20 Feet From Stardom - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

20 Feet From Stardom Reviews

December 31, 2017
Artists including Mick Jagger talk about their backing singers -- and the soundtrack is, of course, heavenly.
March 28, 2014
20 Feet from Stardom, this year's Oscar-winner for Best Documentary, is both rousing, upbeat fare... and a film steeped in a strange sense of yearning and regret.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
March 28, 2014
An enjoyable arts feature with its heart in the right place ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
March 27, 2014
Such a great idea for a documentary, and such a surprise to realise that it has never been done before.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
March 27, 2014
This is a musical field of dreams high in corn, but also, sometimes, in the epiphanic empowerment and wonder of stardom conferred.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
March 27, 2014
A warm and fitting tribute to talented singers.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
December 31, 2013
It's that versatility that defines these singers, the ability to make following seem as important as leading.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
December 31, 2013
The documentary tells similarly poignant stories in a fast-paced 91 minutes through interviews, contemporary concert footage and great archival stuff.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 4, 2013
As long as you're hearing the singing and stories of Lisa Fischer, Merry Clayton, and the great Darlene Love, you can bliss out on their passion.
Read More | Original Score: B+
July 11, 2013
The movie takes its cues from Standing in the Shadows of Motown, another act of pop-culture revisionism that tried to give musical credit where it was due.
July 11, 2013
Just about everything in this movie is right. And anybody who gives a rip about unsung heroines of popular music and giving credit when credit's overdue had better come up with a good excuse not to see it.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
July 5, 2013
You may never hear the Rolling Stones's Gimme Shelter the same way again after hearing Jagger's and Clayton's separate accounts of the recording of the song.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
July 5, 2013
The enthusiasm and love of music on display is just unavoidable. "20 Feet" may not get the whole story, but it gets some good ones.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
July 4, 2013
Music documentarian Morgan Neville uses a mix of live interviews and archival footage to let the singers, and their music, tell their stories of vocal triumph and thwarted ambition.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
July 4, 2013
You know all those doo-doo-doos and whoa-whoas-whoas you hear in pop hits? Without them, supplied by the likes of Darlene Love and Merry Clayton, you likely wouldn't be singing along to the songs you hear on your car radio.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
July 3, 2013
For once, the spotlight shines on these brilliant women who spent most of their careers on the outskirts of fame with minimal fortune to show for their efforts.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
July 1, 2013
This spirited, thoughtful look at unheralded but ubiquitous artists gives supreme credit where credit is due.
June 28, 2013
This illuminating documentary looks into a small corner of the music industry to find deeper truths about talent, artistry and success.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 28, 2013
Loaded with stirring anecdotes and even richer music, Twenty Feet also makes for a fascinating study in ego sublimation.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
June 27, 2013
An engaging look at the nexus of art and commerce, talent and hard work. It's a story of standing out and blending in, sometimes at the same time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 27, 2013
A film that may be the happiest time you'll have at the movies all summer.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
June 27, 2013
This film festival favorite is a genuine crowd pleaser, meant to right a few wrongs in the music industry, offer a window into the lives of some hard-charging entertainers, and above all make audiences leave the theater humming a song.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 21, 2013
20 Feet from Stardom has it all -- electric, revelatory stories, engaging personalities, and a gusto that takes you higher and higher.
Full Review | Original Score: A
June 14, 2013
I have rarely seen a movie that better expressed the revivifying nature of music.
Full Review | Original Score: A
June 14, 2013
In a film that's often sad but not without its triumphs, director Morgan Neville smartly explores the complex role that ego and self-promotion play in this profession.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 14, 2013
When any one of these women steps up to the microphone - well, they really soar. And they carry us along with them.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
June 13, 2013
Their voices are powerful enough to tear you apart and put you back together again, and their stories will do the same.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
June 13, 2013
This generous, fascinating documentary about the careers of backup singers, most of them African-American women, seeks to rewrite the history of pop music by focusing attention on voices at once marginal and vital.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
June 13, 2013
They perform with world-famous musical acts, but theirs are not household names. Their stories, however, are inspiring, heartbreaking and enthralling.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
June 13, 2013
Why should you see a documentary about backup singers? One look at the electrifying 20 Feet From Stardom and you'll have the answer, that is, after you stop cheering.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
June 13, 2013
More than a tribute, the film is a recognition of the talent and sacrifice that many of these vocalists have invested in often challenging careers.
Top Critic
June 13, 2013
Neville doesn't dwell unduly on the vicissitudes of fame; he's more concerned with celebrating his subjects' accomplishments and giving them a(nother) chance through new recordings on which they sing both backup and lead.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
June 11, 2013
An exquisitely rendered look at the dialectics of celebrity and artistry, luck and hard work, its conversation laced with smart observations about race and gender.
June 11, 2013
[Neville] nails the sense of joie de vivre these extraordinary artists put into every note-a tribute to doing it for the love of the expression over stardom that provides incalculable amounts of inspiration.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
June 10, 2013
You gasp at the ecstatic convergence of lung power and spirit.
April 22, 2013
Between the welcome anecdotes, the wealth of archival footage, the well-polished production values and an inevitably remarkable soundtrack spanning the greatest decades of American rock and soul, Stardom mostly hits the right notes.
January 22, 2013
Twenty Feet From Stardom wages a compelling crusade to get background singers some long-overdue recognition.