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Based on 25 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 5 )
  • 88
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    Sometimes it's racism; sometimes bum luck; sometimes it's producer Phil Spector putting Love's voice in another singer's mouth. You watch. You hear the gospel spoken in the voices of these women. And you marvel. show more

  • 88
    Claudia Puig USA Today

    Audiences meet the most memorable voices in the world of backup singers. They perform with world-famous musical acts, but theirs are not household names. Their stories, however, are inspiring, heartbreaking and enthralling. show more

  • 90
    The Hollywood Reporter

    Neville unearths a treasure trove of archival TV, concert and film footage featuring many of these vocalists in their heyday, balancing the material with perfectly-lit contemporary studio interviews and performances shot in pristine digital cinematography, supplemented by more informal scenes depicting the frequent challenges of these musicians' careers. show more

  • 85
    William Goss

    A well-polished production with a remarkable soundtrack. show more

  • 100
    Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune

    Yes, for every star there are five more also-rans and maybe-next-times. But there is honor and glory in being part of the blend. And, at the film's midpoint, when Clayton talks about the late-night recording session in 1969 of "Gimme Shelter," the memory takes on the glow of myth. show more

  • 100
    Ty Burr Boston Globe

    20 Feet From Stardom may possibly be the happiest time you’ll have at the movies all summer, but it comes with a heavy load of frustration. The in the sound of women singing their big, beautiful hearts out. The pain comes from the anonymity they’ve spent their lives working under and fighting against. show more

  • 88
    Chicago Sun-Times

    From front to back stage, 20 Feet From Stardom is a compelling look at the spirit of these giving artists as they navigated the rapid musical and social change of the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. show more

  • 75
    Sara Stewart New York Post

    In a film that’s often sad but not without its triumphs, director Morgan Neville smartly explores the complex role that ego and self-promotion play in this profession. show more

  • 75
    Liam Lacey The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    At times, these singers’ versatility has kept them both regularly employed and deliberately anonymous. show more

  • 75
    Tomas Hachard Slant Magazine

    This joyous documentary leaves us wanting to immediately seek out the incredible, sometimes unfamiliar music we've just heard. show more

  • August 24, 2013 hf00000000161916
    Report This User

    I left the theatre feeling better about myself. This movie was so moving. It\'s a finger snapping, ear to ear grinning, joyful walk through the soul of american music. Sometimes rejoicing, always engrossing and ever triumphant. One of the BEST movie experiences ever!

  • July 13, 2013 jlnabb
    Report This User

    This is an outstanding documentary. If you have any interest in music from the late 60\'s, you will love this movie.

  • July 11, 2013 lgjhere1
    Report This User

    A powerful reminder of who you know and where you are at a given time that can determine your rise to the top, not necessarily how good you are.

  • July 04, 2013 difaz
    Report This User

    This is an extraordinary movie about some extraordinary women. Hearing the music with their perspective is a revelation!! I would give it a ten, but the scale only goes up to five.

  • June 30, 2013 rambilin
    Report This User

    Boring documentary - about 1 hour longer than needed. Maybe singers would enjoy.

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