The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
Western Stars isn't going to break the music documentary mold, and there are some interstitial segments that are honestly downright cheesy, but if you're a Springsteen fan, you should find plenty to love about it.
The performance footage is mesmerising, as Springsteen articulates the intimacy of lyrics imbued with themes of a mythic West, despite sharing the stage with a full electric band and a 30-piece orchestra.
We can stare at his iconic Boss pose - sturdy, bent-kneed, poised like a hood ornament into the wind... but like the music itself, it feels a little too smooth, a little too contrived and just a teensy bit cheesy to embrace on a deeply personal level.
Each song is performed live in the film, and each song is set up with a short video narrated by Springsteen explaining the inspiration for each song. This movie is as much about Springsteen the man, as it is about Springsteen, the performer.
The result is truly cherishable, especially if you're a fan, but maybe even if you're not - because it's hard not to be beguiled by Bruce's charisma, his heartfelt, melancholic meditations on life, and of course his sound.
It goes without saying that the bigger a Springsteen fan you are, the more entranced you'll be by "Western Stars." But it's such an original and unexpected way of presenting the music that even non-fans have to respect.