The Dirt

You may not even believe that the dudes of Motley Crue are literate, but in fact, they released their Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band in 2001. The chapters (because yes, of course I’ve read it, I’VE READ EVERYTHING) alternate between the guys, and everyone’s got a version of the story they’re selling. Lots of the details conflict. In fact, lots of the big stuff conflicts too, but that’s part of the book’s charm. The guys sort of interact within its pages, rebutting each other’s alternate versions and extolling their own. The Dirt is even dirtier than you’d imagine.

So it’s kind of surprising that it took someone this long to make a movie out of it, but Netflix has, and it’s ripe for the streaming. 

The film alternates its point of view between the band members but the story is a little more cleanly told than it is in the book. And while almost by definition the antics are somewhat toned down, you’ll still get plenty of the sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll that Motley Crue was known for. In fact, you won’t have to wait more than 3 minutes to see a woman squirting. Stay tuned for the heroin overdoses, vehicular manslaughter, and anonymous head.

Nikki Sixx (Douglas Booth), Tommy Lee (Machine Gun Kelly), Vince Neil (Daniel Webber), and Mick Mars (Iwan Rheon) have some stories to tell. Tommy’s wholesome upbringing contrasts sadly with Nikki’s, while the other two get lost in the dust. The truth is, the 107 minute run time is brisk, and gives more screen time to trashing hotel rooms than it does to insightful backstory, because this is what draws the audience to any Motley Crue show: not the lessons learned or the underdog story, but the fights fought loud and proud and bloody. You come for the famous girlfriends and the venereal disease and the mountains of dope and the increasingly inventive use of leather. And fear not: director Jeff Tremaine delivers. He does best with those scenes of complete debauchery than he does with stitching them together into some cohesive story. And weirdly, the music is very nearly an afterthought. But if you’ve come for The Dirt, I promise you, you’ve found it.

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19 thoughts on “The Dirt

  1. EclecticMusicLover

    I never really cared for any of the hair metal bands of the late 70s to mid 80s, so wasn’t very familiar with the sordid saga of Motley Crue. I watched “Dirt” this evening, and my take away is that they were some fucked-up, self-absorbed assholes.

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  2. selizabryangmailcom

    Not in the mood for the self-absorbed and thoughtless these days. Too inundated by the clown posse running the U.S right now and watching them trash the giant hotel room which is America.

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  3. Jana

    Oh man, I got about 3 minutes in (that narration has me feeling uncomfortable like stepping in mashed potatoes) before I had to pause and come read your review. We had talked a while back about my dream casting for this one so I knew it was coming and still somehow forgot to mentally prepare. I’m feeling slightly more confident now, but also afraid that Netflix should’ve cross-posted in under Cringe Binge for me.
    Wish me luck!

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