Muscle Shoals Reviews

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Greg Evans
Bloomberg News
September 29, 2013

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?"

Manohla Dargis
New York Times
Top Critic
September 26, 2013

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 | Original Score: 2.5/5
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
Top Critic
September 24, 2013

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 | Original Score: 3/5
Chris Michael
Guardian
October 24, 2013

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 | Original Score: 4/5
Leah Greenblatt
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
September 27, 2013

[A] charming, reverently shot ramble.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Curtis Woloschuk
Willamette Week
October 30, 2013

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 | Original Score: C+
Rodrigo Perez
The Playlist
September 27, 2013

..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 | Original Score: B+
Nathalie Atkinson
National Post
October 10, 2013

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 | Original Score: 3/4
John Hanlon
Big Hollywood
December 24, 2013

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 | Original Score: 3.5/5
Allison Loring
Film School Rejects
December 30, 2013

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 | Original Score: B+
Tara Brady
Irish Times
October 25, 2013

And lo, the musical miscegenation was good.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Matthew Thrift
Little White Lies
October 24, 2013

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

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Ashley Clark
Film4
October 25, 2013

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

Alan Scherstuhl
Village Voice
Top Critic
September 24, 2013

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.

Tom Clift
Concrete Playground
December 19, 2013

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

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Shaun Munro
What Culture
April 23, 2013

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

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
AV Club
Top Critic
September 26, 2013

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 | Original Score: B-
Roger Moore
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
October 2, 2013

Music history at its elegiac best

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
December 5, 2013

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 | Original Score: 87/100
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
Top Critic
October 18, 2013

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

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