Chelsea on the Rocks
Chelsea on the Rocks (2009)

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,… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: October 16, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 9, 2010
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Critic Score: 71% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Abel Ferrara's loving portrait of New York's Chelsea Hotel is less interested in telling the story of its famous residents than in exploring the magic of the place that housed so many moments in rock history.

Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times

There's a great movie to be made about the Chelsea Hotel; unfortunately, this isn't it.

Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle

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.

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Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

But Chelsea on the Rocks is a happy film-I find it hard to think of a movie released this year that's more optimistic.

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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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 Neumaier
New York Daily News

Ferrera's shaggy tone, which fits the iconic building, gets irritating. Still, if you come for the stories, you'll stay for the company.

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Sarah Boslaugh

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.

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Ty Burr
Boston Globe

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.

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Lou Lumenick
New York Post

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...

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Fernando F. Croce

Fond and funky elegy

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More reviews for Chelsea on the Rocks

Flixster Audience Score: 43% Flixster User Reviews
Melvin White
Chelsea on the Rocks is a film that sounds like it should be an interesting and worthwhile film. Sadly, Abel Ferrara takes a setting and completely makes a mess… More
Walter M.
Throughout his stewardship of the venerable Chelsea Hotel, Stanley Bard aimed to encourage artists by either charging them cheap rents or deferring their rents… More