Mistaken for Strangers (2014)


Critic Consensus: A suitably complicated look at fraternal bonds, Mistaken for Strangers offers more depth and insight than the usual tour documentary.


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Movie Info

Hailed by Michael Moore as "one of the best documentaries about a band that I've ever seen" and by Pitchfork as "the funniest, most meta music movie since SPINAL TAP," MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS is a truly hilarious and touching film about two brothers, Matt and Tom Berninger. Matt, the lead singer of the critically acclaimed rock band The National, finally finds himself flush with success. His younger brother Tom is a loveable slacker - a filmmaker and metal-head still living with his parents in Cincinnati. On the eve of The National's biggest tour to date, Matt invites Tom to work for the band as a roadie, unaware of Tom's plan to film the entire adventure. What starts as a rock documentary quickly becomes a crowd-pleasing journey about family, ambition, and the creative process. (c) American Mary

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Critic Reviews for Mistaken for Strangers

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (16)

An amusing, and occasionally touching meditation on fame, sibling rivalry and ambition, with a sweet payoff.

Jun 26, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The best thing about Mistaken for Strangers, a new documentary about the band the National, is that you don't have to be a fan to enjoy it.

Apr 4, 2014 | Full Review…

The finest rock doc since Anvil: The Story of Anvil.

Apr 4, 2014 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Very "meta," very funny and very, very touching.

Apr 3, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

For all their obvious differences, the bond between affable Tom and laser-intense Matt reveals itself in ways both subtle and profound.

Apr 3, 2014 | Full Review…

Alternately hilarious, cringe-inducing, inspiring, depressing, stupid and profoundly intelligent.

Apr 3, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mistaken for Strangers


I'm not a huge supporter of music documentaries but this was very interesting. The brother lost in the limelight and struggling to find his own place may sound tiresome but this film has a lot of heart. The behind the scenes portrait of one of the greatest and critically acclaimed bands of the last ten years. The film is overly long and never over stays its welcome, the interaction between the brothers are very hilarious and uncomfortable at times. The scene where the older brother is questioning why the younger brother has left a bowl of cereal in the bathroom is priceless. By the end you are swept up in the brothers search for meaning and are provided insight into a band who has managed to avoid mainstream popularity for their duration. 21-07-2017.

Brendan Nicholls
Brendan Nicholls

Super Reviewer


A captivating rock-doc that begins rather clumsy but later grows to become a surprisingly revealing portrait of a man who has always felt diminished compared to his successful brother - who happens to be the lead singer of a fantastic indie rock band of worldwide reputation.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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