Muscle Shoals (2013)



Critic Consensus: Essential for soul fans and entertaining for novices, Muscle Shoals offers a compelling, warts-and-all glimpse at one of the most fascinating stories in modern American music.

Movie Info

MUSCLE SHOALS is a documentary about a place filled with magic and music, legend and folklore, where the river is inhabited by a Native American spirit who has lured some of the greatest Rock and Roll and Soul legends of all time, and drawn from them some of the most uplifting, defiant, and important music ever created. In Muscle Shoals, Alabama, music runs through the hills, the river, and the spirit of the people. It is a place where, even before the Civil Rights Movement really took shape, … More

Rating: PG (for thematic elements, language, smoking and brief partial nudity)
Genre: Documentary, Musical & Performing Arts, Special Interest
Directed By: , ,
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 25, 2014
Box Office: $0.7M
Magnolia Pictures - Official Site

News & Interviews for Muscle Shoals

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Muscle Shoals

All Critics (80) | Top Critics (26)

Hall's backstory, riddled with tragedy, gets the proper attention and respect here. But it's the music that won't let you stop watching.

Full Review… | April 21, 2014
New York Daily News
Top Critic

The movie is more a collection of cool people telling great stories than it is a structured documentary (despite Camalier's attempts in that direction). But in this case, that's enough.

Full Review… | October 24, 2013
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Director Greg "Freddy" Camalier augments the talking heads with unusually evocative vistas ...

Full Review… | October 24, 2013
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Camalier's tuneful if somewhat overlong anecdotal history does the most justice to the Muscle Shoals sound just by listening to it.

Full Review… | February 4, 2014
SF Weekly

Retrospective rockumentary deconstructs the secret of a legendary Alabama music studio's success.

January 26, 2014
Baret News

It is amazing to see how this style and sound came to fruition as it changed the careers of artists like Aretha Franklin and created some of the most memorable albums and songs from artists like Etta James, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and [more].

Full Review… | December 30, 2013
Film School Rejects

Audience Reviews for Muscle Shoals


Documentary explaining how two studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama became hit factories, supplying us with number one singles from Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, and others. This goes deeper into the music business and its history than the more celebrated 20 FEET FROM STARDOM, and Anthony Arendt's unexpectedly great cinematography makes this tiny hamlet and its environs into a character every bit as intriguing as the rural music moguls.

Greg S

Super Reviewer

There have been a tremendous amount of music documentaries created over the last five years and Muscle Shoals adds to that memorable list. Here deep in Alabama, a unique sound emerges causing all the big names in music to come, record and pay homage. This is also a homage to those individuals who stayed in the community and contributed to that greatness.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Excellent documentary about the sound that was born out of a little town in Alabama. Everyone from Aretha Franklin to Lynard Skynard came to Muscle Shoals to play.

The film interviews all the major players and tells the story from the first days of FAME studios to today. The film is pretty chronological, but kind of skips around some, which saps the pace a bit.

Plus, there are music stars who pop up for no apparent reason, like Bono and Alicia Keys.

But, the music is great, there are lots of good stories, and the cinematography is well done.

Muscle Shoals Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Muscle Shoals on our Movie forum!