Searching for Sugar Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Searching for Sugar Man Reviews

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AV Club
January 22, 2013
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
January 7, 2013
At 85 minutes, it's a tight, sharp achievement, yet one of the things I love about it is simple: It moves to a relaxed rhythm, in sync with its slightly otherworldly subject.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
September 21, 2012
The search for a long-lost pop icon has an unexpected payoff.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ken Marks
New Yorker
September 17, 2012
[A] moving, lyrical account ...
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 13, 2012
It starts as a bittersweet parable about the cruelty of commerce, but the wonder of "Searching for Sugar Man" will not soon slip away.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
September 13, 2012
Director Malik Bendjelloul's engaging, cleverly structured documentary about the legendary folk singer Rodriguez is shaped like a mystery.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
August 23, 2012
You watch "Searching for Sugar Man" at first fascinated by the mystery - what happened to Rodriguez? Where did he go? Then you become infuriated by its revelations of financial injustice.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
August 23, 2012
If you like music, a good mystery or, better yet, a combination of both, you won't be disappointed.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 16, 2012
An electrifying illustration of music's power to inspire and change lives on both sides of the footlights.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 10, 2012
Submitted for your approval: one Sixto Rodriguez, a Mexican-American singer/songwriter whom Rod Serling would surely embrace, in or out of the Twilight Zone.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 9, 2012
Beautiful and revelatory, Searching for Sugar Man also incorporates huge chunks of Rodriguez's music.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
August 9, 2012
A rock documentary that goes way behind the music to tell a story that seems pure urban legend.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
August 9, 2012
Here's the rare music documentary in which the narrative is more interesting than the songs.
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Adam Graham
Detroit News
August 9, 2012
Bendjelloul mixes modern footage of Detroit with archival and animated images, and the shots of Rodriguez marching through his home turf help viewers understand what makes him tick.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 9, 2012
I hope you're able to see this film. You deserve to. And yes, it exists because we need for it to.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
August 3, 2012
This is a real-life fairy tale with a remarkably happy ending.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Brad Wheeler
Globe and Mail
August 3, 2012
A pleasing fix, Searching for Sugar Man is a lost-and-found film about pursuits - one of them abandoned, and one not.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Mark Jenkins
Washington Post
August 3, 2012
The movie is neatly structured, and Rodriguez turns out to be an interesting guy. He's worth getting to know, even if his music isn't.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
August 2, 2012
Music executive Clarence Avant says Rodriguez sold about six copies of each of his two albums. Multiply that by the number of people who see this movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Ian Buckwalter
The Atlantic
July 27, 2012
A fantastic music doc with a surprising twist; which, when done as well as it is here, works just as effectively whether you know what's coming or not.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
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Sara Stewart
New York Post
July 26, 2012
A terrific documentary about a decades-long search, by two South African Rodriguez fans, for the story behind their enigmatic pop idol.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
July 26, 2012
The rustic folk-rock sound and politically provocative lyrics provide the seductive soundtrack for the film. They often serve as a stand-in for the artist as well. It is how we get to know him.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 26, 2012
The way in which this fascinating story unfolds, as directed by Swedish filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul, renders it thoroughly captivating, often exhilarating.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
July 26, 2012
A hugely appealing documentary about fans, faith and an enigmatic Age of Aquarius musician who burned bright and hopeful before disappearing.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 26, 2012
Searching for Sugar Man is a fresh and unexpected documentary that plays like a nail-biting mystery and a ticket to ride the whirlwind where art and commerce do battle.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
July 26, 2012
Listen, be moved, and pass it on.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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July 26, 2012
The movie's most potent emotional payoff is less Rodriguez's delayed success story - the fulfillment of many a frustrated rocker's fantasies - than the mysteries it leaves unsolved.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
July 25, 2012
We're fed plenty of sugar in this authorized fairy tale, but are left hungry for beef.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Mark Holcomb
Village Voice
July 24, 2012
Fluid, open-ended documentaries that demand more of an audience than foregone assent or fleeting bouts of passive outrage are rare these days, which is what makes Malik Bendjelloul's Searching for Sugar Man such a gift.
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
July 24, 2012
A diverting but frustrating quasiprofile, one that doesn't have the answers to its own questions.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Trevor Johnston
Time Out
July 24, 2012
All you really have to know about this surprising and emotive music doc is that you should see it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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William Goss
Film.com
March 20, 2012
A documentary about fandom and freedom, information and misinformation, fleeting fame and everlasting art, it tackles all of these qualities with remarkable ease and - of course - a great soundtrack.
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Nathan Rabin
AV Club
January 21, 2012
Though manipulative in its storytelling and structure, Searching For Sugar Man ultimately earns its happy ending by alchemizing pain into transcendent beauty.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Noel Murray
AV Club
January 21, 2012
I'll praise the quality of director Malik Bendjelloul's storytelling, which is gripping from the opening shot almost to the last.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Dennis Harvey
Variety
January 21, 2012
Searching for Sugar Man is a winning musical detective story about a failed, forgotten early '70s rocker who became a huge success halfway across the world.
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Justin Lowe
Hollywood Reporter
January 20, 2012
While all the interview subjects are enthusiastic, the overall lack of familiarity with Rodriquez's personal background and career collapse begin to drag.