Lightning in a Bottle Reviews

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Time Out
November 17, 2011
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
September 7, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Ben Walters
Time Out
August 16, 2007
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
August 14, 2007
| Original Score: 3/4
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Time Out
February 9, 2006
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Houston Chronicle
July 21, 2005
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 17, 2004
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Richard Harrington
Washington Post
December 17, 2004
The event's musical director, Steve Jordan, marvels at one point: 'Looks like y'all hired the phone book . . . just looked up "Blues" in the Yellow Pages.'
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Sean Daly
Washington Post
December 17, 2004
Features a who's who of world-wise bluesmen (and women) and newbie practitioners.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 16, 2004
Every so often there comes a must-see movie. This one's a must-hear.
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 3, 2004
If you know the blues, you've heard it all before. And if you don't, the film, after a promising step-by-step primer opening, won't help you.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Howard Cohen
Miami Herald
December 3, 2004
Some of the blues performances here are rousingly hot and could make believers out of the staunchest classical music snob.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bob Townsend
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
December 2, 2004
Gets its great groove from the humor and dignity of the true blues musicians it documents.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
November 19, 2004
If the movie seems at times a little thin in its chronology and scholarship, it more than makes up for that in the quality of performances that ranges from the cool fire of Angelique Kidjo to the hot smoke of B.B. King.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Joel Selvin
San Francisco Chronicle
November 19, 2004
Any movie with Ruth Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples and Aaron Neville (with his brothers) for openers can't be all bad.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
November 19, 2004
Comes alive with the more relaxed performances from its senior set -- men and women in their late sixties through to their late eighties -- performing the music they've lived and breathed their whole lives.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
November 18, 2004
The massive stage at Radio City Music Hall doesn't lend itself easily to the intimate particulars of the blues.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
November 5, 2004
It's hugely entertaining.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
November 4, 2004
If you ever loved this kind of music, Lightning will bring the reasons back. If you haven't, you'll likely wonder where this has been all your life.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
November 4, 2004
An aptly named blast from the past that manages to sizzle in the present.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Ernest Hardy
L.A. Weekly
November 4, 2004
Performances by Mavis Staples, Son House, Solomon Burke, Odetta, B.B. King, Keb Mo, Natalie Cole et al. sear right through the careful packaging to lay bare the core of the music.
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
November 4, 2004
Entertaining, exalting educational, uplifting -- and a total blast.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Misha Berson
Seattle Times
October 29, 2004
The best thing about this film of an all-star 2003 Radio City Music Hall concert is, perhaps predictably, the still-sizzling power of elder statesmen and stateswomen of the blues.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 22, 2004
Lightning is often great fun, and remains an important record.
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
October 22, 2004
Fuqua's film captures a night when lightning struck more than twice in the same place.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Megan Lehmann
New York Post
October 22, 2004
Lightning is a joyous, toe-tapping celebration of a musical style born of sorrow.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
October 21, 2004
This remarkable concert film documents the blues legends who gathered at Radio City Music Hall in 2003 for a historic and joyous musical summit.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Scott Brown
Entertainment Weekly
October 20, 2004
The music's sensational.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Laura Sinagra
Village Voice
October 19, 2004
Performances both lighthearted and smokin', backstage interviews, and archival footage projected on the hall's JumboTrons create an energetic gloss of blues history.
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Eddie Cockrell
Variety
October 14, 2004
A compact, fast-paced and entirely joyful celebration.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
March 18, 2004
The result is pure pleasure for fans of the blues.