Festival Express - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Festival Express Reviews

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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
September 7, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
August 14, 2007
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Richard Harrington
Washington Post
September 3, 2004
There are sterling concert performances by several bands in peak form.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
September 3, 2004
A delirious piece of pop ephemera, a time capsule set on the cusp between the Summer of Love and the Day the Music Died.
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
September 3, 2004
What's most revealing and human about Festival Express are its candid looks at artists bonding aboard the choo-choo.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Steve Morse
Boston Globe
September 3, 2004
It's the overnight jam sessions that steal the show.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
September 3, 2004
Here's a chance to listen to the soundtrack for the social upheaval of the late '60s and early '70s.
| Original Score: B
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Larry Rodgers
Arizona Republic
September 2, 2004
A treasure for baby-boomer rockers and a miniature history lesson for younger music fans.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Thor Christensen
Dallas Morning News
September 2, 2004
This is the film's most interesting angle: the tension that arises as rabble-rousers fight with cops and rail against the promoters who dared to charge $16 for a daylong concert.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Ted Fry
Seattle Times
August 27, 2004
The musical performances are the heart of the movie and it's a toss-up whether the spontaneous jams captured on the train or the classic acts on stage are more thrilling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Glenn Garvin
Miami Herald
August 27, 2004
A fascinating time capsule of unseen moments from the 1960s, both the musical ... and the sociological as the cream of the musical counterculture comes face to face with its own greedy, bullying fans.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Edward P. Smith
Denver Post
August 27, 2004
The result is satisfying, anchored by wonderful performances, including an aching rendition of Bob Dylan's 'I Shall Be Released' with Manuel singing and Guy's smoking-hot version of 'Money.'
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
August 27, 2004
The musical highlights are many, from The Band working through a rousing 'Slippin' & Slidin'' to Buddy Guy jumping off the stage for a blasting guitar solo in the middle of 'Money.'
| Original Score: B+
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 19, 2004
A fascinating, fly-on- the-wall (or fly-in-the- dining-car) glimpse of some clearly blotto rock legends talking, singing, hanging out.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
August 13, 2004
It is a rough jewel unearthed, and if you care at all about the era, it will shine for you.
| Original Score: B
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
August 13, 2004
Proves less a revelation than a confirmation that these performers -- who are joined on various stops by bluesman Buddy Guy, Ian and Sylvia's post-folkie incarnation as Great Speckled Bird, and others -- were everything they were cracked up to be.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
August 12, 2004
One of the great rock 'n' roll movies, a treasure trove of music and a wildly entertaining chronicle of a vanished time.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
August 12, 2004
It really is [a joyous time capsule].
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 7, 2004
Despite being filmed on ancient Arriflex cameras, and recorded under difficult circumstances, the performances are as good as any you'd hear today, and far better than most other concert films from rock's early days.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
August 5, 2004
A wild, lobe-bending ride.
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Kevin Crust
Los Angeles Times
July 30, 2004
A delicious pop time capsule full of small moments and grand rock 'n' roll gestures.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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John Anderson
Newsday
July 30, 2004
Joplin, showing why her live performances became so legendary, cocktail- shakes her musical ferocity with her touching vulnerability and scorches the orchestra seats with a blast of regurgitated Bessie Smith.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Megan Lehmann
New York Post
July 30, 2004
Its famous passengers celebrate with delirious joy the pure, unadulterated magic of music.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
July 30, 2004
Although their on-board antics are mighty entertaining, it's the extraordinary performances -- including Joplin's historic, heart-rending 'Cry Baby' -- that lift this movie into the cannon of classic festival films.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
July 30, 2004
Pulled out of archives, garages and more than 30 years of legal limbo, about 70 hours of film have been carefully assembled into what amounts to a new rockumentary classic.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Dave Kehr
New York Times
July 29, 2004
Festival Express seems to step directly out its period and is guaranteed to thrill both survivors of those times and younger viewers who may know little of them.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Hazel-Dawn Dumpert
L.A. Weekly
July 28, 2004
By the end of the tour, the booze-and- drug-soaked conveyance has, as one participant puts it, 'achieved liftoff,' and scenes of a final onboard party are both ecstatic and poignant.
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
July 27, 2004
Given the heavy concentration of old folkies, the on-train jams are fascinating.
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Joel Selvin
San Francisco Chronicle
July 23, 2004
Rock's great lost concert film, a backstage pass to the wildest and woolliest ride in the history of the music.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Brad Kava
San Jose Mercury News
July 23, 2004
It sheds new light on psychedelic rock and shows viewers heretofore unseen, career-defining performances by some legends.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Richard James Havis
Hollywood Reporter
April 21, 2004
Should rightfully take its place in rock history as one of the great performance films of all time.