Michael Jackson's This Is It - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Michael Jackson's This Is It Reviews

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A.O. Scott
At the Movies
November 2, 2009
The Michael Jackson we see here is not a self-styled Messiah or a tabloid oddity. He is, instead, what he always was underneath it all: a talented musician, a brilliant dancer, and one of the most gifted entertainers of his time.
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Mario Tarradell
Dallas Morning News
October 30, 2009
It's purpose isn't to reinvent Jackson, but to recapture some of the creative magic that made the kid from Indiana a worldwide musical ambassador.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
October 30, 2009
It's an expertly packaged -- brilliantly packaged, considering how quickly the job was done -- phantasmagoria that emphasizes, quite convincingly, the energy that Michael could still draw from whatever was fueling his wraith-thin body.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 30, 2009
Michael Jackson's perfectionism fails him in This Is It, and we're all the better for it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Charlie McCollum
San Jose Mercury News
October 29, 2009
Perhaps the best way to approach it -- at least for those who are not total Jackson fans -- is to view it as an often-fascinating document on how the sausage (or magic, if you will) is made for a mega-concert tour.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kevin C. Johnson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 29, 2009
It's a fitting celebration of a controversial man's last days, packaged prettily with a bow on top.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Glenn Gamboa
Newsday
October 29, 2009
In This Is It, Michael Jackson is once again The Thriller, the biggest pop star the world has ever known.
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Randall Roberts
L.A. Weekly
October 29, 2009
The problem is that Ortega offers only the public Michael. We witness him through the eyes of his employees in a film designed not only to illuminate Jackson's final days but also to set the terms of future conversation about them.
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
October 29, 2009
A must-see danceumentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/6
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Dana Stevens
Slate
October 28, 2009
This Is It is one of the best documents of live performance that I've ever seen, a rehearsal diary that's more intimate and immediate than a traditional concert film.
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Amy Nicholson
Boxoffice Magazine
October 28, 2009
This is his '68 Comeback Special
| Original Score: A
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Nathan Rabin
AV Club
October 28, 2009
At best, it angrily demands to be rechristened This Is It! Too often, however, an incredulous This Is It? seems more apt.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
October 28, 2009
Death returned Michael Jackson's humanity, and in a curious, tentative way so too does Michael Jackson's This Is It.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Ann Powers
Los Angeles Times
October 28, 2009
Differing greatly from the rough, casual mood of many behind-the-scenes pop docs, this one is instead of a piece with Jackson's body of work: dazzling and strange, blurring the line between fantasy and reality.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
October 28, 2009
Jackson's mystery deepens, even as it dissolves between our fingers.
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James Rocchi
MSN Movies
October 28, 2009
It's fascinating, often in ways the people behind it might not have intended. It's shiny and slick and scary and cynical, and it's an epic portrait of all the contradictions in American celebrity culture and one of American culture's biggest celebrities.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 28, 2009
This Is It is Jackson's moment to shine. For two hours, he's alive and kicking it.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
October 28, 2009
This Is It isn't quite extraordinary as non-fiction film goes. Perhaps it's something better: a work of generosity.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
October 28, 2009
Michael Jackson's This Is It is heartbreaking, exhilarating, baffling. In other words, it expresses the performer's persona in its purest form.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
October 28, 2009
Without either the effect of a full concert spectacle, or up close and personal backstage intimacy, This Is It is neither one thing nor the other.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
October 28, 2009
This Is It isn't Michael Jackson at his greatest; it's him preparing to be at his greatest. But just watching that preparation is gift enough.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Chris Richards
Washington Post
October 28, 2009
Must the show really go on? At best, This Is It is a mere sketch of what Jackson seemed capable of delivering in London, with the King of Pop only half-singing, half-dancing through his most rousing hits.
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
October 28, 2009
This Is It reveals little about the personal aspects of the deeply troubled man behind the sunglasses -- it naturally deals with none of the darker aspects of Jackson's life -- but it deftly underlines his commitment to showmanship.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jon Bream
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 28, 2009
This may be as close as we'll ever get to knowing the strange boy-man who was one of the greatest entertainers -- onstage, on record and on video -- of the 20th century. He comes across as ageless and timeless, just like the songs he sings.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 28, 2009
There's no sign of sickness here, no sense of an artist past his prime. Instead, you see a performer at his peak.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 28, 2009
It's a bouncy, engaging, slightly revealing and at times downright moving portrait of Jackson, sweating to his own oldies at 50, prepping a "comeback" he never got to make.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
October 28, 2009
Watching Jackson pop, lock, rock, writhe, thrust, and clutch his crotch, even at 50 percent, leaves a feeling of woe: This show really would have been major.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
October 28, 2009
Would those concerts have returned him to his magical pedestal? We'll never know the answer, of course. But watching this movie, at least we get a feel of it.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Aidin Vaziri
San Francisco Chronicle
October 28, 2009
Those who stuck with the troubled pop icon after his universe shifted from the charts to the tabloids probably will find equal measures of inspiration and heartbreak in the documentary. For everyone else, it's a strange offering.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Tom Charity
CNN.com
October 28, 2009
Yes, you probably want to see this.
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
October 28, 2009
For fans wondering if you should see the much-touted documentary memorial concert film Michael Jackson's This Is It, rest assured, the late King of Pop delivers.
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David Jenkins
Time Out
October 28, 2009
Utterly engaging from beginning to end.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
October 28, 2009
I feel fairly confident that a perfectionist like Jackson would never want to be remembered by a shoddy piece of exploitation like This Is It.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
October 28, 2009
It proves that, at the end, he was still a thriller. Fans and doubters alike can look at the gentle, driven singer-dancer at the center of this up-close document and say admiringly, This was him.
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Ted Fry
Seattle Times
October 28, 2009
Ultimately, though, This Is It is a shallow homage to the good memories of the King of Pop.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
October 28, 2009
This is Michael Jackson unvarnished, the wizard behind the curtain and the man-child in the mirror, and it's fascinating to behold.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
October 28, 2009
Looks like the world has missed one helluva concert.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 28, 2009
The result is one of the most revealing music documentaries I've seen.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
October 28, 2009
Naivete, calculation and all, it looks like it would've been a helluva show, complete with eco-consciousness-raising, an onstage bulldozer and 3-D Thriller footage, newly created to dazzle audiences left high and dry by fate and Jackson's demise.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Andrew Barker
Variety
October 28, 2009
There's an incredible amount to enjoy here, and the star's fans will be in rapture. Though Jackson looks painfully thin at times, his vocal prowess and dancing ability seem to have scarcely ebbed at all in the decade he spent offstage.
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Elysa Gardner
USA Today
October 28, 2009
If This Is It doesn't miraculously restore the middle-aged Jackson to his past glory, it at least offers glimpses of his bygone greatness, and poignant suggestions of what might have been.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
October 28, 2009
Any evidence of eccentricity, scandal or anything else that marked our perception of Jackson the last few years is missing. In its place is a performer in full command of his gifts.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Laremy Legel
Film.com
October 28, 2009
Full Review | Original Score: B