Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (16)
| Top Critics (6)
| Fresh (11)
| Rotten (5)
Show 'Em What You're Made Of is the title of a song on their new album, but you also get a sense that they feel liberated in finally showing the world what they're made of through this film.
"Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of" is a film that only fans who are seriously overinvested in that once formidable boy band could love.
Even if "Show 'Em What You're Made Of" doesn't answer McLean's essential question of what men do after life as a boy band, the carefully crafted film is an engaging look at how they got to here.
There's a compelling documentary to be made about the best-selling boy band of all time, but Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of isn't it.
These boy-men have something to say about the fickleness of fate - something they knew more about as young men than any of the cynics who dismissed them for dancing in unison.
Every time the film inches into compelling territory, the band backs away to avoid offending anyone.
Fans will eat this up, though others will wish it delved further into the dark side.
Backstreet Boys document their triumphant 20th-anniversary comeback as a manband with a refreshing absence of vanity.
It doesn't dig deeply beneath the surface, but a lively and personal approach holds the attention. And the guys are still up to the challenge.
Unsurprisingly, memory and mortality take centre stage in this informative, emotionally open documentary from Stephen Kijak.
The result is rather more interesting than you might expect.
Its tale of broken friendships, rickety knees, backstabbing managers and independently funded, acoustic-lead latterday albums should act as a warning to any up-and-coming boyband.
There are a few too many moments that feel staged or where the overly-emotional Kevin or overly-dramatic Nick burst into tears, but there is something insanely interesting at play here as well. Never revealing enough for us to feel like this isn't just a PR-stunt to promote the groups 20th anniversary album and tour, Show 'Em What You're Made Of ultimately touches on the interested audiences nostalgia while at the same time gleaming an existential crisis within the groups aging members. How does one function as a man when they're a member of a boy band? The film doesn't so much try to answer the question that AJ McLean poses at the beginning of the documentary, but instead goes the route of how these guys, clearly knowing their best days are behind them, are forced to embrace that truth while accepting those days were such a whirlwind of obligation that they probably wouldn't choose to go back if they could. The acoustic-laden tracks that litter their new material is expected as these guys are now more mature and mellow, but the more fascinating aspects of the Backstreet Boys story lies in their beginnings with Lou Pearlman and how he gathered the five unknown talents in order to mimic the success of New Kids on the Block due to their massive earnings. The scene where the guys return to Pearlman's mansion (Pearlman is now in jail after being sentenced to 25 years in prison for perpetrating one of the largest and longest-running Ponzi schemes in American history) where they once rehearsed and partied is both unsettling and cautious in a way that hints there is more to the story that's not being told. Despite coming up short so as to stay safe in these territories that might otherwise prove controversial, Show 'Em What You're Made Of is nothing short of an eye-opener both for its subjects and those in the audience aspiring to such fame and affection.
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