The film version of Tommy collapsed under Ken Russell's garish vision and untrammeled excess. On the other hand, Pete Townshend's second rock opera Quadrophenia -- while not as well-known as Tommy, a better rock opera -- blossoms as a feature film. Director Franc Roddam wisely chose to avoid turning Quadrophenia into a straight musical, choosing to concentrate on teen angst and the Mod phenomenon of the mid-'60s. Where Townshend suggested a storyline with his songs and libretto, the film follows Jimmy (Phil Daniels), a Mod who struggles to find his own identity. As he searches for love and friendship, he pops pills, fights with his parents, rides his scooter and becomes embroiled in a vicious duel between the Mods and the Rockers. Clearly, the plotline remains a little weak, but thanks to Roddam's keen eye and Daniels' searing performance, as well as strong supporting performances by Leslie Ash and Sting, Quadrophenia feels real -- both as teen movie and as an evocation of a lost era. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Mojo (Publisher) (6/02, p.67) - Included in Mojo's "100 Coolest Movie Soundtracks" - "...Sensitive, insightful lyrics set to a soundscape of windmill-guitar driven rock."