Cadillac Records - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cadillac Records Reviews

November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
February 20, 2009
Perhaps there were insurmountable legal restrictions. But the movie still serves as a dandy primer for rediscovering a lot of great music.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
February 20, 2009
Anyone who likes pop music or wonders how bands like the Rolling Stones got rolling will enjoy the ride.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
February 19, 2009
In story terms, its cavalcade of melodrama and conflict isn't always persuasive, but writer-director Darnell Martin's respect for the music shines through.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
December 8, 2008
I think music fans will enjoy this.
December 8, 2008
There is not one authentic moment of human discourse in the whole movie.
December 8, 2008
The film suffers at times from biopic-itis -- the narrative unfolds with the requisite heartbreak carefully apportioned -- but it's always eye-catching.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
December 5, 2008
Cadillac Records may be a mess dramatically, but it's a wonderful mess, and not just because of the great music.
December 5, 2008
While the story could use a tighter focus, the ensemble is strong and the music makes Cadillac Records worth catching.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 5, 2008
One of the strengths of Cadillac Records, written and directed by Darnell Martin, is that it's a movie about music by someone who genuinely seems to enjoy listening to music.
December 5, 2008
Any of these musicians deserves a Walk the Line or Coal Miner's Daughter-type biopic of their own; perhaps this flawed but enjoyable movie is the first step toward that.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 5, 2008
A good general rule is that if one performance is good, credit the actor. But if everyone in the movie is doing excellent work, this is no coincidence. This is the product of superior direction.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 5, 2008
Martin, who also wrote the script, takes liberties with the Chess story, most notably dispensing altogether with Phil Chess. But "Cadillac Records" is such an exhilarating, spirited piece of work that its embellishments and omissions cease to matter.
December 5, 2008
Too bad for Knowles that she's only part of Darnell Martin's rushed mess of a movie that jams the story of Chicago-based Chess Records into one incoherent package.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 5, 2008
Cadillac Records exists mainly as a holiday throw-away for those with a deep and abiding love for the kind of music it showcases.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 5, 2008
As drama, Cadillac is adequate. As a jukebox musical, it soars.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 5, 2008
It's a movie that's, mostly, a soundtrack. But, good lord, still. What a soundtrack.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 5, 2008
Most of the actors perform wonderful re-creations of the original song that give Cadillac Records entertainment value well beyond the hackneyed story lines.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 5, 2008
You see all the major landmarks, but how enlightening can a road trip be if you never even get off the highway?
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
December 5, 2008
Martin could have made a much more compelling film by focusing on just a few characters instead of trying to deconstruct an entire record label.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 5, 2008
Etta's story will be better told in another film, surely.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 5, 2008
The electrifying music helps camouflage the screenplay's hyperbole.
December 5, 2008
Fifty years on, we're still living with the aftershocks of what Muddy and Wolf invented and the Chess brothers midwived, but it's in the air and not yet on the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 5, 2008
Full Review | Original Score: B
December 5, 2008
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 4, 2008
It feels disappointingly bloated and too fast-paced by half.
December 4, 2008
Cadillac Records is a rollicking and insightful celebration of Chicago blues in its hectic golden age.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
December 4, 2008
Adopting the once-over-the-most-famous-moments-lightly approach favored by the sort of movies and retrospectives that VH1 Classic airs on a loop, Cadillac Records plays more like a collection of costumed episodes than a cohesive film.
Read More | Original Score: C-
December 4, 2008
Just as in real life, no matter what else is going on in these musicians' lives, the music temporarily makes everything much better.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 4, 2008
The cast all looks and sings the part -- and Knowles sure fills out James' tight dresses -- just make sure your theater popcorn is coated with grains of salt.
Full Review | Original Score: C
December 4, 2008
Fast, crisp and lively, the film packs a half-dozen stories into two hours with little time for melodrama or sermonizing. The dialogue is quick and sharp; short scenes make powerful points.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 4, 2008
Any student of rock history would have to be concerned that Hollywood might have only one chance to get this right. Cadillac Records doesn't manage that, but with this cast doing its own singing, and history this rich, it's close enough for rock 'n' roll.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
December 4, 2008
In watching this film, it's best not to worry much about the film's fidelity to history but rather simply lean back and enjoy one great jam session on film.
December 4, 2008
Darnell Martin races through the script's bullet points with a brisk superficiality that leaves crucial plot points underdeveloped and unresolved, and refuses to engage the dark side of Leonard Chess' paternalism.
December 4, 2008
The film is a fascinating record of the evolution of a black musical style, and the tangled motives of the white men who had an instinct for it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 4, 2008
The music is, of course, great. But the real strength of Cadillac Records is found in the stories behind it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
December 3, 2008
Cadillac Records lacks a center, yet it's an enjoyable ramble, with a feel for what made the early days of rock as wild as any that followed.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
December 3, 2008
The result feels even more cursory and rushed than the average music biopic, a genre that's already difficult to depict without lapsing into self-parody.
December 2, 2008
There doesn't seem to be a single fact contained within writer-director Darnell Martin's ham-fisted fiction, which renders pre-rock musical history as yet another downer soap opera.
December 1, 2008
The ensemble is stupendous -- howlingly great -- and the music goes deep.
November 26, 2008
Approaching the blues with the enthusiasm of an overcaffeinated brass band, helmer Darnell Martin nonetheless makes some kind of music with the percolating '50s biopic Cadillac Records.