At 85 minutes, it's a tight, sharp achievement, yet one of the things I love about it is simple: It moves to a relaxed rhythm, in sync with its slightly otherworldly subject.
| Original Score: 3/4
The search for a long-lost pop icon has an unexpected payoff.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
[A] moving, lyrical account ...
It starts as a bittersweet parable about the cruelty of commerce, but the wonder of "Searching for Sugar Man" will not soon slip away.
| Original Score: 4/4
Director Malik Bendjelloul's engaging, cleverly structured documentary about the legendary folk singer Rodriguez is shaped like a mystery.
You watch "Searching for Sugar Man" at first fascinated by the mystery - what happened to Rodriguez? Where did he go? Then you become infuriated by its revelations of financial injustice.
If you like music, a good mystery or, better yet, a combination of both, you won't be disappointed.
| Original Score: 4/5
An electrifying illustration of music's power to inspire and change lives on both sides of the footlights.
Submitted for your approval: one Sixto Rodriguez, a Mexican-American singer/songwriter whom Rod Serling would surely embrace, in or out of the Twilight Zone.
Beautiful and revelatory, Searching for Sugar Man also incorporates huge chunks of Rodriguez's music.
A rock documentary that goes way behind the music to tell a story that seems pure urban legend.
Here's the rare music documentary in which the narrative is more interesting than the songs.
Bendjelloul mixes modern footage of Detroit with archival and animated images, and the shots of Rodriguez marching through his home turf help viewers understand what makes him tick.
| Original Score: A-
I hope you're able to see this film. You deserve to. And yes, it exists because we need for it to.
This is a real-life fairy tale with a remarkably happy ending.
| Original Score: B+
A pleasing fix, Searching for Sugar Man is a lost-and-found film about pursuits - one of them abandoned, and one not.
| Original Score: 3/5
The movie is neatly structured, and Rodriguez turns out to be an interesting guy. He's worth getting to know, even if his music isn't.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Music executive Clarence Avant says Rodriguez sold about six copies of each of his two albums. Multiply that by the number of people who see this movie.
A fantastic music doc with a surprising twist; which, when done as well as it is here, works just as effectively whether you know what's coming or not.
| Original Score: 8/10
A terrific documentary about a decades-long search, by two South African Rodriguez fans, for the story behind their enigmatic pop idol.
The rustic folk-rock sound and politically provocative lyrics provide the seductive soundtrack for the film. They often serve as a stand-in for the artist as well. It is how we get to know him.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
The way in which this fascinating story unfolds, as directed by Swedish filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul, renders it thoroughly captivating, often exhilarating.
A hugely appealing documentary about fans, faith and an enigmatic Age of Aquarius musician who burned bright and hopeful before disappearing.
Searching for Sugar Man is a fresh and unexpected documentary that plays like a nail-biting mystery and a ticket to ride the whirlwind where art and commerce do battle.
Listen, be moved, and pass it on.
The movie's most potent emotional payoff is less Rodriguez's delayed success story - the fulfillment of many a frustrated rocker's fantasies - than the mysteries it leaves unsolved.
We're fed plenty of sugar in this authorized fairy tale, but are left hungry for beef.
| Original Score: B-
Fluid, open-ended documentaries that demand more of an audience than foregone assent or fleeting bouts of passive outrage are rare these days, which is what makes Malik Bendjelloul's Searching for Sugar Man such a gift.
A diverting but frustrating quasiprofile, one that doesn't have the answers to its own questions.
All you really have to know about this surprising and emotive music doc is that you should see it.
A documentary about fandom and freedom, information and misinformation, fleeting fame and everlasting art, it tackles all of these qualities with remarkable ease and - of course - a great soundtrack.
Searching for Sugar Man is a winning musical detective story about a failed, forgotten early '70s rocker who became a huge success halfway across the world.
While all the interview subjects are enthusiastic, the overall lack of familiarity with Rodriquez's personal background and career collapse begin to drag.