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—— Unforgettable: Season 2

It Might Get Loud (2009)

tomatometer

80

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 109
Fresh: 87 | Rotten: 22

An affectionate tribute to rock's most distinctive instrument, It Might Get Loud is insightful and musically satisfying.

75

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critic Reviews: 32
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 8

An affectionate tribute to rock's most distinctive instrument, It Might Get Loud is insightful and musically satisfying.

audience

85

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 18,005

My Rating

Movie Info

Rarely can a film penetrate the glamorous surface of rock legends. It Might Get Loud tells the personal stories, in their own words, of three generations of electric guitar virtuosos--The Edge (U2), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), and Jack White (The White Stripes). It reveals how each developed his unique sound and style of playing favorite instruments, guitars both found and invented. Concentrating on the artist's musical rebellion, traveling with him to influential locations, provoking rare

Dec 22, 2009

$1.2M

Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (109) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (87) | Rotten (22) | DVD (2)

The film might have benefited from a trim and a more linear approach, but mostly it fulfils its role as an illuminating homage to both the protagonists involved and, above all, the guitar as popular music's most timeless icon.

January 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Guitar heroes, real or imaginary, will think they've died and gone to heaven.

September 25, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The trouble is, once you get past the historical information and chummy interviews, you have to put up with the inevitable risk of any ad-hoc jam session: It Might Get Boring.

September 25, 2009 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Comment (1)
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Davis Guggenheim's contrived documentary is a largely unrewarding essay on the mystique of the ubiquitous electric guitar...

September 25, 2009 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rock fans and Guitar Heroes in the making will get a charge out of visiting where the happy accidents that put guitars into each man's hand happened. And the playing isn't bad, either. Loud. But good.

September 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For guitar geeks, the sight of Page, Edge and White together in one room will be enough. Others, however, can't help but wish it might have gotten a little louder.

September 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What a great structural concept for a music documentary!

February 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Turn up the volume.

August 29, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

there are some lovely moments in the film simply due to the high profile reputations of the three musicians

August 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinemania

Guggenheim's depictions of his subjects' artistic development will strike universal chords in anyone who finds meaning in creativity.

February 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

Watching this film, we are utterly gripped as we hear the stories of three rock guitar legends and then see them interacting with each other. Yet while there's never a dull moment, the film still feels a bit random.

January 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

The mood's too good-spirited, and in that there are great pleasures - not least the sound-of-mind thinking of three rockers putting paid to the tired cliché of burbling rock gods trapped in their own shadows.

January 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

For guitar freaks and fans of these guys, the film gives you a unique chance to hang out with some real guitar heroes.

January 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

A bizarre follow-up to the fifth biggest cinema documentary of all time, and one that's as testing on the patience as a 10-minute guitar solo with extra tremolo.

January 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Guardian | Comments (5)
Guardian

It's artfully assembled in an unflashy manner.

January 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

It's never less than a compelling watch as the trio of turbo-charged troubadours swap anecdotes.

January 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Guggenheim's attempts to inject some drama hit a bum note while the climactic summit between the three axe gods is let down by a lack of chemistry, resulting in more of a cheerful jam than a headline act.

January 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Fellow players and aspiring rock gods will thrill at the scenes of the trio jamming together, but Guggenheim's film never takes an insular "muso" view and has plenty to offer the lay person.

January 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

If you're a fan of any of their bands, rock music or the electric guitar, you'll find a lot to love here.

January 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Sun Online
Sun Online

Even for me, a rock illiterate, this is interesting.

January 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

The film gets up close and personal, proving that each is a musician first and a rock 'n' roll star afterwards.

January 8, 2010 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

The film seems a bit too in thrall to U2, which means far too much time is devoted to The Edge at the expense of watching Page fire through some of his thunderous Led Zeppelin riffs.

January 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Scotsman

The personal stories are informative, interesting and nicely illustrated but the central meeting between the three men lacks both passion and personality.

January 7, 2010 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

Academically picking apart artistic processes tends to pull all passion out of the pursuit. However, "Loud" evenhandedly showcases three musicians striving and struggling as much to expand a signature sound as they did when it was initially inked.

December 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Suite101.com
Suite101.com

Yes, this is the sort of stuff that makes rock fans absolutely geek out. But Guggenheim's relaxed approach does allow us to get past the guitar-god mystique and show us three fellow tradesmen in love with their craft.

November 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Audience Reviews for It Might Get Loud

This really had the potential to be something quite special. Unfortunately is come up short, and I was left with a feeling that something was missing.

I'll go ahead and admit though that my rating is inflated by an extra half-star, if only for the fact that the musicians here (especially 2 out of the 3) have had a major impact on me personally.

What we get is a celebration of the electric guitar by just three players, all of whom, have proven seminal practitioners from their individual generations. I understand that it would be hard to choose three people for this sort of thing, but I'm mostly okay with the selections of Jack White, The Edge, and Jimmy Page. I think it would have been cool had they included someone such as Tom Morello, though, as his story and impact are just as important.

Maybe they should have done what they did with The Other F Word, and have the primary focus be on one person, but with heavy amounts of input from several others.

