Attack of the Hollywood Cliches! review – cheesy, easy and breezy

By Romey Norton
Published: September 28, 2021
Attack of the Hollywood Cliches! review - cheesy, easy and breezy


An easy watch, just manage your expectations if you’re an avid film fan.

Now streaming on Netflix, Attack of the Hollywood Cliches, produced by Charlie Brooker, and hosted by Row Lowe and a stunning cast of talking heads, is an hour of fun.  

This documentary feels like a lecture I had at university when studying Hollywood. I hope my professor Geoff King watches this, then makes his students watch it, and then tears it apart or uses it as a great example for first-year students to understand how Hollywood works. 

Rob Lowe is an engaging host, playing himself perfectly. He is joined by some great actors (Florence Pugh, Andrew Garfield, Richard E Grant, to name a few) screenwriters and critics as they talk about different cliches used in Hollywood cinema. The casting for this is spectacular and allows us to poke fun at one of the biggest and most powerful industries on the planet. Without the famous commentary, this documentary film wouldn’t be worth watching — you don’t really learn anything new. It points out all the clichés in Hollywood – but most of us who will watch this, know this, so it’s cute, it’s a bit quirky, but it’s nothing that I didn’t know already.

I was excited to think they would investigate these cliches and stereotypes and why, after all these years, Hollywood is still using them and the influence they possess over the audience. Alas, we don’t get much of this. There are some moments where we delve into the history of film, but not anywhere near enough. I feel they missed a mark here – it could have contended, it could have been something. (see what I did there.) So, this documentary becomes fluffy and light-hearted fun, when really they could have delved into something serious. I think that’s the next documentary we need.

From the Maverick Hero to the Damsel in Distress, from the apple prop to the spit take, Attack of the Hollywood Clichés! Manages to cover just about every cinematic chestnut there is. The Jump Scare is my personal favorite, especially when a bathroom mirror is used. The one I hate, which is impractical, is the female character, fighting and running in heels. Just. Stop. 

This is an okay, easy watch. I know I will now notice every cliche in everything I watch and films are once again ruined for me. I’d watch this if you’re a film fan and want to see more of what goes on behind the scenes, but if you’re an avid film fan, you won’t be blown away. Just manage your expectations. If you’re not an invested film fan, you might learn a lot and it might change the way you see the cinema. Definitely worth a watch either way.  

You can stream Attack of the Hollywood Cliches! exclusively on Netflix.