Only the Strong Survive - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Only the Strong Survive Reviews

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June 13, 2009
...fails to give audiences as much frame of reference for the unifying economic, political and atmospheric elements that made the Stax brand of R&B soul music so powerful.
Full Review | Original Score: C
February 7, 2004
you get the feeling that Hegedus and Pennebaker couldn't care less about soul music.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
January 31, 2004
I would have prefered deeper insights... [but] as a concert film, this one's a blast.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
July 22, 2003
A disorganized sprawl.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
July 11, 2003
Lacks context, depth and a sense of purpose.
June 26, 2003
There's no problem with a little bias, but Friedman's fan-boy perspective puts the subjects of Only the Strong Survive on too high a pedestal.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
May 28, 2003
Content to merely serve as a cluttered, heart-shaped scrapbook, missing many more stories than it bothers to include.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
May 15, 2003
Invaluable as a record of its subjects (including the late, great Rufus Thomas), but it doesn't cohere as a feature...
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
May 12, 2003
... the music is great, but as a film thumbs down.
May 12, 2003
A loving look at soul's golden era that leaves you wanting more; a disappointment in some respects because it doesn't craft a more comprehensive, cohesive background.
Full Review | Original Score: C
May 11, 2003
The scrappy country cousin to the high-gloss Standing in the Shadows of Motown.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
May 10, 2003
These survivors share a timelessness and a universality that remain untouched by the fickle shifts of popular culture.
Full Review | Original Score: A
May 9, 2003
Fortunately, the performances themselves are beautifully filmed and recorded.
May 9, 2003
A film that even with its flaws should be cheered for preserving the later years of these towering musical talents.
May 9, 2003
Worth the time and money some of the summer's effects-driven spectacles probably won't be.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
May 9, 2003
Most of the music is as fine and fierce as you could want.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
May 9, 2003
With Friedman, the narrator and emissary, tossing questions as squishy as Jell-O and heaping praise on the performers for their unexceptional appearances on the oldies circuit, it's a wasted opportunity.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
May 9, 2003
Unfortunately, it's not a great movie -- and given the filmmakers involved, that's a criminal disappointment.
May 9, 2003
A celebration of the under-appreciated, and if any purpose beyond that is a bit fuzzy, it's a harmless aimlessness that likely won't get in the way for fans of the music.
Read More | Original Score: C+
May 9, 2003
I'm not sure where you go to church, but you're unlikely to experience anything as holy as Jerry Butler doing a live version of his soul classic 'For Your Precious Love' in Only the Strong Survive.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
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