Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool Reviews

Top Critic
February 24, 2020
Davis is demystified and deconstructed in this corrective - and excellent - portrait.
February 21, 2020
Like many music documentaries, this profile of groundbreaking trumpet player and bandleader Miles Davis feels constrained by its conventional length, and devotes too little time to too many subjects.
October 23, 2019
A well-made account of both the man's achievements and his jerkiness.
September 28, 2019
The result, for the most part, is pleasant and informative, if not particularly inspiring or revelatory. But now and then, the music and images can't help but break through.
September 12, 2019
The film is kind of brilliant in the way it covers and contextualizes more than 50 years of groundbreaking music in barely two hours.
September 4, 2019
It's a film that Miles himself would recognize - truthful, gritty, elegantly musical, unpredictable and even surprising - the kind of complex yet elegiac tribute a man as relentlessly real as Miles Davis deserves.
August 29, 2019
A gossipy and very musical primer on Davis, who is, needless to say (though it is said and said), among the giants of jazz.
August 29, 2019
You'll want to listen to Miles' music after watching the film and, when you do, you might feel it a little deeper.
August 23, 2019
For either newcomers or fans, the documentary's cradle-to-grave, talking-head approach too readily threatens to take the zip, romance, and funk out of a fascinating subject who would be nothing without those very elements.
August 22, 2019
Nelson has made many lauded documentaries about the black experience in America. His life of Miles is comprehensive and stimulating, frequently illuminating, but also frustrating.
August 22, 2019
Davis mavens will hear familiar stuff. But more than a few moments here are new, and real grabbers.
August 19, 2019
The movie's simple arc and conventional contours flatten both the passionate originality of Davis's music and the destructive chaos of his life.
January 31, 2019
If you're a Miles Davis fanatic from way back and think you already know everything about him, the movie, with its sharply edited interviews and stunning archival reach, fills in nuances of the man that feel fresh and new.
January 29, 2019
Stanley Nelson's look at the 20th century jazz icon reveals a troubled soul rarely at peace with himself.
January 28, 2019
An excellent primer from a dependable chronicler of African-American culture.