Bird - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bird Reviews

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Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Whitaker sweats, vomits, blows and wails as the Bird (so named for hanging around jazz clubs like a yardbird), laying in some minor-key grace to Parker's self-destruction along the way. But he never lets you into his darkest fears.
Jake Euker
F5 (Wichita, KS)
March 18, 2004
Overlong, and reeking of prestige.
| Original Score: 2/5
Scott Renshaw
Apollo Guide
April 11, 2001
Reduced to the bare bones of people and plot, the film winds up dancing around the edges of questions it doesn't answer -- straight-ahead rhythm coupled with straight-ahead melody, and not quite enough depth to either one.
| Original Score: 65/100
James Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette
July 29, 2002
"a well-produced downer that moves like a funeral procession"
| Original Score: 2/5
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
February 18, 2005
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
Whitaker occupies this world as a large, friendly, sometimes taciturn man who tries to harm nobody and who cannot understand why the world would not let him play his music. Neither can we.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Bob Grimm
Las Vegas Mercury
July 26, 2002
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
October 1, 1988
| Original Score: 3/4
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
January 15, 2005
Eastwood made the switch from Hollywood icon to great world director with his viciously underrated Bird.
Top Critic
Variety Staff
March 26, 2009
Sensitively acted, beautifully planned visually and dynamite musically, this is a dramatic telling of the troubled life of a revolutionary artist.
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
November 13, 2003
| Original Score: 3/5
Jeremy Heilman
January 3, 2004
Eastwood clearly is committed to presenting Bird to his audience with all of his complexities and contradictions intact.
Full Review | Original Score: 71/100
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
June 5, 2008
The greatest strength of Clint Eastwood's bio-pic tribute to jazz saxophone great Charlie 'Bird' Parker, is its dark and haunting mood.
Top Critic
Hal Hinson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Even though, thematically, the movie won't come clear, Eastwood has succeeded so thoroughly in communicating his love of his subject, and there's such vitality in the performances, that we walk out elated, juiced on the actors and the music.
Top Critic
Janet Maslin
New York Times
May 20, 2003
Bird is less moving as a character study than it is as a tribute and as a labor of love. The portrait it offers, though hazy at times, is one Charlie Parker's admirers will recognize.
| Original Score: 3/5
Brad Laidman
Film Threat
December 6, 2005
Eastwood shows a Parker that is haunted by his boyhood addiction, and shows off the innumerable people who loved his talent who were let down by him time and again.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5

TV Guide
July 30, 2003
Whitaker gives a towering performance as the tortured musical genius, and Venora is equally impressive as the independent, compassionate Chan.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic

Time Out
June 24, 2006
At last American cinema has done black music proud. Unforgettable.
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