin is no Bob Fosse. He's not even Debbie Allen, particularly since the choreographed numbers are edited so choppily that you never get to see a full 5-6-7-8 without a cutaway.
Alonso Duralde - HitFix
Sheesh, just shut up and dance.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
Thanks to Burlesque, we now have the answer to the question: "Which film ended the film careers of both Christina Aguilera and Cher?"
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
No 'Nine' or 'Chicago' but entertaining enough.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
"Burlesque" never approaches the naughty complexity of "Cabaret" or the precision of "Chicago." For director/screenwriter Steve Antin to approach such musical high-stakes without his A-game on is unforgivable.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
A glitzy mess and ensures the audience will have a gay old time with every bead, feather, wig and boa. Camp on steroids - I could watch Cher quiver her lips for two hours and be in cinematic heaven.
Clay Cane - BET.com
Yeah, girlfriend can out-sing just about anyone in the biz, even Mariah Carey these days, but that's about all that Burlesque is interested in showcasing.
Ed Gonzalez - Slant Magazine
There's a chance you'll like the film. Perhaps if you're Christina Aguilera's mom or the spirit of Sonny Bono reincarnated as a person who can tolerate awful movies.
Phil Villarreal - OK! Magazine
Cher has the look and Aguilera has the voice in Burlesque, Antin's deliberately cliche and intentionally gay campy musical, a guilty pleasure par excellence.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Campy, sexy and shameless in all the ways one would hope, Burlesque demands viewers acquiesce to its frothy, strutting tone, and those who do are in for a hoot.
Tim Grierson - Screen International