Rotten Tomatoes
Cancel Movies Tv shows Shop News Showtimes

Bird

R Released Sep 30, 1988 2h 41m Biography History Drama Music List
77% Tomatometer 26 Reviews 79% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings
Director Clint Eastwood, a noted jazz aficionado, directs this heartfelt study of pioneering bop saxophonist Charlie Parker (Forest Whitaker). Moving forward and backward through Parker's brief life before his death of a heroin overdose at age 34, the film foregrounds the saxophonist's difficult relationship with his wife, Chan Parker (Diane Venora), but also features lengthy scenes of Parker improvising on stage, lit with the neon and cigarette smoke of vintage jazz clubs. Read More Read Less
Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

Where to Watch

Bird

Fandango at Home Prime Video Apple TV

Rent Bird on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV, or buy it on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV.

Bird

What to Know

Critics Consensus

Forest Whitaker inhabits Charlie Parker with aplomb in this moving love letter to the music icon, told by director Clint Eastwood with a moody style that visually evokes the wistful rhythm of jazz.

Read Critics Reviews

Critics Reviews

View All (26) Critics Reviews
Richard Combs Sight & Sound What the film pulls off is the difficult fusion of this kind of accuracy with larger 'truths' which are no respecter of accuracy. Jan 16, 2020 Full Review Michael Wilmington Los Angeles Times In this movie and its hot, fast bursts of bop, Charlie Parker gets a fitting elegy. Dec 11, 2018 Full Review Variety Staff Variety Sensitively acted, beautifully planned visually and dynamite musically, this is a dramatic telling of the troubled life of a revolutionary artist. Mar 26, 2009 Full Review Herb Boyd The Crisis Sure, the music is great, but it should have been placed in political and historical context. Bird did not wage the cultural revolution alone, nor did he fall from out of the sky. Nov 14, 2023 Full Review Terry Francis Southern Voice (Atlanta) Aside from Lennie Niehaus' superb work as musical supervisor... and Forest Whitaker and Diane Venora's performances in the lead roles, all you get are clichés and the film's superficial response to an artist's descent into self-destruction. May 8, 2023 Full Review Tom Cassidy Common Sense Media People who don't like jazz often complain it's overlong, complicated, noodling, and meandering. These criticisms can all be leveled at director Clint Eastwood's Bird, who, unlike a jazz master, doesn't back up his work with any inventive flair. Rated: 3/5 Dec 1, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (235) audience reviews
Aender S The biopic of a jazz legend depicted by one of my favourite actors directed by one of my favourite directors, what could go wrong? Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 04/11/24 Full Review Eye C A depressing movie for a depressing life. And there's no other way to make this movie. A well done film, but a little bit harsh to watch. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/26/24 Full Review Audience Member Eastwood is a good director and he captures Billy Bird to a tee. He inserts enough of a jazzy vibe reminiscent of the era. Forrest Whitaker is excellent too. Yet the film goes on so long and there’s a drab atmosphere that drains all joy from the viewing experience. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 10/01/23 Full Review decadepast d Charlie Parker looked like Buddha. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 06/04/23 Full Review steve m I don't get the high scores from Ebert, Metacritic, and Rotten Tomatoes. This movie was way too long. What was short was how Bird got to be Bird. What drove him to drugs and drink? What made him the musician he became? There's a little talk about it, but this is a movie, not a book, show me. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review r 9 I personally found 'Bird' - directed by Clint Eastwood - to be an absolute slog to sit through. It's an interesting story no doubt, but it's told in the most mundane and boring way possible. I didn't know anything about Charlie Parker beforehand, which is what kept that aforementioned interest there. I'm no jazz fan either, but I am always happy to listen to it when it comes up though. Despite that, I just couldn't get into the film itself. It just felt like it was 160 minutes (!) worth of the following on repeat: performance, drunk and/or depressed, performance, drunk and/or depressed etc. I didn't feel like I was learning anything about Parker and his life. I literally gave an internal cheer when the credits finally rolled around. I do enjoy Forest Whitaker as an actor and he is probably the reason I'm not rating this lower. As for the rest, I don't even recall any of them - though I'm putting that down to what I've already noted, as opposed to the cast themselves who I'm sure tried their upmost. Way too long, in short. As I said it's an intriguing person to make a film about, an around 100 minute production would've been perfect in my opinion. A shame, all in all. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Bird

My Rating

Read More Read Less POST RATING WRITE A REVIEW EDIT REVIEW

Cast & Crew

The Doors 56% 79% The Doors Nico, 1988 94% 61% Nico, 1988 TRAILER for Nico, 1988 Nixon 75% 74% Nixon TRAILER for Nixon Full Metal Jacket 90% 94% Full Metal Jacket Miles Ahead 74% 57% Miles Ahead TRAILER for Miles Ahead Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis Director Clint Eastwood, a noted jazz aficionado, directs this heartfelt study of pioneering bop saxophonist Charlie Parker (Forest Whitaker). Moving forward and backward through Parker's brief life before his death of a heroin overdose at age 34, the film foregrounds the saxophonist's difficult relationship with his wife, Chan Parker (Diane Venora), but also features lengthy scenes of Parker improvising on stage, lit with the neon and cigarette smoke of vintage jazz clubs.
Director
Clint Eastwood
Producer
Clint Eastwood
Distributor
Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Co
Warner Brothers
Rating
R
Genre
Biography, History, Drama, Music
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Sep 30, 1988, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Jun 1, 2009
Box Office (Gross USA)
$1.5M
Runtime
2h 41m
Sound Mix
Surround, Stereo
Most Popular at Home Now