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U2 3D (2007)

tomatometer

92

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 88
Fresh: 81 | Rotten: 7

3D transports the viewer to an intimate seat at a U2 performance, for an exhilarating musical experience at the price of a movie ticket.

90

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 29
Fresh: 26 | Rotten: 3

3D transports the viewer to an intimate seat at a U2 performance, for an exhilarating musical experience at the price of a movie ticket.

audience

92

liked it
Average Rating: 4.4/5
User Ratings: 6,025

My Rating

Movie Info

Hollywood A-list director Mark Pellington (The Mothman Prophecies, Arlington Road) and newcomer Catherine Owens team up to break new cinematic ground by co-helming U2 3D -- the first three-dimensional concert film in movie history. The effort intercuts footage culled from several U2 shows on their 2005-2006 Vertigo tour in Mexico City and Buenos Aires, Argentina, with Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. performing before rapt audiences. The picture opens with several thematically

Jan 1, 2009

$10.4M

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All Critics (92) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (81) | Rotten (7)

Bono should refrain from ramming his preachy political meanderings down our throats and let the music do the talking. Even if some of that music becomes a little stultifying.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The 3-D visuals envelop you, majestically, and that effect fuses with the band's surround-sound rapture to create a full-scale sensory high. U2 3D makes you feel stoned on movies.

January 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The 3-D element is unobtrusively handled, except when it perfectly re-creates the woman who's always perched on her boyfriend's shoulders in front of you at a concert...

January 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The concert itself is spectacularly produced, with Jumbotrons providing backdrop and long, curving runways that allow Bono and other band members to move far out into the crowd.

January 25, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Having these enormous, almost disembodied figures endlessly cascading through space is more distracting than illuminating.

January 24, 2008 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While U2's performance here is tops, you don't feel the press of solidarity, the shared experience that lingers dully in the ears for hours. And you miss it.

January 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

U2 3D is an isle of style and sense in a sea of mediocrity.

February 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Fayetteville Free Weekly
Fayetteville Free Weekly

On the IMAX screen, these Irish rockers really rattle and hum.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

If you are a die hard U2 fan, you will LOVE LOVE LOVE this! A very cool experience!

July 22, 2008 Full Review
Sin Magazine

By the time Bono turns to the camera, reaching out to his audience in a typically theatrical plea for peace, love and understanding, one half expects his outstretched hand to surge through the screen and seize one of your own.

April 9, 2008
San Francisco Examiner

When Bono reaches into the camera and out of the screen, there are few cinematic moments more intimate.

April 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

It is a band apart, both in terms of music and message.

March 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Not better than the real thing, but close.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)

U23D captures the band and the excitement of their live shows in a way that no other medium could. The combination of art and science, technology and emotion, separates U23D from being just a nifty 3D experiment and elevates it to a pop mast

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: TheDivaReview.com
TheDivaReview.com

U2 3D is the perfect synergy of music, technology and magic.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: BrandonFibbs.com
BrandonFibbs.com

Represents what is far and away the most impressive use of 3-D I've ever seen.

February 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

You, too, can be there.

February 24, 2008 Full Review
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

The rock mega-band U2 has made so many concert films that it's hard to get excited about this one.... But the film is a revelation, redefining 3D live-action moviemaking.

February 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

U2 is a great band, but 3-D doesn't make them greater.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Inadvertently, U2 3D mimics perfectly the empty, intimacy-free spectacle that is stadium rock.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

U2 just look like four conceited billionaires who are further up themselves than ever.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK] | Comment (1)
Guardian [UK]

It makes you want to climb on screen and give the big, eco-friendly lug a hug.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Ultimately, U2 3D will infuriate as many as it dazzles - attendance depends on how much Bono-me you can stomach or how grabbed you are by 3D cinema.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

If you already love U2 your conviction will be strengthened. If you hate them, it will confirm your worst fears. Either way, the 3D technology is fantastic.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

It's not for nothing that these guys are the world's finest live act.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for U2 3D

Seeing U2 in IMAX 3D blew my mind. It was like seeing all of the lighting and flashing words (especially in the song "One") in a regular concert, except it all was realistically coming out at you. All the songs here were great (I was even introduced to a few that I'd never heard before), and the performance was beautiful. Therefore, U2 3D is worth seeing in IMAX if it's still there; I don't know if it was released to DVD.
September 18, 2011
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

I do believe this is actually the closest I have ever gotten to having a religious experience. Ever. Never mind the 3D aspect, the amazing shots that these cameras captured were unique for absolutely any concert footage I have ever seen. Amazing. Amazing! I want this on DVD so freaking bad.
June 30, 2010
MeetMeinMontauk
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

As has recently been proved by both the success of Coraline and the relative failure of The Jonas Brothers Concert Experience, 3D usually works best when confined to animation rather than to live performances. Thus U2-3D cannot be seen as a remarkable film. Not only it is largely preaching to the converted - and in particular the recently converted - but the 3D is only immersive in parts, and while the whole experience is not forgettable, it does not make you want to see it again.

The best way to deal with this kind of concert film is to compare it to more traditional concert films, such as Jonathan Demme's Stop Making Sense, the film of Talking Heads' 1983 tour to support the album Speaking In Tongues. Stop Making Sense may not have the eye-popping proximity to the musicians that U2-3D and others provide, but you still feel an immersive part of the experience. In part, this is due to the elaborate conceptual slants taken by Talking Heads (for instance, David Byrne's enormous suit), but mostly it is because Demme's direction takes you right to the heart of the songs. The lack of audience shots or pan shots makes it feel like the band are performing just for you, which is a great feeling.

This film has a very different approach. Instead of making you feel like the band are performing just for you, the large number of crowd shots (in part due to the nature of the stage) makes you feel swamped by anonymous strangers. There are some very good moments, most of them involving Larry Mullen Jr., in which the band are genuinely playing at their best, but you still feel distant in the end.

The emphasis on being part of a huge audience, which is reinforced by the opening scenes of people queuing at the turnstiles, is a double-edge sword for any concert film. When done right, like in the coverage of Live 8 two years earlier, individuals can feel united for a great event despite many thousands of miles of separation. When done wrong, as here, you feel like you're being forced to submit and go with the flow, and it's not all that pleasant a feeling at times. If Stop Making Sense is like a conversation between you and the band, then U2 3D is like a religious ceremony whereby the role of the audience is to worship the band and nothing else (which considering Bono's recent antics is more than a little appropriate).

For all its bad points, U2 3D has a lot of plus points, most notably being the songs themselves. Being culled from some of the greatest albums ever made, of course they're going to be good pop and rock songs, but specific performances, like 'The Fly' and Bono's solo rendition of 'Miss Sarajevo', really stand out, turning what on record are average songs into something which is almost breathtaking. One sad omission is 'City Of Blinding Lights', the best song on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb and whose video sets the tone for this film.

Many people who are U2 fans will never get to see them perform live, and for that reason U2 3D is a worthwhile achievement. It makes a lot more sense to release such a film as opposed to a live album, for the simple reason that since the Zoo TV tour of the 1990s, U2 have steadily become a more visual band. It's a shame that the film itself is unremarkable, but the songs are just enough not to leave you completely cold.
October 16, 2009
Daniel Mumby
Daniel Mumby

Super Reviewer

Magical.
August 5, 2008
emilebond007

Super Reviewer

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