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Muscle Shoals Reviews

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Greg Evans
Bloomberg News

Ruminations on Native American legends and Helen Keller's water pump would be fine in an Alabama travelogue, but in 'Muscle Shoals?' Couldn't we please get back to "Mustang Sally?"

Full Review Source: Bloomberg News

September 29, 2013
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At once overstuffed with interviews and intellectually underdeveloped, the movie charts the area's music industry and what is lyrically if elusively called the Muscle Shoals sound.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

September 26, 2013
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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This geeked-out tribute to the rural Alabama town that birthed an improbable amount of classic R&B and rock doesn't have a theory behind its parade of hits.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

September 24, 2013
Chris Michael

A stubborn charmer whose life was a magnet for tragedy, Hall is the emotional centre not only of the Muscle Shoals sound but of this film.

Full Review Source: Guardian | Original Score: 4/5

October 24, 2013
Leah Greenblatt
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A] charming, reverently shot ramble.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A-

September 27, 2013
Curtis Woloschuk
Willamette Week

The film possesses considerable persuasive power despite its modest substance and simple construction, making it very much like the timeless songs it showcases.

Full Review Source: Willamette Week | Original Score: C+

October 30, 2013
Rodrigo Perez
The Playlist

..Muscle Shoals and its presentation doesn't reinvent the wheel...the treasure trove of stills and found footage makes for a compelling and effortlessly watchable film that even the casual music fan should find themselves totally engrossed in.

Full Review Source: The Playlist | Original Score: B+

September 27, 2013
Nathalie Atkinson
National Post

As the documentary demonstrates, knowing it when you hear it is one thing, but trying to explain the origin of the Muscle Shoals sound and its qualities is like dancing about architecture.

Full Review Source: National Post | Original Score: 3/4

October 10, 2013
John Hanlon
Big Hollywood

A bit lengthy but packed with great music, this is a solid documentary that musicians and fans of soul music will likely enjoy.

Full Review Source: Big Hollywood | Original Score: 3.5/5

December 24, 2013
Allison Loring
Film School Rejects

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 Source: Film School Rejects | Original Score: B+

December 30, 2013
Tara Brady
Irish Times

And lo, the musical miscegenation was good.

Full Review Source: Irish Times | Original Score: 3/5

October 25, 2013
Matthew Thrift
Little White Lies

Exceptional music, unexceptional documentary on the swampy sounds of the famous Tennessee backing band.

Full Review Source: Little White Lies | Original Score: 3/5

October 24, 2013
Ashley Clark

Warm, enjoyable, smooth and lightweight, this celebratory documentary is a gentle tribute to a remarkable man and his work.

Full Review Source: Film4

October 25, 2013
Alan Scherstuhl
Village Voice
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The archival footage is strong, Camalier is generous with musical clips, and the talking heads generate some drama when describing epochal moments like Aretha's first session.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

September 24, 2013
Tom Clift
Concrete Playground

Though Muscle Shoals can seem a little conventional, you could never say the same thing of its soundtrack

Full Review Source: Concrete Playground | Original Score: 3/5

December 19, 2013
Shaun Munro
What Culture

A sumptuously assembled, exhaustively comprehensive film about music that changed lives.

Full Review Source: What Culture | Original Score: 3.5/5

April 23, 2013
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
AV Club
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Although the intriguingly named first-time director Greg "Freddy" Camalier makes the twice-told tales of the film's second hour watchable, they end up paling in comparison to its essayistic first half.

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

September 26, 2013
Roger Moore
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Music history at its elegiac best

Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 2, 2013
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Supremely enjoyable, Muscle Shoals doesn't add much to the record, but it will probably induce you to flip through your collection for a few to spin.

Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Original Score: 87/100

December 5, 2013
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What makes the documentary Muscle Shoals so fine besides a kicking soundtrack? Well first, there's its deep sense of place.

Full Review Source: Denver Post

October 18, 2013
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