Soul Power Reviews

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Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 16, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
August 26, 2011
Soul Power is a window into a time when anything seemed possible.
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
November 13, 2009
B.B. King. Bill Withers. Miriam Makeba. Celia Cruz. And James Brown, earning every inch of the title, "Godfather of Soul," who all by himself probably deforested a few acres around Kinshasa with the volcanic blast of his set.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Sean O'Connell
Charlotte Weekly
October 2, 2009
Does its part to widen this historic concert's potential audience base.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Michele Kenner
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
September 17, 2009
Watching Soul Power is like flipping through Polaroids of that era. The color is a little washed out and everyone looks amazingly young.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
September 16, 2009
It's hard not to wish that maybe there was a little less of Muhammad Ali promoting himself and a little more of the concert.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
September 9, 2009
...if you are a fan of any of the musicians ... or maybe I should say if you're completely unfamiliar with any of the musicians mentioned - then Soul Power is well worth seeing. Or at least hearing.
Full Review | Original Score: 87/100
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
August 28, 2009
The performances are fine, but this feels like a companion piece to 'When We Were Kings' rather than a work that can stand on its own...
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Shawn Levy
Oregonian
August 14, 2009
It's best seen as a breezy entertainment and a reminder of how potent some of these performers -- many of whom are dead -- were in their primes.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
August 14, 2009
Soul Power turns out to be an unusually resonant time capsule, one that weaves together theatrics, musicianship, cosmopolitanism and sharp political critique in a vibrant look-back that's at once celebratory and wistful.
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 13, 2009
It's impossible not to be moved.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Jonathan Takiff
Philadelphia Daily News
July 30, 2009
Ultimately it's the music that makes this film a cause for celebration -- especially the chance to see 'Soul Brother #1' James Brown and his blistering band perform at their absolute prime.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Dan DeLuca
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 30, 2009
It packs the emotional and historical power of a heady 'family gathering' celebration of African and, to use the term then in fashion, Afro-American pride.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
July 30, 2009
Soul Power is the indispensable companion film to Leon Gast's thrilling 1996 documentary When We Were Kings.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
July 24, 2009
Watching the Godfather of Soul on the big outdoor stage, you think back to his appearance in The T.A.M.I. Show a decade earlier. And then you think: I feel good.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Liz Braun
Jam! Movies
July 24, 2009
The movie is crisp and quick and looks as if it were shot yesterday, but for all that, Soul Power is ultimately disappointing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Greg Quill
Toronto Star
July 24, 2009
A dazzling chronicle of the African American music expo that was meant to accompany the 1974 Rumble in the Jungle heavyweight title bout between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire (now Congo).
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
James Adams
Globe and Mail
July 24, 2009
A non-stop head-bobbing knee-bouncer.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Peter Sobczynski
eFilmCritic.com
July 24, 2009
Some may complain about the lack of contextualizing material but what is on the screen is so exciting and energetic that most viewers will probably be too busy tapping their feet and swaying their heads to the beats on display to notice or care.
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
July 16, 2009
Gluttons for these artists and for music festivals in general might wonder, as I have, whether there's any way the filmmakers might share more of the remaining 123 1/2 hours.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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