Lightning in a Bottle - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lightning in a Bottle Reviews

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Anthony Del Valle
Las Vegas Mercury
December 2, 2004
The lack of history in this sometimes musically breathtaking film is disappointing and perplexing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
George Varga
San Diego Union-Tribune
November 29, 2004
Lightning in a Bottle's magical concert performances make it a must-see movie for all who crave vibrant music, impassioned vocals and biting instrumental solos that jab and slice with surgical precision.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
November 19, 2004
If the movie seems at times a little thin in its chronology and scholarship, it more than makes up for that in the quality of performances that ranges from the cool fire of Angelique Kidjo to the hot smoke of B.B. King.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Joel Selvin
San Francisco Chronicle
November 19, 2004
Any movie with Ruth Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples and Aaron Neville (with his brothers) for openers can't be all bad.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Jane Stevenson
Jam! Movies
November 19, 2004
There is some serious 'lightning' during the performances and story telling by the blues elders, not to mention the new worthy crop.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
November 19, 2004
Comes alive with the more relaxed performances from its senior set -- men and women in their late sixties through to their late eighties -- performing the music they've lived and breathed their whole lives.
| Original Score: 3/4
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
November 18, 2004
Though many of the performers aren't, or arguably aren't, blues artists (but rather soul, R and B, or even folk artists)...a cheap seat for a fun-filled, big-ticket event.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
November 18, 2004
The massive stage at Radio City Music Hall doesn't lend itself easily to the intimate particulars of the blues.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle
November 14, 2004
This is the sort of concert film made for high-end home theatre experiences.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
November 5, 2004
It's hugely entertaining.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Paul Sherman
Boston Herald
November 5, 2004
If you're making a concert movie and Ruth Brown, Solomon Burke and Mavis Staples are on your stage, it's hard to go wrong.
| Original Score: 3/4
Bob Strauss
Los Angeles Daily News
November 5, 2004
Often seems like an overproduced variety show -- albeit one that can't help but burst its show-bizzy bonds into roaring paroxysms of pure musical emotion.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
November 5, 2004
With nearly every song being a classic, this would be a soundtrack for the ages. Blues aficionados won't want to miss this one.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
November 4, 2004
If you ever loved this kind of music, Lightning will bring the reasons back. If you haven't, you'll likely wonder where this has been all your life.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
November 4, 2004
An aptly named blast from the past that manages to sizzle in the present.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Ernest Hardy
L.A. Weekly
November 4, 2004
Performances by Mavis Staples, Son House, Solomon Burke, Odetta, B.B. King, Keb Mo, Natalie Cole et al. sear right through the careful packaging to lay bare the core of the music.
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
November 4, 2004
Entertaining, exalting educational, uplifting -- and a total blast.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Tony Medley
tonymedley.com
October 31, 2004
I admit that I'm not a fan. But if you are a fan, this is the movie for you. It's 106 minutes of Blues sung by just about every living great extant.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Top Critic
Misha Berson
Seattle Times
October 29, 2004
The best thing about this film of an all-star 2003 Radio City Music Hall concert is, perhaps predictably, the still-sizzling power of elder statesmen and stateswomen of the blues.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Bill White
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
October 28, 2004
Despite some iffy moments, Lighting is the closest one to get to the music from which, as Hubert Sumlin notes, 'there is no retiring. You stay with it until the end.'
Full Review | Original Score: B
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