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The Rocker

Movie Info


PG-13 for drug and sexual references, nudity, and language




Aug. 20, 2008


Rainn Wilson, Christina Applegate, Jeff Garlin, Josh Gad, Emma Stone


Peter Cattaneo


20th Century Fox Distribution


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The Rocker

Movieguide Magazine - It’s never too late to follow your dream, but sometimes you have to grow up in the process. So is the saga of Robbie “Fish” Fishman (Rainn Wilson of TV’s The Office), a drummer with the 1980’s heavy metal band, Vesuvius. After being replaced, he violently chases the band members through the streets of Cleveland like a relentless zombie.

Twenty years later (still sporting his rocker pony tail), Robbie works as an online customer service rep while his former band buddies have found continued fame and fortune. A fellow employee sitting next to him begins to praise their new CD. The mere mention of the name, Vesuvius, causes Robbie to twitch and contort (reminiscent of Moe’s reaction to the phrase “Niagara Falls” in the Three Stooges). Robbie has a meltdown, attacking his fellow worker, and, understandably, losing his job. His girlfriend throws him out of her apartment, leaving Robbie with the sole option of living with his sister and her family.

With no job and no money, Robbie settles into his new room in the attic, sleeping on an air mattress. His brother-in-law, Stan (Jeff Garlin), constantly reminds him of how successful he could have been with Vesuvius, which leaves Robbie even more bitter, disillusioned, and dejected.

One afternoon Robbie hears his rather nerdy, chubby nephew Matt’s (Josh Gad) band, A.D.D., holding auditions for a new drummer. Horrified by the sounds of electronic drums (a real offense to any professional drummer), he bursts in on the band and pulls the plug. After the band finds itself in desperation without a drummer for their gig at the Senior Prom, Matt approaches his uncle Robbie, who finally agrees.

At the prom, Robbie shows up in full 1980’s heavy metal attire. On the final song, he gives an out-of-control one-man-show to the room full of shocked and disgruntled teens. A.D.D. leaves the prom in disgrace, and bandleader Curtis (Teddy Geiger), tells Robbie he has to leave.

Robbie goes to Curtis’ house to apologize to the band. While there, he meets Kim (Christina Applegate), Curtis’ mother. Robbie promises the band that, if they will allow him to play drums again, he will get them a gig. He begins a mad search for a gig, finally finding one at “The Tiger Room” in Indiana. But, the gig is in the next state, and the teenagers will have to lie to their parents (“tell them that we are at a church camp”). Robbie steals his sister’s van, and the group heads to Indiana in the middle of the night. Robbie’s sister reports the van stolen, and they are caught.

The band is banned from playing together, but, through the wonders of the Internet, they rig cameras to allow them to rehearse together online. Robbie, who has now been forced out of his sister’s house and is living in the storage room of a Chinese restaurant, can be seen from the backside, playing his drums stark naked. Matt’s younger sister puts the rehearsal video on “YouTube,” and the rest is history. The “Naked Drummer” becomes an overnight sensation, and A.D.D.’s catchy music composed by Curtis catches the attention of a record company and one of its glib managers.

The manager talks the group into signing with his company. After all parents are persuaded, the group departs on a bus tour. They are immediate stars, and are bombarded with all of the worldly by-products that follow rock bands (groupies, alcohol, paparazzi). Robbie keeps the groupies and the alcohol away, but he gets them in trouble and has a conflict with the band when they get a chance to open for Vesuvius, the former friends who betrayed him 20 years ago.

Helping The Rocker get off the ground is a talented cast and some pretty good songs, but it is pretty much a B movie. Though the movie depicts the hedonistic lifestyle of rock n’ roll, it does not always glorify it. Even so, there is excessive foul language, brief verbal sexual references, some other crude moments, excessive alcohol use by the adult protagonist, and strong elements of Romantic rebellious behavior. Some positive “feel good” moments help mitigate this negative content, but strong caution is still advised.

Address Comments To:
Rupert Murdoch, Chairman/CEO of News Corp.
Peter Chernin, President/COO of The Fox Group
Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos, Chairmen/CEO
Fox Filmed Entertainment
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
(Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox Atomic)
10201 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000

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NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine. For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. Movieguide now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers.

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