Anvil! The Story of Anvil Reviews

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Hank Sartin
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 21, 2010
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ruth Hessey
MovieTime, ABC Radio National
September 11, 2009
While it's undoubtedly comical and touching, a pall of middle-aged gloom hovers over the antics of Canada's longest surviving death metal band.
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Cary Darling
Dallas Morning News
July 10, 2009
A winning and surprisingly moving documentary about -- wait for it -- a struggling Canadian heavy metal band that apparently influenced a generation of hard-rockers including Metallica, Anthrax and Guns N' Roses.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
May 29, 2009
Cute if predictable.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Josh Freedom duLac
Washington Post
May 15, 2009
Now THIS is Spinal Tap.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 7, 2009
It's an affectionate portrait of performers starving for applause, achingly funny as only real life can be.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
April 24, 2009
The new documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil succeeds every which way, as '80s metal nostalgia, as a twisted sort of reality-show attempt at a comeback, as an unexpectedly touching portrait of a friendship.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
April 24, 2009
Gervasi has tapped into a powerful if much-overlooked truth: humanity rocks.
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Ethan Alter
Hollywood Reporter
April 24, 2009
An engaging account of the life and times of an obscure Canadian heavy-metal band.
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Tom Long
Detroit News
April 24, 2009
A study in the cost of pursuing a dream that's probably the wrong dream, Anvil! The Story of Anvil looks for the high notes but doesn't -- or can't -- shy away from the lows.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
April 24, 2009
Anvil! The Story of Anvil is a very funny documentary, following original band members Steve "Lips" Kudlow and Robb Reiner (seriously), on a disastrous European tour and an attempt at a comeback album.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Dan DeLuca
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 23, 2009
Anvil! The Story of Anvil can't help but evoke This Is Spinal Tap, the classic 1984 mockumentary directed by the other Rob Reiner, in terms of both sheer hair-metal ludicrousness and indignities suffered by a not-so-successful rock band on the road.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 23, 2009
Anvil! The Story of Anvil is a documentary about the moderate rise and long, long fall of their band, where musicians in the two other slots came and went, but Lips and Robb rocked on.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
April 16, 2009
There's just something utterly winning about the way the guys of Anvil hang on to their dream -- and when, in the movie's final scenes, they find it for a moment, it creates some genuine, headbanging joy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
April 16, 2009
Anvil! is one of the sweetest, funniest films I've seen this year. Also the loudest and most foulmouthed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
April 13, 2009
The most stirring release of the year thus far.
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Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
April 13, 2009
I care about Anvil, I think the documentary needed a little bit more.
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Ben Lyons
At the Movies
April 13, 2009
Their determination is both charming and inspiring.
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V.A. Musetto
New York Post
April 10, 2009
The inspirational doc concentrates on the group's founders and mainstays, lifelong buds Steve 'Lips' Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
April 10, 2009
Anvil!'s deep kinship with Spinal Tap is more than circumstantial. Both films are, at heart, portraits of a lifelong collaboration between two musicians as dedicated as they are delusional.
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
April 10, 2009
Director Sacha Gervasi finds a funky charm in this pair.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
April 10, 2009
If you're having a rough day, take solace from these middle-aged rockers, who brave untold setbacks purely because they insist on believing that some dreams never die.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
April 10, 2009
No matter what travails they face, Lips and Robb remain good company, invariably upbeat no matter how many cockeyed crises come around the bend.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
April 10, 2009
The success of Anvil! The Story of Anvil lies in its ability to make you care about an enterprise you might initially have been inclined to laugh at.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
April 9, 2009
The biggest surprise is not the pervasive comedy in this compelling rockumentary. It's the poignant, even heartbreaking, moments that sneak up on you as the saga unfolds.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Noel Murray
AV Club
April 9, 2009
While Anvil! is frequently funny, it'd be a mistake to call the band a joke.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
April 9, 2009
Sacha Gervasi's powerhouse doc brings humor and fervent focus to Toronto musicians, supporting their families with day jobs, who won't give up the dream.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
April 9, 2009
Supplies all the rocked-out comedy and Rocky-like redemption you could want.
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Siran Babayan
L.A. Weekly
April 9, 2009
Hilarious and achingly touching.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
April 8, 2009
It's a hilarious, and unexpectedly moving, documentary about the greatest metal band you've probably never heard of.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Camille Dodero
Village Voice
April 8, 2009
[A] phenomenal rockumentary.
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Steve Smith
Time Out
April 8, 2009
Anvil! The Story of Anvil, a documentary destined to spark many a Tap reference, proves that in the world of heavy metal, the line between fiction and reality is even thinner.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/6
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
April 6, 2009
If you can forget Spinal Tap (hard), it's rather touching the way these 50-year-olds still have the forged-in-fire fortitude.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
April 3, 2009
An alternately humorous and heartbreaking film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
April 2, 2009
Anvil: The True Story of Anvil is only 80 minutes long, but it packs a lifetime worth of drama, setbacks and especially friendship into its brief running time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Trevor Johnston
Time Out
February 19, 2009
The guy's a hero in any musical language, and he deserves this heartfelt, emotive, supremely entertaining tribute. Anvil! We salute you!
Full Review | Original Score: 5/6
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Dennis Harvey
Variety
January 28, 2008
Very entertaining docu is amusing without being condescending, touching without straining for pathos.