Benjamin H. Smith

Benjamin H. Smith
Benjamin H. Smith's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Decider
Publications: Decider

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
90% Maria By Callas (2018) Maria By Callas has much to recommend it, whether or not you're a fan of opera or know who Maria Callas was. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
92% Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him)? (2010) Informative and entertaining, filled with hilarious stories and illuminating anecdotes which help you understand why he was so universally adored, despite the glaring flaws in his character. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
No Score Yet ReMastered: Massacre at the Stadium - A Victor Jara Story (2018) Crafts a gripping narrative of Chile's 1973 military coup d'état and the murder of Chilean folk singer and political activist Víctor Jara. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2019
No Score Yet Jeff Beck: Still on the Run (2018) Jeff Beck: Still On The Run is a fine enough biographical documentary of the guitarist, but doesn't fully capture or explain his greatness beyond a bunch of talking heads telling you he's great. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
91% Nico, 1988 (2018) Nico, 1988 plays like the impressionistic indie feature you might expect it to be, given its esoteric subject matter, but its multi-faceted and realistic portrayal of the singer holds your attention. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2019
100% The Kids Are Alright (1979) Despite its shortcomings, its ramshackle portrait of the band captures their combustible spirit and frequently shows The Who at their very best. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2018
No Score Yet Descent Into The Maelstrom (2017) For fans of Radio Birdman, Descent Into The Maelstrom delivers on all counts, and its skillful portrait of the band will appeal to any music fan looking for a new documentary to watch. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018
77% The Song Remains The Same (1976) While the performances are often sloppy and haggard, there are moments when the band's formidable talents shine through like a beacon in the fog. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2018
100% If I Leave Here Tomorrow: A Film About Lynyrd Skynyrd (2018) In just over an hour and half, Lynyrd Skynyrd: If I Leave Here Tomorrow packs in enough history, interviews and live footage to rival Shelby Foote's three-volume history of the Civil War. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 26, 2018
No Score Yet ReMastered: Tricky Dick & The Man in Black (2018) Looks great and is fun to watch, but plays fast and loose with the facts in order to present its version of events. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
No Score Yet ReMastered: Who Shot the Sheriff (2018) While "Who Shot The Sheriff?" is professionally produced and engaging to watch, it falls short as actual investigative journalism. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2018
No Score Yet Steven Tyler: Out on a Limb (2018) Tyler may be flaky, impulsive, sappy and eccentric, but there's no doubt he's 100% genuine, and 100% about the music, a message the film convincingly hammers home. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
94% Searching for Sugar Man (2012) It is the model of the modern music documentary, which shines a well-deserved light on obscure artists or periods of their lives, and presents it in a way that appeals to broader audiences than mere music obsessives. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2018
81% Quincy (2018) Quincy is lovingly put together and recounts one of the most distinguished and interesting careers in American entertainment. However, it's almost too much to fit into a single movie. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2018
No Score Yet Colin Hay: Waiting for My Real Life (2015) Hay is immensely likeable, and Colin Hay: Waiting For My Real Life skillfully tells his story. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2018
No Score Yet The Grateful Dead (1977) Like the band itself, it ultimately succeeds on its own terms, creating an intriguing document of a Grateful Dead show in 1974. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2018
70% Here to be Heard: The Story of The Slits (2017) Lovingly done and holds your attention the whole way through. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2018
No Score Yet Black Sabbath: The End Of The End (2017) A compelling document of heavy metal's lions in winter. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2018
97% Yellow Submarine (1968) Whether the film is a contract filling cartoon cash-in or a masterfully animated psychedelic timepiece is a hard nut to crack. In the end, I think it's actually a bit of both, but that won't stop me from watching it again. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2018
91% Tokyo Idols (2017) Tokyo Idols is a fascinating and well-made look into a world where teenage girls seek fame and fortune and men get first-hand access to the women of their dreams, and the problematic sexual politics that follow. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2018
98% Beware Of Mr. Baker (2012) ...essential viewing for classic rock fans and anyone who loves a good rogue of questionable moral character, undeniable talent and a road case full of excellent stories. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2018
No Score Yet New Wave: Dare to Be Different (2017) ... suffers from clumsy editing, a wandering narrative, and at times seems unsure whether it's a documentary about the station or the music played on it. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2018
75% Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary (2017) ... does an adequate job telling Coltrane's life story, successfully using animation to embellish its narrative, it ultimately can't live up to its subject's stature as an artist, nor fully convey the magnitude of his musical contributions ... - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2018
70% A Very Murray Christmas (2015) 2015's Netflix one-off A Very Murray Christmas seems half-finished, like a good fruitcake recipe that could have used another 20 minutes in the oven. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2018
