Standing in the Shadows of Motown - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Standing in the Shadows of Motown Reviews

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½ October 26, 2018
very insightful into the beginnings of Motown and the Legends like the Funk Brothers where it all started. Sad to see the roots of good music is being lost today as the Funk Brothers pass
September 3, 2015
A great documentary filled with info on all the in house band members who playing for all the great Motown artists. A lot of history covered in this film!!!! Great presentation!!!!
June 26, 2015
What a wonderful film highlighted by live performances by some of the original Funk Brothers. Their story runs an eerie parallel to that of the Wrecking crew. A wonderful magic carpet ride that ended abruptly and too soon. Good to see these wonderful people that touched so many lives finally get some well deserved recognition. Please do yourself a favor ...see it and add it to your collection of classics.
½ April 26, 2014
Good doc on the Funk Brothers, who were the backing band on nearly all the Detroit-era Motown singles by the greats like Smokey, Marvin, Temptations, Supremes, etc. Nice to see they're still going as musicians (some of them) sad to hear about the lack of recognition. What stands out most is that this doesn't have the involvement of Berry Gordy or a lot of other Motown key people. Martha Reeves (of the Vandellas) is about the only interviewee from Motown....makes you wonder if there's bad blood, or if Gordy's ego just doesn't give room for the great musicianship of the band. (That being said, some of the band members were just a little cocky about how good they were and that they could have had anyone sing over it and it would have been a hit...which kind of negates a lot of the other genius at work in Motown).
April 9, 2014
Great documentary on the most unsung heroes of music. As is mentioned in the movie, and anywhere you see them mentioned, The Funk Brothers played on more Number 1 singles than the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys and Elvis Presley combined. Yet hardly anyone has heard of them. I certainly hadn't, and my musical knowledge is pretty good. (Though, admittedly, I do lean more towards rock than soul).

This documentary examines the history of the Funk Brothers, and also has some made-for-the-movie performances by them, complete with vocals by luminaries such as Ben Harper, Bootsy Collins, Joan Collins, Chaka Khan.

The documentary part is well done, covering all the important aspects of their history, as well as interviewing the surviving members. Musical performances are great.

A must-see for a Motown fan, or anyone interested in the history of music.
May 13, 2013
Wonderful documentery of mowtown music.
January 27, 2013
This is some great music history and some damn good music. shadowed for over 45 years now they're telling their story. You gotta see this if you love that Motown sound.
November 17, 2012
Important documentary to the music world. Excellent music, but dull and slow presentation at times.
Super Reviewer
October 19, 2012
A great exploration of the performers who don't get the measure of credit that they should - the background players. This is the story of those who can be heard on the hits but are lost in the credits. Very gifted and talented. I'm glad their story is told.
Super Reviewer
½ June 10, 2012
Great: hearing the original Motown musicians play together and tell stories. Not great: fleeting-popularity guest singers like Joan Osborne, Ben Harper, Meshell Ndegeocello and Gerald Levert (not to mention a lot of ugly perms) that make the film seem badly dated just 10 years later. The occasional use of acted recreations is another dubious -- and unnecessary -- choice.
May 17, 2012
A loving tribute to the forgotten legends of Motown.
April 13, 2012
The best documentary ever. I've watched it countless times and still can't get enough. Somehow it lifts my spirit every time I watch, imfeelma real connection with the Funk Brothers. Isaac J . Zimbabwe Africa
March 1, 2012
if you know me, find this movie and watch it. the music is unbelievable.
January 29, 2012
Bra och intressant dokumentär om dom okända musikerna som spelade på alla Motowns superhits
½ January 15, 2012
Okay, so I have nothing but respect for the Funk Brothers and what they did for Motown, but this documentary was just way too slow paced. Parts of it kept my interest, but most of the time I tried not to fall asleep.
½ January 7, 2012
One of the best documentaries of the decade.
November 13, 2011
Just watched this one for the 2nd time, it is an outstanding documentary helping to shed light on some unsung heroes of some of the all-time top songs that came out of Motown. There's excellent interviews with the surviving members of the Funk Brothers who were the session band members of most of the top Motown singles. Some good covers of great songs are featured in the concert reunion footage. Seek this one out!
½ October 28, 2011
Like music? Watch this.
Seriously - you forget how good the music is. The Funk Brothers (the studio band for Motown in the 60's) themselves talk about the sound and the individual tracks, and it takes you right into the groove. Never mind the famous artists who talk about where things came from.
½ October 17, 2011
A very fascinating story told in a very conventional way.
½ October 16, 2011
A wonderful documentary about the Funk Brothers, a group of musicians' musicians who never got their due. Insightful, touching and funny, intercut with fine live performances. Required watching for anyone who is into Motown and soul in general.
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