Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Boogie Nights Reviews

Tongues back in mouths, please. This sprawling melodrama, set against the backdrop of the porno film industry during the pivotal period from 1977 to 1984, bares lots of flesh but isn't exactly what you'd call a turn-on. The story's center is the, um, rise and fall of aimless but amiable Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg), who parlays his prodigious endowment into an adult-movie career under the nom de smut Dirk Diggler. But the supporting characters just about steal the show: Porn director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds), whose pretensions to art almost ruin his dirty movie career; adult-movie stars Amber Waves (Julianne Moore) and Rollergirl (Heather Graham), always juggling the sense of liberation and family they get from the porn industry with the personal price they pay; screen stud and amateur magician Reed Rothchild (John C. Reilly), who's always up to go where the day takes him; Buck Swope (John Cheadle), an African-American porn star in search of an image, nursing a secret dream to own his own stereo store; sad-sack assistant director Little Bill (William H. Macy), constantly cuckolded by his relentlessly promiscuous wife (real-life porn star Nina Hartley); financier The Colonel (Robert Ridgely); hangers-on Scotty J. (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who nurses a secret crush on Dirk and Maurice TT Rodriguez (Luis Guzman); businessman Floyd Gondolli (Philip Baker Hall), who sees that the future of porn is video, not film; vengeful ex-husband Thomas (John Doe), who uses Amber's involvement in porn to keep her from her child. You have to give writer-director Paul Anderson (of HARD EIGHT, not the Paul Anderson of MORTAL KOMBAT and EVENT HORIZON) credit for both ambition and accomplishment: Sure, the movie's a little long and the relentless bombardment by hideous '70s fashions and music becomes a bit tough to take, but on the whole he manages to guide his cast of characters through an epic story of self-delusion with a skill and grace that many more experienced filmmakers would be hard put to match.