The Netflix True Story Unhinged Ride From Start To Finish

By Robert Scucci | Published

The rock and roll biopic genre has seen quite the resurgence over the past several years, so it’s only fitting that Motley Crue had to get in on the action with 2019’s The Dirt. This Netflix original will rock your socks off and teach you a thing or two about “the world’s most notorious rock band” in ways previously thought unimaginable.

The Dirt On Netflix

You’ll find yourself laughing, crying, yelling at the TV screen, and maybe even playing a blistering air guitar rendition of “Kickstart My Heart” in your living room at times. 

The Dirt is based on the official Motley Crue autobiography of the same name that was collaboratively written by the band and New York Times writer Neil Strauss.

In just 108 minutes, we get a crash course on the band’s formation, rise to fame, and collective struggles as they dealt with the fallout that commonly comes along with an excessive rock and roll lifestyle.

The Rise Of Motley Crue

machine gun kelly colson baker the dirt

Framed as a comedy-drama, the film portrays Motley Crue’s more controversial moments in a way that’s easy to digest while also making you glad you decided to work a 9 to 5 instead of living on the road. 

The Dirt covers a lot of ground, and the film begins with a voice-over of Nikki Sixx (Douglas Booth) talking about his troubled upbringing and volatile home life.

After having a very public falling out with his glam metal band, London, Sixx has an encounter with Tommy Lee, who’s portrayed by Colson Baker (better known as Machine Gun Kelly). They decide to start a band.

Forming The Band

The Dirt

They meet up with Mick Mars (Iwan Rheon), who reveals to them that he suffers from Ankylosing spondylitis, a rare inflammatory disease that adds a sense of urgency to his desire to get the band established as a national act. 

Shortly thereafter, they get a hold of Vince Neil to take on vocal duties, and Motley Crue is ready to take over the world. 

A Controversial Group

The Dirt

But what goes up must come down, and The Dirt quickly shifts gears to show us how quickly Motley Crue earned their reputation as one of the most controversial bands of all time.

From Vince Neil’s vehicular manslaughter charges and Nikki Sixx’s heroin addiction to Tommy Lee’s tumultuous marital exploits, we get a very uncomfortable look at the dark side of fame. 

Comedy Even In The Tragedy

The Dirt

Despite The Dirt’s heavy subject matter, the film isn’t without its comedic elements.

Tommy Lee’s recounting how his manager had to handcuff him to hotel beds so he wouldn’t destroy the place will have you rooting for him even though you know he will cause some serious problems.

And say what you want about Colson Baker’s Machine Gun Kelly persona, but he absolutely nails the role as Motley Crue’s drummer. 

Not For Critics, But Definitely For Fans

The Dirt

The Dirt is a perfect example of one of those movies that was hated by critics but loved by Motley Crue fans upon its release. Whenever you see a film that has a 37 percent critical score against a 94 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, you need to seriously consider the ratio. 

Those who hated The Dirt aggressively have valid reasons. While the storytelling gratuitously glorifies some pretty deplorable behavior, it’s a somewhat accurate depiction of how the band operated during its heyday.

But those who read the book and follow the band closely are quick to point out that the lore presented is a worthwhile viewing experience. 

At times, The Dirt is difficult to watch. But if you’re still bumping “Dr. Feelgood” like it’s 1989, you’re going to want to fire up Netflix and give it a go.