Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten 2007

Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten

Critics Consensus

Displaying Joe Strummer warts and all, The Future is Unwritten succeeds as both an engrossing documentary and a comprehensive examination of one of music's most legendary figures.

89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 64

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,652

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Movie Info

Julien Temple's film is a fitting tribute to one of Britain's most influential and best-loved musicians, best known as the front man of The Clash, who mellowed in later life into fronting his new band, the Mescaleros. Temple's advantage is that as a chronicler of punk from its earliest days, he could call on his own archive footage as well as that shot by others over the years.

Cast & Crew

Joe Strummer
Steve Jones
Bono
Ben Cole
Cinematographer
Mark Reynolds
Film Editor
Tobias Zaldua
Film Editor
Niven Howie
Film Editor
Jeremy Thomas
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten

Critic Reviews for Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten

All Critics (64) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (57) | Rotten (7)

  • Quote not available.

    November 16, 2011 | Rating: 4/5
  • Quote not available.

    November 16, 2011 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Julien Temple's film is an energizing work of art, a visually striking and inspiring look at a band that never 'sold out' and the leader who saw to it that they didn't.

    June 20, 2008 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • The big unanswerable question is: Do we wish Strummer would have listened to David Lee Roth's advice that "You don't have to take life so seriously, honey"?

    February 3, 2008 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • Miracle of miracles, a valuable portrait of Strummer manages to emerge from the chaos, helped by the film's one consistent thread: tapes of a BBC World Service radio show he hosted in his final years.

    February 1, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Temple, who chronicled the Sex Pistols...offers the full, sometimes bloated, context of Strummer's life through the testimony of his many friends and collaborators.

    February 1, 2008 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten

  • Jul 21, 2009
    I'd have to watch it again to remember why I didn't like it.
    Lesley N Super Reviewer
  • Jan 27, 2009
    This documentary about The Clash?s lead singer debuted at Sundance a couple years ago and then kind of disappeared. I?ve long been a fan of The Clash, in fact I still have a Clash poster up in my bedroom. The problem is that Joe Strummer didn?t really have a wildly interesting life after he left the band, I probably would have preferred a doc that focused on The Clash. That said, this is pretty well made. They assemble all the interview subjects around a campfire, and that give the whole thing a pretty unique and homey feel.
    MJS M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 23, 2008
    The only fault I can find with <I>The Future Is Unwritten</I> is that some of Julien Temple's celebrity interviewees are not particularly insightful, seemingly having been selected purely with a view to marketing his film. However, Temple does an impeccable job of finding a cinematic style to match the urgency of Strummer's music, weaving a dazzling collage -- of stock footage, home movies, film and television excerpts, animations and live performances -- around some excellent interview material. I think those people who bleat about the lack of identifying titles for the talking heads are missing the essential point: to single those people out would be to elevate them above the common (wo)man, which would be the very antithesis of everything Joe Strummer stood for. Temple's decision is absolutely right; in this film, the rich and famous, spurned bandmates, ex-girlfriends and family are communally anonymous! (Many thanks to s.d. for ushering me to my seat!)
    Stephen M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 19, 2008
    the clash is the music of my youth. with that said, i have seen most clash films and have all the band's music through the years. This is the best documentary in that it humanizes joe throughout his youth, 101ers, the clash and its demise, the wilderness years, and true joy with the mescaleros. i still need to view the bonus footage for the complete portrait.
    Stefanie C Super Reviewer

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