50% Hired Gun (2017) Like the musician whose technique overshadows their expressiveness, there's simply too much going on, even if a lot of it is good. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2018
100% 808 (2015) 808 is consistently interesting, informative and fun. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2018
88% David Bowie: The Last Five Years (2017) By the end you come away thinking that despite his much ballyhooed different personas, Bowie was in fact one of music's most transparent personalities, the different masks being just different facets of who he really was. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2018
89% May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers (2017) Though it relies on all the typical clichés, in the end it convincingly portrays the band as real people, who care about each other and draw strength from the bonds of friendship and family. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2018
69% Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars (2017) ... Eric Clapton: Life In 12 Bars is a laborious viewing experiance, its glacial pace heightened by the film's over-reliance on still photography. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2018
No Score Yet Wu: The Story of the Wu Tang Clan (2008) ... in its own ramshackle way, it is a far more authentic representation of the Wu-Tang Clan than anything HBO might get a big name Hollywood director to produce. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2018
80% Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story (2017) Rock n' roll is a dirty game, and the plight of Mick Ronson is just one of many hard luck stories to befall talented musicians over the years. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2018
100% Trouble No More (2017) ... an interesting snapshot of the artist at a pivotal point in his life, not content to rest on his laurels, but still looking for a new avenues of inspiration. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2018
100% Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me (2014) Minutes into the film it is obvious this is going to be a rough emotional ride. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2018
No Score Yet Elvis '56 (1987) Elvis Presley defined our very idea of rock n' roll; not just how it sounded, but how it looked and what it was about, its attitude and its sense of self. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2018
98% Sound City (2013) Sound City is filled with the kind of stories that make music nerds weak in the knees. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2018
89% Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten (2007) ... effectively paints a three dimensional portrait of Strummer, unafraid to confront his philosophical contradictions, though neither dwelling on his flaws, and showing how by finding his humanity, he ultimately lived up to the ideals he espoused. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2018
86% Sign o' the Times (1987) ... a sad reminder of how much music lost when Prince Rogers Nelson took the ladder to the big erotic city up in the sky. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2018
86% George Harrison: Living In The Material World (2011) George Harrison: Living in the Material World covers every twist and turn in Harrison's 58 years on this Earth. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2018
40% Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) It's a better movie than it gets credit for and carries all the hallmarks of a classic '80s sc-fi horror thriller. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2018
86% Last Days Here (2012) ...well-made and interesting music documentary about an important and influential band, it is even more impressive as a first hand account of the ravages of drug addiction. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2018
61% When You're Strange (2010) ...it lazily recycles all the same tired myths about Jim Morrison being "like an ancient shaman," and "A rock and roll poet, dangerous and highly intelligent," that we've been reading in solipsistic '60s holdovers like Rolling Stone for the last 50 years. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2018
80% It Might Get Loud (2009) ...tries to find the common chord that ties together guitarists of different genres and generations but quickly goes flat and is ultimately a discordant mess. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2018
No Score Yet Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago (2015) While at times funny, informative and engaging, the film has the curious problem of being at once too long and not being thorough enough. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2018
No Score Yet The Last Play at Shea (2010) It's cheap, gushy and sentimental, but it works. Kind of reminds me of a Billy Joel song. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2017
No Score Yet To Be Frank: Sinatra at 100 (2015) At just under an hour and half, the documentary never lost my attention or had me checking how much time was left, and perhaps most importantly, it left me wanting to know more about Sinatra's music, films and history. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2017
90% Miss Sharon Jones! (2016) It is bravely unsentimental and avoids cheap clichés about the triumph of the will and all good things happen to those who deserve it. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2017
100% Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown (2014) While the 2014 documentary Mr. Dynamite: the Rise Of James Brown claims to explore Brown's beginnings in its title, it actually goes much further. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2017
64% George Michael: Freedom (2017) The end result is a documentary about Michael's life which seems hurried and incomplete. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2017
No Score Yet Foo Fighters: Back and Forth (2011) Unfortunately... Foo Fighters: Back And Forth settles into a rather mundane laundry list-like recounting of each album's creation and the band's achievements. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2017
No Score Yet Bowie: The Man Who Changed the World (2016) Bowie: The Man Who Changed The World, which came out within 4 months of his passing in January 2016, feels opportunistic and hastily assembled, cribbed together from archival footage and interviews with B-list acquaintances. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2017