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Based on 12 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 1 )
  • 80
    Joe Neumaier New York Daily News

    Like Brown, the movie is dynamic and entertaining as hell. show more

  • 70
    Sheri Linden The Hollywood Reporter

    In Chadwick Boseman, it has a galvanic core, a performance that transcends impersonation and reverberates long after the screen goes dark. show more

  • 56
    Kate Erbland

    Taylor’s film so egregiously picks and chooses from Brown’s life that the result is a holey and unsatisfying document that fails to give due respect to much of the singer’s life (especially the more unsavory stuff). show more

  • 88
    Alonso Duralde The Wrap

    Get on Up belongs, as it must, to Boseman, who delivers the kind of charisma, showmanship, sex appeal, and tireless energy that allows us to believe him as the Hardest Working Man in Show Business. show more

  • 88
    Roger Moore Movie Nation

    Artistically, Get on Up rivals “Walk the Line,” with a lead performance on a par with the career-making turns of Angela Bassett (“What’s Love Got to Do With It?”) and Jamie Foxx (“Ray”). With this wonder of the summer, Boseman and Taylor deliver a piece of American cultural history every bit as important as the Jackie Robinson story, a story told with heart, humor, funk and soul. show more

  • 50
    Slant Magazine

    As if taking a cue from its own title, the movie emphatically sets its sights on the upward trajectory of Brown's career. show more

  • 80
    Joshua Rothkopf Time Out New York

    So much of Get on Up is uncannily perfect, from its nightmarish Georgia childhood flashbacks to delirious concert re-creations and the casting of Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd as Brown’s longtime manager. show more

  • 75
    Kimber Myers The Playlist

    It’s a crowd pleaser of a film, whose powerful musical moments can overshadow any smaller issues within the film. show more

  • 67
    Chris Nashawaty Entertainment Weekly

    Get On Up too often plays it safe when it needs to be dangerous. show more

  • 100
    Richard Corliss Time

    In 2007, Jamie Foxx won Best Actor for his subtle performance as Ray Charles. Boseman exceeds that solid standard. Incarnating James Brown in all his ornery uniqueness, he deserves a Pulitzer, a Nobel and instant election to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. show more

  • July 15, 2014 marcylb1
    Report This User

    A biopic with heart, laughter, and plenty of funk, "Get on Up" explores the many charming, touching, and sometimes downright ugly, facets of legendary singer James Brown. Though quite enjoyable, at 138 minutes, this movie just feels too long for its own good. The story jumps back and forth between Brown's adult career and flashbacks to his childhood. Both stories are poignant and mostly entertaining, but presumably due to the filmmakers' interest in being thorough (and accurate), neither story follows a full arc or culminates with a real climax, leaving audience members looking at their watches around the 2 hour mark wondering if there is an end in sight. As with any biopic, the writers fought the inevitable challenge of not sinking into a drawn out research report, and only somewhat emerged victorious. Especially since the story stops short of the highly publicized and highly destructive years in the last decades of Brown's life. But they did manage to receive the seal of approval from Brown's estate, so there's that. Boseman's performance as James Brown is energetic and exciting. His portrayal of the already larger-than-life Brown often toes the "caricature" line, and it makes some scenes more fit for a sketch on Saturday Night Live. But that's who James Brown was, and the film eases over-the-top blows by transitioning most of those moments into fourth-wall-breaking asides spoken directly to the camera, giving Boseman a chance to do what he does best- charm the audience. Director Tate Taylor does an especially good job of capturing the feel of the many locations along Brown's path. The concert hall scenes are a feast for the eyes and they transport you in time and place to performance venues around the world over several decades. A notable performance is also given by the young actor who plays James Brown as a child, whose name this reviewer has yet to find in the current movie databases (which is a shame). He does a wonderful job playing some very heavy scenes. When it comes to recommending this film, at the end of the day, I'm torn. The moments of the movie that I liked, I REALLY liked. But I can't say that I wasn't also reasonably antsy by the end. I hate to say it, but this film might be limiting its audience in its attempt to be a complete biography. What I saw should probably have been called the "director's cut" or the A&E version, which is a shame because it seems possible to edit together all those gems with a bit less sentimental hand and tell a story that younger (under 40) audiences will deem worth a trip to the theater.

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