Instead we get a look at how the backgrounds, influences, and experiences of each man affect their crafts and creative processes, all of which culminate in a meeting of the three where they jam and chill with one another. Oddly enough, it's the meeting of the three where the film is at its weakest. None feel all that ease with one another, things are pretty awkward, and there's a missed opportunity to really ask some probing and revealing questions. At times it is neat, but ultimately its very underwhelming.

The individual moments with each of them are all pretty good though, and I loved the various techniques used to bring their stories to life, especially the animated stuff.

All in all, this is passable, but unfortunately not what it should have been.
April 6, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

This had the potential of being a great documentary. Unfortunately the film lacks something to really make it a great film on the subject. I mean you have Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin The Edge of U2 in one film; you're bound to get something great between the two. You'll notice I didn't mention Jack White because I really feel he doesn't stand out compared to first two guitar players. White's work doesn't really stand out in the rock genre. I don't he's a legend or a good player for that matter. I think another veteran of rock music should have taken Jack White's place instead because I feel he really doesn't stand out among the other legends in the genre. As a whole the documentary is interesting but I feel it lacks what it says it has the history of the guitar from the point of view of the artists. This film instead focuses on the influence of each guitar player, though interesting, they could given a more in depth look at who helped shaped the electric guitar. In the end, this film is just an excuse for the guitarists to tell us how important music is in their lives. Considering that there's some talent here, it would have been interesting to hear about the guitar from their point of view, however they just get into a little bit of it, and I felt that they could have put a lot more effort in the film by having the musicians give us more detail on the guitar. A good film, but it lacks in some areas and I think it's a slight shame considering the talent that talk on the subject.
July 29, 2012
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

I'm not sure why, exactly, but I didn't enjoy this "documentary" as much as I thought I would. Part of me, I think, wanted it to be a little more technical, a little more about the actual gear and techniques (and differences from player to player), as opposed to the idolatry that's captured here. There are some interesting insights into what made each player start playing guitar, and some snapshots and comments that help you understand their varying aesthetics and approaches, but the premise of the film - a "conversation" between the three "legends" - just never quite pays off. The best part - Jack White building a type of guitar from an electric pickup, a wire, a Coke bottle and a two-by-four, is widely available on YouTube and it's over in the first 10 minutes of the film... the rest of it's kind of a dud.
July 8, 2012
danperry17

Super Reviewer

Alrighty! It is that time again - Documentary time. It Might Get Loud.

I saw this particular documentary about year ago but just had to watch it again this weekend. Why? Well, because this one is about music. Although movies are my number one passion, (obviously) music is my second. If I am awake 16 hours a day I am probably listening to music 12 of those hours. Really. Music is playing somewhere when I have my first cup of coffee, getting dressed, in the car, shopping, or even when I am walking. When am I not listening to music? Well, when I am watching movies, of course, but when I writing my reviews - abso-freakin-lutely!! (You ask, what I am listening to now?...Adele)

It Might Get Loud showcases the guitarists from the following bands: Led Zepplin, U2 and The White Stripes and even has them sitting around together talking and playing. Yeah! See my point on why I jumped at the chance to watch it again? Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White are rock GODS!!! I am not sure you could put three cooler, if that is a good enough adjective, musicians together in a room. It was awesome.

Let's start with Jimmy Page, shall we? All my life I heard Led Zepplin's music and, with my apologies up front, but this band produced, with Jimmy Page's direction, some of the sexiest music on the planet. Sure, they are a legendary rock band but the bluesy background just turns me on! Seriously. And then there is 'Battle of Evermore' one of my top 5 favorite songs - ever. Alright, a mandolin is the main instrument on this song but you get to see Jimmy Page play it on the documentary sitting by the English country house where some of Led Zepplin's albums were recorded.

My favorite part with the eldest of the three guitarists is when he puts on the 45 (remember those?) of Link Wray's "Rumble"...I am happy to say that tune is on my IPod. However, you have to see how giddy he is while listening and demonstrating some of the musical notes.

Next comes, The Edge, a soft-spoken Irish bloke, who is a musical alchemist. He shows the simple chords he plays and how they change when he plugs into a massive array of effect pedals and the entire wall that is with mounted with effect consoles. This is when you realize how much The Edge truly is an artist. I wish I could describe technical aspects of what he does but it just flies over this reviewer's head. However, I can discuss when I was in middle school how much I listened to U2 (and R.E.M.) for hours on end because most of the top 40 music on radio was just plain crap. U2 reminds me of my youth, and I really enjoyed viewing the early days The Edge and the gang and how they got their start at their school.

Last but not least, Jack White - my favorite of the three. The documentary begins with him making a guitar.



He is the youngest of the three at 35 years-old but he is the most diverse - musically. Also, he is just so cool - pure and simple. I cannot say enough about how much I love listening to his music. The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, and The Dead Weather are the bands he fronts, but then there is his solo career or when he pairs up with other legends like Loretta Lynn and Alicia Keys. There is not one thing he attempts that I don't immediately fall in love with. So, he is probably the main reason I watched this documentary for the first and second time.

It was a pleasure to see how all three of these musicians got their start, finding out who their inspirations were and what makes them happy about being a musician. It was just a bonus watching all three of them play together as well. I hope you get a chance to see this documentary. It Might Get Loud is one I can watch over and over again.
June 6, 2012
Tired of Previews
Tired of Previews

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