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Pearl Jam Twenty Reviews

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John Gholson

Pearl Jam Twenty may not create new fans, but for existing fans, it's an exceptional musical experience.

Full Review Source:

February 3, 2012
Eric Melin

It is a huge missed opportunity on Crowe's part. In his attempt to show the best traits of a band he is obviously very enamored with, he's wound up with a pretty lackluster film.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 1.5/4

October 27, 2011
Brian Tallerico

Very few music documentaries in the history of the form have more successfully conveyed the inner workings and outer artistic expression of a band than Cameron Crowe's brilliant Pearl Jam Twenty.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 5.0/5.0

September 29, 2011
Matt Pais

[Crowe] merely wants to capture the personalities, the songs and the shows.

Full Review Source: RedEye | Original Score: 3/4

September 29, 2011
Diva Velez

With noticeable gaps between the telling of its first decade and its second, Pearl Jam Twenty didn't necessarily need to be a feature, but is a really lovely fan letter to a band that's worked hard for the devotion and respect it receives.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3.5/5

September 24, 2011
Dana Stevens
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Crowe has assembled some top-drawer ephemera -- old show posters, home movies, and candid backstage footage -- but he overestimates his audience's patience for present-day talking-head interviews.

Full Review Source: Slate

September 23, 2011
Guy Dixon
Globe and Mail
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With its intimacy and (this can't be emphasized enough) fantastic sound, Pearl Jam Twenty is like two hours spent rediscovering the band through excellent headphones.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

September 23, 2011
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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If only it was about something other than rockers almost irked they got famous.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2/5

September 23, 2011
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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In a better film, Crowe would have played journalist instead of fan boy.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 23, 2011
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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By the time "Pearl Jam Twenty" is over we can't help but be impressed by the kind of personal and professional integrity that has kept the band honest and allowed them to endure and prosper.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3/5

September 22, 2011
Andy Webster
New York Times
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While the movie may not have the insight of D. A. Pennebaker's "Don't Look Back" or even Phil Joanou's U2 travelogue, "Rattle and Hum," Pearl Jam devotees will not go home musically unnourished.

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

September 22, 2011
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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If Pearl Jam Twenty has its share of hyperbole, it's leavened with humor, self-deprecating commentary, and a deep-pockets budget's worth of great clips.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3.5/4

September 22, 2011
Edward Douglas

A great introduction to the band as well as a great recap for the fans who have been there all along the way.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 8.5/10

September 22, 2011
Noel Murray
AV Club
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What makes Pearl Jam Twenty a little better than the average fan-friendly documentary is that Crowe focuses on the more significant parts of the Pearl Jam story.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B

September 22, 2011
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

For the biggest fans, it may be the single best movie going experience you will have this year

Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium | Original Score: 9/10

September 21, 2011
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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Cameron Crowe's chronicle of the Seattle grunge quintet's first two decades is undeniably thorough - even offshoot Temple of the Dog gets the spotlight - but it's also weirdly self-aggrandizing.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2/4

September 21, 2011
Eric Hynes
Village Voice
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Perhaps Pearl Jam's arc too closely resembles Crowe's own, and he can't see what's so uniquely poignant about dimmed but enduring stars.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

September 20, 2011
Jake Coyle
Associated Press
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Any enterprise like this is inherently self-congratulatory, but the film is best considered from Crowe's perspective: that of a fan.

Full Review Source: Associated Press | Original Score: 3/4

September 20, 2011
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine

A loving, gracefully crafted retrospective that shrewdly eschews Behind the Music conventions at most turns.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 20, 2011
Joseph Rose

Crowe, a former Rolling Stone reporter, wastes unprecedented access to one of modern rock's most private, compelling and enigmatic acts to create little more than a promotional video for Pearl Jam's non-stop tours.

Full Review Source: Oregonian | Original Score: C+

September 20, 2011
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