Sunday, July 12, 2015

The best-reviewed music documentaries of all time

The boom in music documentaries lately (“Amy,” “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck,” etc.) got me thinking about the best-reviewed music documentaries of all time.
The list would have to include concert films, biographies and “behind the music” stories.
Like other such movie lists I’ve done, I scoured the database at IMDb and checked reviews at Rotten Tomatoes. I also searched Netflix.
What follows is a list of the best-reviewed music documentaries, based on data from Rotten Tomatoes. To make the cut, films had to have at least 80% positive reviews. In the case of a tie, movies are listed alphabetically.

Best-reviewed music documentaries by % of positive reviews 
  1. Bob Dylan: Don’t Look Back (1967) , 100% positive reviews 
  2. The Decline of Western Civilization (1981), 100% 
  3. The Decline of Western Civilization Part III (1998), 100% 
  4. Gimme Shelter (1970) , 100% 
  5. Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me (2014), 100% 
  6. Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown (2014), 100% 
  7. Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (2010), 100% 
  8. Sound City (2013), 100% 
  9. The Who: The Kids Are Alright (1979), 100% 
  10. Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music (1970), 100% 
  11. 20 Feet from Stardom (2013), 99% 
  12. Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2008), 98% 
  13. Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015), 98% 
  14. The Last Waltz (1978), 98% 
  15. Amy (2015), 97% 
  16. Stop Making Sense (1984), 97% 
  17. Muscle Shoals (2013), 96% 
  18. 20,000 Days on Earth (2014), 95% 
  19. End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones (2003), 95% 
  20. The Filth and the Fury (2000) , 95% 
  21. Marley (2012), 95% 
  22. Pete Seeger: The Power of Song (2007), 95% 
  23. Searching for Sugar Man (2012), 94% 
  24. No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (2005), 93% 
  25. U2 3D (2007), 93% 
  26. The Wrecking Crew (2008), 93% 
  27. Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (2012), 92% 
  28. Hype! (1996), 92% 
  29. Imagine: John Lennon (1988), 92% 
  30. Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap (2012), 92% 
  31. Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002), 92% 
  32. Buena Vista Social Club (1999), 91% 
  33. Bad 25 (2012) , 90% 
  34. Dig! (2004), 90% 
  35. Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006), 90% 
  36. New York Doll (2005), 90% 
  37. The Devil and Daniel Johnston (2005), 89% 
  38. Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten (2007), 89% 
  39. Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004), 89% 
  40. Crossfire Hurricane (2012), 88% 
  41. Dixie Chicks: Shut Up & Sing (2006), 88% 
  42. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart (2002), 88% 
  43. Neil Young Journeys (2012), 88% 
  44. Lemmy (2011), 87% 
  45. Shine a Light (2008), 87% 
  46. B.B. King: The Life of Riley (2012), 86% 
  47. Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll (1987), 85% 
  48. George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011), 85% 
  49. A Poem Is a Naked Person (1974), 82% 
  50. Let It Be (1970), 82% 
  51. Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (2013), 82% 
  52. Biggie and Tupac (2002), 81% 
  53. Michael Jackson’s This Is It (2009), 81% 
  54. The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988), 80% 
  55. Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991), 80% 
  56. It Might Get Loud (2008), 80% 
Photos: Movie posters for “Woodstock” and “Gimme Shelter.” 

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