Bright Lights, Big City (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bright Lights, Big City1988

Bright Lights, Big City (1988)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Bright Lights, Big City Photos

Movie Info

Michael J. Fox once more makes a courageous effort to shed his nice-guy image in Bright Lights, Big City. Fox plays an impressionable Kansan who comes to the Big Apple to take a job at a major magazine. It isn't long before he falls into the twin traps of drug and alcohol abuse. His only hope for redemption is in the hands of Vicky (Tracy Pollan), the cousin of his scuzzy drinking buddy Tad (Kiefer Sutherland). Jay McInerney's bestselling novel does not translate easily to the big screen, but Fox strives hard to please, as do all of his costars. The white stuff snorted by Fox wasn't really cocaine, but powdered milk. Watch for Frasier's David Hyde Pierce in a small role and Jason Robards in a significant unbilled cameo.


Michael J. Fox
as Jamie Conway
Kiefer Sutherland
as Tad Allagash
Frances Sternhagen
as Clara Tillinghast
John Houseman
as Mr. Vogel
Jason Robards
as Alex Hardy
David Warrilow
as Rittenhouse
Alec Mapa
as Yasu Wade
William Hickey
as Ferret Man
Sam Robards
as Rich Vanier
Peter Boyden
as Maitre d'
Russell Horton
as Walter Tyler
Maria Pitillo
as Ponytail Girl
Susan Traylor
as Leather Lady
Michael Fischetti
as Mannequin Craftsman
David Hyde Pierce
as Bartender at Fashion Show
Jim Babchak
as Bartender at Disco
James Babchak
as Bartender at Disco
Peg Murray
as Receptionist
Barbara Rucker
as Elegant Lady
Pat Santino
as Security Guard
Mike Bacarella
as Bakery Man
Josie Bell
as Runway Model
Anne Bezamat
as Runway Model
Alva Chinn
as Runway Model
Dianne DeWitt
as Runway Model
Nathalie Gabrielli
as Runway Model
Jennifer Houser
as Runway Model
Lynn Howland
as Runway Model
Sheila Johnson
as Runway Model
Melanie Landestoy
as Runway Model
Marisol Massey
as Runway Model
as Runway Model
Andrea Sande
as Runway Model
as Runway Model
Maria Von Hartz
as Runway Model
Joko Zohrer
as Runway Model
View All

News & Interviews for Bright Lights, Big City

Critic Reviews for Bright Lights, Big City

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (5)

Mr. Bridges may not have breathed fire into this material, but he has preserved most of its better qualities. He has treated it with intelligence, respect and no undue reverence, assembling a coherent film that resists any hint of exploitation.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/5

Along the gruesome road to self-discovery, Bright Lights offers some entertaining, episodic, danceable highlights.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

The movie is like a Porsche outfitted with a lawn mower engine; there's not even enough juice to get the machine out of the driveway.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Fox is very good in the central role (he has a long drunken monologue that is the best thing he has ever done in a movie).

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Bright Lights, Big City is no worse than most movies that present a selfindulgent, self-pitying WASP male view of the world.

August 29, 2019 | Full Review…

Jamie may be less articulate and inspired than Holden Caulfield, but he seems as genuine a spokesman for his time.

August 23, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bright Lights, Big City

A fantastic cast, and a heavy drama, this is a good movie, it's very 80s, I really enjoyed it, and I highly recommend it..

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

A movie that will intrigue you and will pull you in and show you what its like to be a cocaine addict.

Cassie Hill
Cassie Hill

Super Reviewer


I just adore Michael J. Fox.

Sarah Burton
Sarah Burton

Super Reviewer

Bright Lights, Big City Quotes

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