Chelsea on the Rocks
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The documentary blends archival footage with an enigmatic interview style fitting for the Bronx-born enfant terrible Ferrara. Past and current residents wax poetic of the bohemian playground's storied history, mysterious metaphysics, and deified long time owner Stanley Bard. Bard was forced out by the hotel's board in 2007, and the Chelsea's inglorious past was threatened with a corporate makeover.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"There's a great movie to be made about the Chelsea Hotel; unfortunately, this isn't it."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"This is Ferrara's first documentary since 1977, and it has the crackbrained air of menace and the ferocious humor that mark his fictional works."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"A creative community is as fragile an ecosystem as any salt marsh and just as easily destroyed: Chelsea on the Rocks celebrates a hotel which nurtured some of the greatest talents of the twentieth century."
‑ Sarah Boslaugh, Playback:stl
"A visually poetic, if erratically edited, portrait illustrating how "the energy of this hotel is bigger than the people in it.""
‑ Betsy Sherman, Boston Phoenix
"...Ferrara has left a testament to a beloved place whose spirit has been corrupted by commerce."
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"It's a cheap, vicarious high to hear these unidentified denizens reminisce about the orgies and overdoses that seem to have been included with the rent."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Ferrera's shaggy tone, which fits the iconic building, gets irritating. Still, if you come for the stories, you'll stay for the company."
‑ Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
"Fond and funky elegy"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Unfocused and uninteresting documentary about the famous hotel for bohemians of all stripes."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"In need of a re-edit like few other films, Chelsea on the Rocks isn't so much bad as it is disappointing."
‑ Sean Gandert, Paste Magazine
"You may not learn much about the hotel itself from Chelsea on the Rocks, but you come away knowing exactly what it was like to live there."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"Chelsea on the Rocks rambles a bit, but it's a real slice of New York history that includes everything from Ethan Hawke recounting a hilarious story about Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller at the hotel to footage of the 9/11 attacks..."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"Nostalgic and fun to talk about but not that much fun to listen to. At some point the dead will simply rest in peace."
‑ Ron Wilkinson, Monsters and Critics
"Often drags with poor editing and lack of sufficient insight while leaving you feeling unengaged and underwhelmed."
‑ Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
"Ferrara found a way to adapt his ramshackle style to the documentary format, and his new Chelsea on the Rocks works spectacularly."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
More reviews for Chelsea on the Rocks on Rotten Tomatoes