Wednesday, May 2, 2012

93% Marley

All Critics (77) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (71) | Rotten (5)

Sprinkled with riffs, concert footage and home videos, the family-authorized documentary does what the artist usually did: When in doubt, return to the beat.

Macdonald supplies some interesting and novel details about the musician's life and art, though the movie's narrative arc and documentary methods are totally predictable.

Bob Marley wrote the same song about 8,000 times, and the documentary "Marley" makes sure to include each version.

This is a life story worth telling, and "Marley" does it much justice. Marley may or may not have been perfect, but he was certainly fascinating.

It's hard to imagine audiences who don't know much about the man sticking around for more than a few minutes of this. And they're the ones who need to know about him most of all.

The movie has enormous force - because it's about a genius, yes, but even more so because of the intelligence, passion and wit of the people who knew Marley.

Recounts a short life that seemed to straddle worlds and eras, and perhaps the definitive portrait will never be filmed or written. Until it is, though, there's always the music.

A truly human portrait of an extraordinary life.

Marley is a terrific documentary. It goes beyond one figure, and captures the essence of life itself. The film is as infectious and spiritual as one of his songs.

Good documentaries make us want to know more about their subject. But great ones like Marley don't need to.

It's certainly comprehensive, even if -- at two and a half hours long -- not exactly concise.

If you'd asked me a month ago how Marley had died, I might have cluelessly suggested a drug overdose.

Chronicles the life and times of the first musical superstar from the third world to gain a global audience, with the reggae singer's posthumous Legend album selling some 25 million copies.

In the end, it's just good, comprehensive storytelling, a film that justifies the legend rather than hypes it.

Gradually, the dreadlocks, the music and the cloud of ganja smoke come together to form as recognisable an image as that of the equally short-lived Che Guevara.

The film never shows us Marley in a complete performance. It's hard to understand the magic of a man whose most awesome moments are reduced to edited snippets.

It smartly captures his dynamic personality both through the words of those who knew him, and more importantly, through his enduring music.

Marley finally gives the world an authoritative, nonhagiographic survey of Marley's life.

This is an appropriately exhaustive study of the man and his music, its only failing is the absence of a decent political analysis of Rastafari and the beliefs that informed Marley to the end of his life.

It's a meticulously researched, consistently interesting documentary about superstar Bob Marley - and it makes two-and-a-half hours pass by in a flash.

'Marley' will go down in cinematic history as one of the greatest music documentaries of all time. The first must-see movie of 2012.

Celebrates his spirit, his creativity, his genius and his influence, even if it errs on the side of hagiography.

Given the legal and logistical constraints on this long-delayed project, this lengthy movie is as comprehensive a history as Marley's fans could have hoped, but the uninitiated may not catch a fire.

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