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Anvil! The Story of Anvil Reviews

Hank Sartin
Time Out
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Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 5/5

November 18, 2011

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 21, 2010
Ruth Hessey
MovieTime, ABC Radio National
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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.

Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National

September 11, 2009
Cary Darling
Dallas Morning News
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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

July 10, 2009
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Cute if predictable.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 4/5

May 29, 2009
Josh Freedom duLac
Washington Post
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Now THIS is Spinal Tap.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

May 15, 2009
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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It's an affectionate portrait of performers starving for applause, achingly funny as only real life can be.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 7, 2009
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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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 Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 24, 2009
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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Gervasi has tapped into a powerful if much-overlooked truth: humanity rocks.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

April 24, 2009
Ethan Alter
Hollywood Reporter
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An engaging account of the life and times of an obscure Canadian heavy-metal band.

April 24, 2009
Tom Long
Detroit News
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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 Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B-

April 24, 2009
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
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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 Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 4/4

April 24, 2009
Dan DeLuca
Philadelphia Inquirer
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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 Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 23, 2009
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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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 Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

April 23, 2009
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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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 Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

April 16, 2009
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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Anvil! is one of the sweetest, funniest films I've seen this year. Also the loudest and most foulmouthed.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 16, 2009
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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The most stirring release of the year thus far.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

April 13, 2009
Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
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I care about Anvil, I think the documentary needed a little bit more.

Full Review Source: At the Movies

April 13, 2009
Ben Lyons
At the Movies
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Their determination is both charming and inspiring.

Full Review Source: At the Movies

April 13, 2009
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
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The inspirational doc concentrates on the group's founders and mainstays, lifelong buds Steve 'Lips' Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

April 10, 2009
Dana Stevens
Slate
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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.

Full Review Source: Slate

April 10, 2009
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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Director Sacha Gervasi finds a funky charm in this pair.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3/4

April 10, 2009
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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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 Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 4/5

April 10, 2009
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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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 Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

April 10, 2009
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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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

April 10, 2009
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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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 Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 9, 2009
Noel Murray
AV Club
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While Anvil! is frequently funny, it'd be a mistake to call the band a joke.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: A-

April 9, 2009
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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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 Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 9, 2009
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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Supplies all the rocked-out comedy and Rocky-like redemption you could want.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

April 9, 2009
Siran Babayan
L.A. Weekly
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Hilarious and achingly touching.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

April 9, 2009
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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It's a hilarious, and unexpectedly moving, documentary about the greatest metal band you've probably never heard of.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A

April 8, 2009
Camille Dodero
Village Voice
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[A] phenomenal rockumentary.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

April 8, 2009
Steve Smith
Time Out New York
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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 Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 5/6

April 8, 2009
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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If you can forget Spinal Tap (hard), it's rather touching the way these 50-year-olds still have the forged-in-fire fortitude.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

April 6, 2009
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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An alternately humorous and heartbreaking film.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

April 3, 2009
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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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 Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

April 2, 2009
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
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The guy's a hero in any musical language, and he deserves this heartfelt, emotive, supremely entertaining tribute. Anvil! We salute you!

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 5/6

February 19, 2009
Dennis Harvey
Variety
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Very entertaining docu is amusing without being condescending, touching without straining for pathos.

Full Review Source: Variety

January 28, 2008
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