Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten Reviews

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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 16, 2011
| Original Score: 4/5
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
November 16, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 5, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
June 20, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
February 3, 2008
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"?
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
February 1, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
February 1, 2008
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.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
January 4, 2008
A beautiful, evocative collage composed of concert footage, photographs, interviews and film clips, as well as interviews with people who knew him, the film is a rigorously thorough biography and an impassioned accolade.
| Original Score: 4/5
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
January 4, 2008
Temple has plenty of cinematic tricks and willing interview subjects.
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V.A. Musetto
New York Post
January 4, 2008
Compelling viewing, even for people who don't care a bit for the punk scene.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 14, 2007
Future is overlong and will best be enjoyed and understood by fans, but even newcomers will appreciate the essential drive of the man, who died of a sudden heart attack in 2002, and admire his ability to balance anger and ecstasy.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 14, 2007
The story illustrates how easily political art can be hijacked by the other side, and it illuminates the anguish of a man who spent the last 20 years of his life wrestling with his legacy.
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Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
November 9, 2007
Temple's film offers a rich, detailed portrait of a commanding but idealistic Strummer against the backdrop of the do-it-yourself punk ethos of the late '70s.
| Original Score: 4/4
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Joel Selvin
San Francisco Chronicle
November 9, 2007
The Future Is Written is a loving testimonial to one of rock's true originals.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Dan DeLuca
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 9, 2007
Julian Temple has done cinematic justice to the punk humanist born John Graham Mellor.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 9, 2007
Suffused with clear-eyed affection for its subject and times, this is not your little brother's punk documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Greg Kot
Chicago Tribune
November 8, 2007
The singer's life is compressed into a two-hour montage of interviews, vintage video snippets and artsy filigree in Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
November 8, 2007
Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten is one artist's moving tribute to another: director Julien Temple's poetic evocation of the life of punk's greatest troubadour.
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
November 4, 2007
Leaves behind a surprising afterglow and allows you to appreciate Joe Strummer's warmth.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
November 2, 2007
[Director Temple's] documentary can be quite clear-eyed, especially when exploring Strummer's lesser-known years before and after The Clash. As Strummer attempts to define and redefine himself, he seems human but still heroic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
November 2, 2007
The movie fascinates not so much because of Strummer, whose brooding temperament and flash-and-burn career arc seems pretty routine by rock standards, but because of the way Temple organized and edited the film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Noel Murray
AV Club
November 1, 2007
The Future Is Unwritten is as overstuffed as Sandinista!, but it races ahead like 'White Riot.'
| Original Score: B+
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Jim Ridley
Village Voice
November 1, 2007
The Future Is Unwritten is less a eulogy than a wake, and one in which the subject is startlingly present.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
October 31, 2007
The Future Is Unwritten captures the Joe Strummer who, in the late 1970s, just about firebombed the rock establishment with his fury.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Charles Taylor
L.A. Weekly
June 21, 2007
Temple succeeds beautifully in evoking Strummer as a cross between a punk journeyman and one of the battered, upright gunmen who populate Sam Peckinpah's films.
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
January 24, 2007
Celebrates Strummer's fecundity and self-invention and honors his reticence and private despair, reminding us along the way what a contradictory and amazing affair a single human life is.
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Robert Koehler
Variety
January 22, 2007
The late punk rock legend Joe Strummer is rendered fully human in Julian Temple's engrossing and all-encompassing portrait.
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Sura Wood
Hollywood Reporter
January 22, 2007
A rock documentary that's a good as it gets.