a star is born movie review

If you’ve watched a lot of movies, you’ve probably seen one of the many versions of A Star is Born. The most recent remake of the original 1937 classic was back in 1976 as a rock musical that starred Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. This most recent version stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, who also directs and produces. In our review of A Star is Born, we’ll be looking at the film as a standalone product instead of comparing it to the many previous versions of the classic.

The current remake of A Star is Born started off with Clint Eastwood directing and Beyoncé in the lead role. While that would’ve been an extremely interesting take on the film that could’ve ended up being a classic in its own right (assuming Eastwood didn’t have an off day), it’s hard to argue that Cooper was lacking in any way.

The acting and directing in A Star is Born is some of the best we’ve seen this year. Every single person with any significant amount of screen time delivers what could arguably be called a career-best performance. Bradley Cooper channeled the life experience of his good friend Eddie Vedder (of Pearl Jam fame) and simply nailed Jackson Maine with the mannerisms of an aging musician whose time is almost up.

Lady Gaga doesn’t have a lot of acting experience, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from her performance as Ally. She bounces off every person in the scene as her emotions fly off the screen and she slowly transforms from a star-struck nobody to a Britney Spears-level pop sensation. She’ll make you laugh, she’ll make you cry, and occasionally you’ll even be shaking your head at her actions, but she sells everything in convincing fashion.

Joining Cooper and Lady Gaga is a star-studded cast that features the likes of Sam Elliott as Maine’s older brother, Bobby. Dave Chappelle has a smaller, but important part as Maine’s close friend, Noodles, with what could easily be the best acting performance of his career (yes, it beats Half-Baked… shockingly). Anthony Ramos, Andrew Dice Clay, and Rafi Gavron all turn in top-notch performances in their respective roles, but Cooper and Gaga easily steal the show.

Where A Star is Born falls short is in the story. It has a hard time showcasing the passage of time, with the audience unsure how long Maine and Ally have been together. There are also plenty of decisions made throughout the film that lead to dire consequences, many of which would likely have been avoided if not for plot convenience to set up some additional drama. For a couple who loves each other as much as we’re meant to believe Ally and Maine do, they make some puzzling decisions.

There’s also a lot of music in A Star is Born. Most of it is a mixture of country and pop, so if you’re not into either of those, you may find the film a bit less enjoyable. As a whole, there’s a lot to like about A Star is Born, despite the flaws in the story or your musical tastes. The quality of acting and the feel-good love story that’s presented on-screen should be more than enough to give this movie a chance in theaters. It won’t be the best movie you see this year, but you’ll enjoy it nonetheless.

About A Star is Born

Synopsis: A musician helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.

Director: Bradley Cooper

Writers: David Lowery, David Grann

Stars: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott

Rated: R

Runtime: 2 hours, 15 minutes