Madonna: Truth or Dare - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Madonna: Truth or Dare Reviews

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September 16, 2015
Bitch, she is Madonna!
½ August 29, 2015
Unlike so many similar concert docs that came after it, 'Truth or Dare' doesn't feel like a propaganda machine trying to raise its star to hero status. In fact, there are many moments where Madonna allows herself to appear in a, shall we say, less-than-flattering light (or others do it for her, like Beatty, for example), and even appears caught off guard at times (her uncomfortable interaction with her childhood friend comes to mind). She's clearly not trying to sell herself as a humble, down-to-earth superstar - which seems to be the running theme in so many popstar documentaries nowadays - and instead opts to just be an engaging persona (and boy, is she).
Watching it back after all these years, this film feels like a much-needed respite from the polished and utterly benign stuff you'd find in that One Direction or Katy Perry movie, and instead attempts to tell a fascinating - if not always sincere - story. It's refreshingly honest when it needs to be, and though it has its fair share of pretension (could you expect anything less from Madonna?) and clearly manufactured moments, it's a bold and thoroughly entertaining ride.
By the end, we still have no idea who Madonna really is, but the film never claims to tell us (as someone says in the film, "Madonna is hard to reach"), nor is it really that important. What we have instead is an entertaining, and sometimes shocking, glimpse into a world few will ever experience first hand. In true Madonna fashion, it's crazy, fearless and just plain raunchy fun.
July 18, 2015
I forgot how much I love Madonna
May 30, 2015
I don't know shit about Madonna. I know that the media has a fixation on her aging (how dare she have a wrinkle at 57-years-old?), that she almost died at this year's Brit Awards while performing "Living for Love", that she sliced censors in half during her controversial 1994 interview with David Letterman, that Robert Christgau thinks she's a pop genius, that the gays love her, that she's, all right, clinging to her youth. But still, I hardly know anything about Madonna. Maybe I could barely sing the chorus to "Holiday", but that's all. I'd recognize her if she were to walk down my street. I saw her in "Dick Tracy" once. She was pretty good in that.
I suppose I was expecting a sort of "Vogue" tinged romanticism, painting Madonna as a pop figure still untouchable, like how "Ready to Wear" made the fashion world funny, nowhere near realistic, but was all the better for it. For all the cultural bullshit that misunderstands her, "Truth or Dare" dares you to hate and love the pop superstar at the same time, wanting you to scoff at her need to be the STAR of every moment, wanting you to appreciate her relentless work ethic, her need to be an entertainer at the top of their game. And like all good documentaries (and why this one is so damn good), the film is riveting for everyone, outsiders and insiders alike. I wasn't a Madonna fan before the documentary nor will I be afterward, but as a rock documentary, "Truth or Dare" stands as one of the finest.
Recording the entirety of her 1990 Blond Ambition tour, the film is essentially an inside-look into what a day, a night, a week, a month, a year, looks like for Madonna. (Or maybe it just seems that way: a master of camera manipulation, she may just as well be putting on a show.) Photographed in grainy black-and-white, save for the colored (and obligatory) stage performances, "Truth or Dare" is more warty than glamorized, emphasizing her vulnerabilities, need to be the center of attention, and her wicked sense of humor (she seems to laugh more when people are having a hard time than when everyone is having a ball).
I couldn't care less about the complicated choreographic sets that circle around renditions of "Like a Virgin", "Express Yourself", "Holiday", among others; what makes "Truth or Dare" engaging is its frank candidness. Behind the scenes, Madonna notices that the majority of her young dancers are insecure and need mothering; strange, she remarks, how she likes to be a matriarch, to give her stage family someone to confide in. We catch glimpses of her short relationship with "Dick Tracy" co-star Warren Beatty, who scoffs at the fact that real-life doesn't seem to matter to her unless it is captured on camera. Cameos abound, featuring pop-ups from Pedro Almodóvar, Kevin Costner, Antonio Banderas, and Al Pacino. But there are three truly great scenes in the film, where Madonna doesn't seem to be putting on a show, where she doesn't seem to be trying to make herself look a certain way for the cameras.
Best is her reaction to Kevin Costner, who comes backstage for one show and describes the production as neat; disgusted, she gags, remarking "Anybody who says my show is 'neat' has to go." Later, an old friend (pre-fame old) meets Madonna in the hallway of her hotel, asking her to be the godmother to her soon-to-be born child. Though it is clear that the women were close back in the day, Madonna blows her off; she doesn't want to be a mother any time soon, and she doesn't have time to waste time with non-celebrities from the past. And in one of the closing scenes, she infamously models what a blow job from Madonna would look like on a glass bottle. Minutes later, she describes her true love as Sean Penn, heartbroken, regretful.
