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20 Feet From Stardom

PG-13 Released Jun 14, 2013 1h 30m Documentary List
99% Tomatometer 129 Reviews 82% Audience Score 10,000+ Ratings
Filmmaker Morgan Neville shines a long-overdue spotlight on the hit-making contributions of longtime backup singers like Darlene Love and Merry Clayton. Read More Read Less
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20 Feet From Stardom

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Critics Consensus

Rich, insightful, and occasionally heartbreaking, 20 Feet From Stardom is an energetic tribute to the passion, talent, and hard work of backup singers.

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Critics Reviews

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Amy Taubin Film Comment Magazine The movie pays a long-overdue tribute to their glorious pipes, but also engages with the disconnection between talent and stardom, and while it isn't exactly an exposé of the music industry, infuriating details emerge. Aug 28, 2019 Full Review Kate Muir Times (UK) Artists including Mick Jagger talk about their backing singers -- and the soundtrack is, of course, heavenly. Jan 1, 2018 Full Review Candice Frederick Reel Talk Online While there are moments in the film awkwardly placed to achieve moments of pensiveness from the talent, what it does well is offers a point of view where there wasn't before. Rated: B+ Sep 5, 2017 Full Review Sean Axmaker Stream on Demand The poster... advertises the appearances of Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder and Bette Midler, ironic since the documentary is really about the back-up singers who performed with them and many others, always outside of the spotlight. Feb 4, 2023 Full Review Jonny Mahon-Heap It’s a loving chronicle of the untold stories of backup singers for the world’s most iconic performers. Nov 7, 2022 Full Review Jordan M. Smith I've found myself wholly involved, enthralled by these incredible singers and moved by their stories of unappreciated talent. Rated: 3.5/5 Nov 12, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Bob P Not as good as the Wrecking Crew but very entertaining and informative. These singers were amazing. I loved the historical context as to their role in rock & roll. The talent was overwhelming. Just listen to Merry Clayton in Gimme Shelter and comprehend what she represented. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 09/19/23 Full Review DJ H Could I describe this documentary as a feel-good story? It is about people telling us stories about their creative passion and career as professional backup singers. I like the documentary. I miss the old days when music was brought to life with so much creative talent and didn't feel forced upon our ears with auto-tuned trickery. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 09/02/22 Full Review Audience Member A genuinely enriching insight of appreciation towards backup singers that not only discusses their growing roles across the industry but also meaningfully passionate careers in general that they display through their talents as we join them in their infectious foot-tapping jam. (B+) Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/17/23 Full Review Audience Member I feel bad for not enjoying this. I like the subject matter; I just don't think it was crafted in a way that engaged much of my interest. It's an aspect of the music industry that deserves to be told, but it shouldn't be this boring. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 02/17/23 Full Review Audience Member This is possibly the greatest,, non-Ken Burns and non-American Experience documentary I have ever seen. Objectively but aesthetically capturing the lives and the rise and fall of the unaccredited backup singers, who, in most cases made the song. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/16/23 Full Review dave s Equal parts inspirational and heartbreaking, the documentary 20 Feet from Stardom examines the underappreciated contributions back-up singers have made to the songs that have been the soundtrack to our lives. While many of the singers are content to remain in the shadows, others seek out the spotlight to varying degrees of success, often realizing that fame has as much to do with circumstances and fate as it does with raw talent. The film, fascinating from beginning to end, concludes with Darlene Love's touching rendition of Lean on Me, followed by a rousing take on A Fine Fine Boy with Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews
20 Feet From Stardom

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Movie Info

Synopsis Filmmaker Morgan Neville shines a long-overdue spotlight on the hit-making contributions of longtime backup singers like Darlene Love and Merry Clayton.
Morgan Neville
Gil Friesen, Caitrin Rogers, Morgan Neville
Radius TWC
Production Co
Tremolo Productions
PG-13 (Some Strong Language|Sexual Material)
Original Language
Release Date (Theaters)
Jun 14, 2013, Limited
Release Date (Streaming)
Feb 14, 2017
Box Office (Gross USA)
1h 30m
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