Standing in the Shadows of Motown Reviews

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David Ansen
Newsweek
November 1, 2007
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Derek Adams
Time Out
June 24, 2006
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Houston Chronicle
July 21, 2005
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Newsday
May 28, 2003
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
December 27, 2002
The Funk Brothers seem to have hardly missed a beat.
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 19, 2002
There have been better documentaries to come out this year, but none can touch this one for unadulterated pleasure.
| Original Score: 5/5
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 29, 2002
I promise, you'll never listen to a Motown classic in the same way ever again.
| Original Score: A-
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Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic
November 28, 2002
The documentary stumbles where it could have soared.
| Original Score: 2/5
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
November 22, 2002
Try as you might to resist, if you've got a place in your heart for Smokey Robinson, this movie will worm its way there.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Miami Herald
November 22, 2002
You may not end up dancing in the street, but don't be surprised if you cut a step or two in the parking lot.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rosen
Denver Post
November 22, 2002
The movie lets us realize this Sound, still so alive and vibrant today, was created by flesh-and-blood people, each of whom has a compelling story to tell.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
November 22, 2002
A triumphant documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Matt Weitz
Dallas Morning News
November 21, 2002
The sheer joy and pride they took in their work -- and in each other -- shines through every frame.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
November 18, 2002
It's a blast!
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 16, 2002
The Motown Sound was, quite simply, their sound.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
November 15, 2002
A great story and great music, right down to the final credits.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jonathan Curiel
San Francisco Chronicle
November 15, 2002
When the old guys sit around and tell their stories, Standing in the Shadows of Motown catches magic on the screen -- a behind-the-curtain peek at some of the world's best-loved music, straight from the cats who made it happen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Susan Stark
Detroit News
November 15, 2002
After watching it, you can only love the players it brings to the fore for the gifted but no-nonsense human beings they are and for the still-inestimable contribution they have made to our shared history.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 15, 2002
Standing in the Shadows of Motown is one hell of a party, and it doesn't let anything get in the way of that.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
November 15, 2002
Gives credit where credit's due.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
November 15, 2002
A soaring cinematic love letter.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 15, 2002
If there is any doubt about the Funk Brothers' key contributions to the Motown sound, it's dispelled when these aging musicians take the stage with contemporary performers who re-create the classics.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Charles Taylor
Salon.com
November 15, 2002
Told in scattered fashion, the movie only intermittently lives up to the stories and faces and music of the men who are its subject.
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Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
November 14, 2002
This salute to the literally unsung and underrecognized studio heroes of Motown is so good because it is one of those rare documentaries that combine information with smashing entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
November 14, 2002
Gives the Funk Brothers their due and more, mostly through wonderfully juicy anecdotes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 14, 2002
Ain't no mountain high enough to keep the Funk Brothers from getting to you.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Ernest Hardy
L.A. Weekly
November 14, 2002
The film's energy is primarily due to the rich storytelling skills of the musicians, who trot out anecdotes and memories filled with humor and wry philosophizing.
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
November 14, 2002
Moving and heartfelt documentary about the overlooked heart of the Motown Sound.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
November 14, 2002
Much of the movie's value is to document these particular players making beautiful music.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
November 13, 2002
It's a revelatory aural journey that gets you to hear something you've always known without quite realizing it: that the magic of the Motown sound was, quite literally, its sound, which the Funk Brothers created.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
November 12, 2002
Justman's affectionate doc provides the pleasure of hearing one classic pop hook after another performed by a still tight unit, as well as the spectacle of veteran sidemen sitting around talking music.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 6, 2002
It's a glorious groove that leaves you wanting more.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Mader
Hollywood Reporter
November 5, 2002
The film truly does rescue [the Funk Brothers] from Motown's shadows. It's about time.