Taking Woodstock - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Taking Woodstock Reviews

November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
November 13, 2009
This may be a minor movie, but it displays the hallmarks of a major talent.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
August 28, 2009
Too much of Taking Woodstock seems barely sketched out.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
August 28, 2009
It's harmless enough as a snapshot of a young man's awakening to the grand possibilities of adult life, but not particularly effective at capturing the spirit, the thrill or even the mud of this culturally monumental event.
August 28, 2009
This is very light material, and, unusually for a Lee picture, not everybody in the ensemble appears to be acting in the same universe, let alone the same story. On the other hand: It's fun.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
August 28, 2009
Taking Woodstock has the appeal of an inside story told from an especially good angle. But beyond that, the movie is a celebration of the way this event has gone into memory and of the meaning it has acquired.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 28, 2009
It's great that Taking Woodstock doesn't trample on anything sacred, but it also never arrives anywhere interesting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
August 28, 2009
Lee's first total miscalculation, his first wholly inessential film.
August 28, 2009
Can you dig it? Maybe, if you aren't already up to your tie-dyed shorts in Woodstock memories, and if you can accept that there's relatively little music in this happy-go-lucky movie about history's most celebrated music festival.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 28, 2009
If this Woodstock comes off as Edenic... don't assume the movie's advertising the real thing. Think of it as Ang Lee taking a vacation from too much reality.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
August 28, 2009
Taking Woodstock is hardly a bad trip; just a very inconsequential one.
August 28, 2009
Lee takes the viewer on a sweet-enough and nicely personalized trip through a corner of the '60s. And even if he skips the main event, he finds plenty of color in its surroundings.
Full Review | Original Score: B
August 28, 2009
Lee's larkiest film by far, Taking Woodstock features faces familiar and fresh.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
August 28, 2009
Taking Woodstock fails to achieve anything beyond a contact high because of Martin's listless performance as the central character.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
August 28, 2009
The drama in question, Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock, is a bit like the festival itself - a happy mess.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
August 27, 2009
I'm starting to suspect that Lee's insight into American thought is only a little deeper than a Western filmmaker who thinks he's brave for still bringing up bound feet.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
August 27, 2009
Taking Woodstock has fine moments and an enjoyable vibe, but it never develops a coherent point of view.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 27, 2009
Taking Woodstock has its pleasures; it's really a sweet-natured coming-of-age tale, with a famously groundbreaking rock concert lurking in the background.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 27, 2009
If you stick with this wistful, fitfully funny little trip, you will be rewarded with a movie that makes up in warmth, humanism and self-effacing modesty what it lacks in crackerjack pacing and epic pop-historical grandeur.
August 27, 2009
Lee distills the flavor of this transforming event and hints at how it transformed some who were there. His movie is a contact high.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
August 27, 2009
The script has a dubious source, taken from a memoir by Elliot Tiber that, based on this evidence, does nothing to scrape the rust off Woodstock's mythic cliché.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
August 27, 2009
Lee has gone for shaggy comedy. Some of it is funny. Some of it just sits there.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 27, 2009
Lee's movie is pleasant enough, but it's too swept up in the spirit it's celebrating to ask the relevant questions.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
August 27, 2009
Even as a mind-clearing break from Lee's darker, more ambitious work, Taking Woodstock is an underachieving movie, so slight and gentle-spirited that it seems to be looking at the summer of 1969 through a scrim of rosy gauze.
August 27, 2009
Ang Lee's 11th collaboration with producer James Schamus starts out strong and funny before getting mired in 60s nostalgia.
August 27, 2009
Watching the film feels a lot like leafing through an album of someone else's vacation photos: Pleasant, but gets old fast.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
August 27, 2009
Like the mild-mannered protagonist, Taiwanese director Ang Lee sees the '60s through a rose-colored telephoto lens, but his sympathetic spirit extends the generous message of the hippie era like a passed joint.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
August 27, 2009
Taking Woodstock has the freshness of something being created, not remembered.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 26, 2009
Lee and his producer and screenwriter, James Schamus, have turned Tiber's book into a gentle, rather tepid film. Its first half is modest and likable, but it goes on for over two hours.
August 26, 2009
All the tie-dye, reefer, skinny-dipping, split-screen cinematography (from Eric Gautier) and acid-trip psychedelics courtesy of Tiber's encounter with hippies (Paul Dano and Kelli Garner) can't make up for the film's major sin of omission: the music.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 26, 2009
Taking Woodstock achieves an amazing feat: It turns the fabled music festival, a key cultural moment of the late 20th century, into an exceedingly lame, heavily clichéd, thumb-sucking bore.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
August 26, 2009
Lee captures the fractious, joyful, monstrously evolving mass it all was.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
August 26, 2009
Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock is a coming-of-age comedy that roams the backstage and the back-story and sees that epic concert through rose-colored glasses.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
August 26, 2009
Lee's movie captures the mellow mood and mud-caked faces of the crowd but misses the reverberations of the counterculture revolution that brought the great unwashed to that farm.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 26, 2009
It is Woodstock light, which is one thing. It is also Ang Lee light, which is another thing altogether and far less satisfying.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
August 26, 2009
Lee and Schamus make history blandly palatable; in the process, they rob the times and the people they're portraying of their complications.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
August 26, 2009
A project that is rather shapeless with a protagonist who is less than compelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 25, 2009
Lee and producer-screenwriter James Schamus aim for comedy but come up with cliches.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
August 25, 2009
Given a subject that has become synonymous with overblown mythmaking, its modesty becomes it.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
August 25, 2009
The characters are all representative of the period but they come off as one-dimensional, more symbols than individuals.
Full Review | Original Score: C
August 25, 2009
It's a frustrating complication of a movie with a sprawling story and grand ambitions -- and some truly grand acting -- that stumbles almost as often as it soars. Bummer.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
August 25, 2009
Taking Woodstock does nothing more than recycle the same late-'60s tropes seen countless times since the Carter administration.
August 25, 2009
It ends up being forgettable, when it could have taken a little piece of your heart.
August 24, 2009
You can't deny the smiling mood that wafts through the film like incense, and to that extent it honors the original three days; but not once does a character's show of feeling stir you, send you, or stop you in your tracks, and the loss is unsustainable.
May 18, 2009
Undoubtedly one of Ang Lee's lighter films, 'Taking Woodstock' is also one of his better ones, and a welcome return to form.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
May 16, 2009
Demetri Martin makes little impression as Tiber, and the rest of the cast tends to indulge stale '60s stereotypes.
May 16, 2009
Even with the ever-versatile Ang Lee behind the camera, this messy historical fiction plays like a two hour "Saturday Night Live" sketch, and not a very good one, either.
May 16, 2009
The movie is undergroovy and overplotted.
May 16, 2009
It's a low-wattage film about a high-wattage event. Which is somewhat disappointing, though you do get a thoughtful, playful, often amusing film about what happened backstage at one of the '60s' great happenings.
May 16, 2009
A sort of let's-put-on-a-show summer-camp lark for director Ang Lee after the dramatic rigors of "Brokeback Mountain" and "Lust, Caution," the picture serves up intermittent pleasures but is too raggedy and laid-back for its own good.