Opening in limited release tonight and in wide release on Friday, Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous is getting the best reviews of any movie so far this year.
Bestowing four stars on the movie, New York Daily News critic Jack Mathews writes: "The thing that makes Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous a great movie - and the best movie ever about the '70s rock era - can't be seen in the performances or heard on the soundtrack. It can't be isolated or duplicated and, if the movie earns Crowe an Oscar, which it might, he won't even be able to give it a name in order to thank it. But it's there in every frame... That thing is the combined sense of innocence and awe with which Crowe himself entered the world of rock 'n' roll as a baby journalist in 1973, which he recaptures here with astonishing honesty, humor and emotional detail." (Crowe was a teenage interviewer for Rolling Stone.)
Kenneth Turan, the film critic for the Los Angeles Times, also lavishes praise on the film. "Crowe has used irresistible performances and fine writing to turn a dramatized version of his own past as America's youngest 1970s rock journalist into an intoxicating mixture of Hollywood and reality," he writes.
A.O. Scott's review in the New York Times expresses some minor qualms about the film ("I found myself wishing the movie, still an ample two hours, could be even longer, fuller, more episodic.") but, he concludes that "what Mr. Crowe has done is nonetheless remarkable. He has made a movie about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll that you would be happy to take your mother to see."