Fakery of course comes around - the scene where she visits her mother's grave doesn't feel all too sincere, rather the documentarian's hope to make appear feel bare-bones hopeless - but "Truth or Dare", ultimately, is a winning documentary that makes the once chart-dominating pop-star more fascinating, and timeless, than ever.
April 1, 2015
Not a Madonna fan by any means but this behind the scenes doc was interesting.
March 13, 2015
An inspiration to anyone and everyone. I don't even care if you like her music!
August 26, 2014
Great documentary about a real, honest and profound artist
July 28, 2014
This is a fantastic movie!!!!! This is such a staple in pop culture it was what begun filming at concert, what became documentaries. "Never Say Never", "Part of Me" and her own "I'm Going To Tell You A Secret" were all thanks to this movie. This movie captures a superstars life for an average person to watch, and will help you see that superstars are human too. The music with it is just a bonus, you can hear the hits which just keeps you so entertained.
May 25, 2014
A living legend early in her days....
May 4, 2014
One of the greatest music documentaries of the 90s.
February 27, 2014
I remember being mesmerized as a kid. It gave me permission to feel different and it was ok.
August 18, 2013
[2013-8-18 MGM Channel]
½ July 17, 2013
Narcissistic but gives a clear view of Madonna. Sometimes feels contrived and manipulated, but hey, it's Madonna, so what else is new?
May 5, 2013
It was well done, I guess, but I don't really like Madonna that much.
December 7, 2012
Could be worth watching. Will find and devour with my eyes!
December 4, 2012
raw & very funny. seeing the worlds most successful female recording artist at one of her many peaks of fame. the concert footage is simply stunning
½ October 3, 2012
Always good to know...
October 2, 2012
Truly a pioneering film in the genre. It proved that Madonna knows her strengths and weaknesses. her market, her talents and exactly how to pinpoint what to do. Perfectly timed, well shot, beautifully edited and aptly titled in the UK 'In Bed with Madonna', the film is unapologetic and at times crass, but always with the sense of class Madonna seems to approach each and every crass topic. Rude, crude and beautiful, at times fun and more often than not more serious than you would imagine, it looks at both the indulgence as well as the hard work behind the scenes. All in all, it proved that no matter what you think of Madonna, she is an exceptionally motivated and hard worker, who will do anything to express herself and succeed, and thoroughly deserves everything she has. The director could have, specially considering the early stages of the genre when the film was released, very easily painted a 'pretty' picture to sell, sell, sell - but he chose (alongside the protagonist) to be honest. Brutally honest. This sold even more, proving that the current fixation on a fake marketing package on screen (ala Katy Perry) is not actually necessary - if the protagonist has talent and is actually interesting, the honesty will win the crowds over two-fold. Brilliant. If you're a fan, not seeing this is utter sacrilege. If you're not a fan, forget that it's Madonna and focus on how it possess' both depth and beauty in one package.
September 17, 2012
Madonna fans (there are quite a few), get ready to learn about the many sides of her you have not seen. In Truth or Dare, we get to go behind the scenes of her 1990 Blonde Ambition tour to see what goes on behind stage. Though revolting at times (this is Madonna, keep in mind), the provocative footage leads for an interesting character study centering on one of the most famous female entertainers in pop culture history. Though not recommended for all movie buffs, even those not interested in Madonna may find this documentary fascinating, nevertheless.
Filmed mostly in black and white (except colorized for the musical segments), Madonna's die hard fans should be overjoyed to get to know the person she is while not recording or performing. Considering how far she has taken her career, many surely are curious as to how she has done it all. Many viewers may see most of her lusty and somewhat obnoxious behavior as off-putting; though she does occasionally go deep with her discussions and dialogues, showcasing her alter ego. Whether someone would want to learn this or not may depend upon their tolerance for Madonna's excessive obscenity and fascination with the male sex organ.
The film certainly covers a lot as her tour covers 27 cities worldwide and sold out nearly every show. Not all of it seems necessary and makes the last half of the film longer than necessary (especially a never-ending gay pride scene), but the concept still remains fascinating and gives us a chance to know Madonna as more than strictly an entertainer. One may want to pay particular attention to footage of Oliver Crumes Jr., Kevin Alexander Stea and Gabriel Trupin (three of Madonna's male dancers) as they later filed a lawsuit for invasion of privacy, fraud and deceit and intentional misrepresentation. Released theatrically as Truth or Dare but changed to Madonna: Truth or Dare for video release.
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