Standing in the Shadows of Motown 2002

Critics score:
92 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Standing in the Shadows of Motown is one hell of a party, and it doesn't let anything get in the way of that. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: Moving and heartfelt documentary about the overlooked heart of the Motown Sound. Read more

Miami Herald: You may not end up dancing in the street, but don't be surprised if you cut a step or two in the parking lot. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: It's a blast! Read more

Susan Stark, Detroit News: After watching it, you can only love the players it brings to the fore for the gifted but no-nonsense human beings they are and for the still-inestimable contribution they have made to our shared history. Read more

Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune: Much of the movie's value is to document these particular players making beautiful music. Read more

Elvis Mitchell, New York Times: This salute to the literally unsung and underrecognized studio heroes of Motown is so good because it is one of those rare documentaries that combine information with smashing entertainment. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: A great story and great music, right down to the final credits. Read more

Manohla Dargis, Los Angeles Times: Gives the Funk Brothers their due and more, mostly through wonderfully juicy anecdotes. Read more

Houston Chronicle: Read more

Steven Rosen, Denver Post: The movie lets us realize this Sound, still so alive and vibrant today, was created by flesh-and-blood people, each of whom has a compelling story to tell. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: It's a revelatory aural journey that gets you to hear something you've always known without quite realizing it: that the magic of the Motown sound was, quite literally, its sound, which the Funk Brothers created. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: A triumphant documentary. Read more

Matt Weitz, Dallas Morning News: The sheer joy and pride they took in their work -- and in each other -- shines through every frame. Read more

Ernest Hardy, L.A. Weekly: The film's energy is primarily due to the rich storytelling skills of the musicians, who trot out anecdotes and memories filled with humor and wry philosophizing. Read more

Newsday: Read more

David Ansen, Newsweek: Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The Motown Sound was, quite simply, their sound. Read more

Charles Taylor, Told in scattered fashion, the movie only intermittently lives up to the stories and faces and music of the men who are its subject. Read more

Jonathan Curiel, San Francisco Chronicle: When the old guys sit around and tell their stories, Standing in the Shadows of Motown catches magic on the screen -- a behind-the-curtain peek at some of the world's best-loved music, straight from the cats who made it happen. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: Try as you might to resist, if you've got a place in your heart for Smokey Robinson, this movie will worm its way there. Read more

Derek Adams, Time Out: Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: Justman's affectionate doc provides the pleasure of hearing one classic pop hook after another performed by a still tight unit, as well as the spectacle of veteran sidemen sitting around talking music. Read more