Joel Selvin

Joel Selvin
Joel Selvin's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): San Francisco Chronicle
Publications: San Francisco Chronicle

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/4 88% Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) None of the procession of associates and other commentators make the case for her greatness better than Ronstadt herself, captured in vintage clip after vintage clip, singing the hell out of everything she does. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2019
4/4 94% Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) It's a film that Miles himself would recognize - truthful, gritty, elegantly musical, unpredictable and even surprising - the kind of complex yet elegiac tribute a man as relentlessly real as Miles Davis deserves. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2019
3/4 95% Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes (2018) The film burbles with an endless stream of beautiful jazz and the stark, penetrating session photographs by Blue Note principal Wolff brilliantly illuminate the visuals. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2019
4/4 92% David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019) The glint in his eyes may have dimmed, but he is a resolute fighter, ready for his next bout. He can muster considerable charm and sing like a bird. In the end, that is what always got him by and why this film is as engaging and seductive as Crosby... - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2019
3/4 67% The Quiet One (2019) A banquet for Stones aficionados, an insider's scrapbook of memories and glimpses of an illustrious history that Wyman, without his vast collection, would be little more than a footnote to. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2019
4/4 92% Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story By Martin Scorsese (2019) A glorious and slightly miraculous resurrection of a transcendent enterprise that would have otherwise passed into the mists of time. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
2/4 85% Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation (2019) Goodman never lets the music breathe, even slapping narration over Hendrix's masterful version of the national anthem, one of the great political statements in rock history. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
3/4 86% George Harrison: Living In The Material World (2011) A convoluted mass of contradictory characteristics, with a little Vaseline on the lens to blur some of the less comfortably explained pieces of the story. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2012
3/4 87% Scott Walker: 30 Century Man (2006) Director Stephen Kijak not only got a composed, almost warm interview out of Walker, but he filmed some of the sessions for Walker's latest adventuresome recording project. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2009
3/4 100% Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer (2007) A gentle, swinging film that pieces together her extraordinary life story from vintage performance clips and various interviews done over the years. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2008
2.5/4 18% Chapter 27 (2007) The film is impressively mounted and Schaefer has made a directorial debut of distinction, but it is an uncomfortable ride from the opening scenes of Chapman arriving in New York to the inevitable, inexorable final scene. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2008
4/4 86% Shine a Light (2008) He brings all his skills as a filmmaker to the film, but Scorsese did not achieve the monumental dimensions of his movie from cinematic savoir faire. Shine a Light is huge because the Stones are giants. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2008
2/4 92% U2 3D (2007) Having these enormous, almost disembodied figures endlessly cascading through space is more distracting than illuminating. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2008
1.5/4 74% Kurt Cobain: About a Son (2007) The ending section, where Schnack and Azerrad let Cobain ramble philosophically about life and music, is a muddled intellectual mess. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2007
3/4 89% Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten (2007) The Future Is Written is a loving testimonial to one of rock's true originals. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2007
4/4 95% Pete Seeger: The Power of Song (2007) The filmmakers treat this aged curmudgeon almost too reverently, but it is hard not to be awed by this gentle, resolute soul because of the ideas he steadfastly and faithfully represented. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2007
3/4 72% Glastonbury (2007) A warm and witty, detailed look at this parallel universe. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2007
4/4 89% Dixie Chicks - Shut Up and Sing (2006) [Natalie Maines] makes it clear in this astonishingly candid, intimate film that she doesn't think she has anything to apologize for. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2006
3/4 69% Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man (2006) In the end, it's Cohen's songs that are what this loving musical portrait is all about. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2006
4/4 89% The Devil and Daniel Johnston (2006) Whether Johnston is a genius or a wonderful anomaly remains to be seen, but director Jeff Feuerzeig has stitched together a detailed portrait of the artist's life and music that is never less than compelling. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2006
1/4 15% Stoned (2005) Almost so bad it's good. Almost. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2006
2/4 90% Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006) Another snapshot of his fabled career that's of little interest to anyone outside his many fans. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2006
3/4 94% Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt (2005) A documentary that in its spirit and feel catches some of the vulnerability and naive optimism of its subject, Van Zandt. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2006
3/4 93% Make It Funky (2005) The brilliant colors, the vibrant flavors and sultry, seductive rhythms of New Orleans music serve to remind us how unique, beautiful and valuable the city and its heritage are to all of us in this country. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2005
1/4 38% The Great Raid (2005) The story line is telegraphed from word one and the meticulous unfolding plot plods ahead inexorably without the slightest bit of suspense. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2005
3/4 87% Lightning in a Bottle (2004) Any movie with Ruth Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples and Aaron Neville (with his brothers) for openers can't be all bad. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2004
3/4 No Score Yet Grateful Dead Movie (1974) Even for Deadheads who have watched the movie more times than was probably healthy, the new high-definition video digital transfer will still yield revelations. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2004
4/4 89% Dig! (2004) Filmmaker Ondi Timoner followed the entangled rise of these two bands from the Pacific Northwest with an obsessive compulsive's eye for detail. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2004
4/4 90% Tom Dowd and the Language of Music (2004) A fitting epitaph for a giant few people outside the industry knew but whose work everybody heard. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2004
4/4 96% Festival Express (2003) Rock's great lost concert film, a backstage pass to the wildest and woolliest ride in the history of the music. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2004
3/4 88% MC5: A True Testimonial (2002) The film is a touching, detailed portrait of an important and often overlooked band. - San Francisco Chronicle EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2004