This Is Spinal Tap
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

A spoof about a filmmaker making a documentary about a once-famous, now almost forgotten British heavy metal band returning to the United States after 17 years for a concert tour.

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: March 2, 1984
DVD Release Date: July 14, 1998
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Critic Score: 95% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Smartly directed, brilliantly acted, and packed with endlessly quotable moments, This Is Spinal Tap is an all-time comedy classic.

Variety Staff

For music biz insiders, This Is Spinal Tap is a vastly amusing satire of heavy metal bands.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Reiner's brilliantly inventive script and smart visuals avoid all the obvious pitfalls, making this one of the funniest ever films about the music business.

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Rob Vaux

Yes Nigel, you did go to 11. Where would cinematic comedy be if you hadn't?

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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine

For all its japes and jokes, the movie is really about exhaustion of the spirit: sitting in a bleak hotel suite at 4 a.m. with the bad taste of last night in the mouth and the feeling that tomorrow will not be a better day.

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Janet Maslin
New York Times

It stays so wickedly close to the subject that it is very nearly indistinguishable from the real thing.

Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed

Consistently funny, with sheer brilliant turns from every performer on the cast...

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

The material is consistently clever and funny, though ultimately the attitudes are too narrow to nourish a feature-length film.

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James Berardinelli

The film is a composite of classic moments, all of which we sense could have happened to any of the classic heavy metal bands -- or at least to those whose members combined delusions of greatness with low I.Q.s.

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

Returning to Spinal Tap always brings with it a pronounced sense of discovery, a freshness that is uncommon with movies generally and unspeakably rare in a comedy.

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More reviews for This Is Spinal Tap

Flixster Audience Score: 92% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
A hilarious and delicious mockumentary that features numerous memorable, well-inspired moments and works so well mostly because of its intelligent, ironic sense… More
Lorenzo von Matterhorn
<i>"You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on… More
Dan Schultz
The best mocumentary ever made. A hilarious ride concerning a slowly desinigrating rock band. To think that some people took this seriously when it first came… More
Lucas Martins
Great satire to rock bands and culture pop.
Eric Shankle
Great for someone who loves rock music, like me. The film works because it feels like a legit documentary. Funny thing is, the music that this so called band… More
Jim Hunter
In this mockumentary, a British heavy metal van goes on a U.S. tour. There are moments when it is impossible to tell that this isn't about a real band; the… More