User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 23
  2. Negative: 6 out of 23

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  1. Sep 26, 2014
    4
    I'm finding it bizarre, with the release of this film, that it's a foregone conclusion, if you like Nick Cave, you'll love this documentary. I understand the universal drooling from critics, even here, tracing to their endless pursuit of what's-hot-and-what's-not, but there are plenty others who actually listen to Nick Cave's music intensely and often, finding this documentary weirdlyI'm finding it bizarre, with the release of this film, that it's a foregone conclusion, if you like Nick Cave, you'll love this documentary. I understand the universal drooling from critics, even here, tracing to their endless pursuit of what's-hot-and-what's-not, but there are plenty others who actually listen to Nick Cave's music intensely and often, finding this documentary weirdly conventional, over-produced, sterile, and violative of any biographical trace of punk from the balladeer's past. From the ten-point lighting kit at the mock psychotherapy session, to the jib floating the camera around those armchairs, to the awkward conversations that were conceptually improvised but fundamentally staged, this film is the equivalent of a corporate video for an annual shareholder's meeting, or a broadcast network reality television show egging for market share. Will someone else speak up too, please? Nick Cave is one of the great multi-disciplinary artists of our time, and his extraordinary talents are scurrying around the festival circuit for this film at the expense of what he could be creating quietly at home: a new album, a new screenplay, a new film score, a new novel. Expand
  2. Oct 7, 2014
    0
    I really don't understand the rave reviews. I cannot fully judge this film because my friend walked out after 40 minutes of one of the most boring films i had ever seen. We watched him get out of bed, eat herring, visit his studio and visit a therapist. Nick Cave had nothing to say. I am sure he is interesting but this did not show that. I frequently see foreign and independent filmsI really don't understand the rave reviews. I cannot fully judge this film because my friend walked out after 40 minutes of one of the most boring films i had ever seen. We watched him get out of bed, eat herring, visit his studio and visit a therapist. Nick Cave had nothing to say. I am sure he is interesting but this did not show that. I frequently see foreign and independent films and will sit through slow films if they have something interesting goin on. This had nothing. Expand
  3. Nov 4, 2014
    8
    Staring blankly into the vastness of his dimly lit bedroom as the alarm shrieks and the clock ticks over to 7:00am, The acclaimed singer, song writer, poet, screen writer and sometimes actor, Nick Cave begins his 20,000th day on Earth and so begins the aptly titled Rockumentary/Docudrama 20,000 Days on Earth.

    First things first. Clearly this film was not shot in one day and Nick Cave
    Staring blankly into the vastness of his dimly lit bedroom as the alarm shrieks and the clock ticks over to 7:00am, The acclaimed singer, song writer, poet, screen writer and sometimes actor, Nick Cave begins his 20,000th day on Earth and so begins the aptly titled Rockumentary/Docudrama 20,000 Days on Earth.

    First things first. Clearly this film was not shot in one day and Nick Cave regardless of the medium, has and always will continue to be a story teller of the highest calibre.

    That being said there are certainly some frank and candid insights into his life, including the sudden and tragic passing of his father when he was 19 years of age. As Nick so eloquently explains his narrative song writing process as having a counter point, there is indeed one to this aspect of the film and that is the intimacy of his on stage performances and the creative process he goes through with long time collaborator and friend Warren Ellis.

    The overall feel of the film is not as much an insight into the life of Nick Cave the artist, but more so about art itself, the memories, people and places who inspire his story telling.

    This is portrayed in the conversations that take place whilst driving his car around his Brighton neighbourhood when friends and collaborators, singer Kylie Minogue and actor Ray Winstone. Ray talks about reaching the age of 50 and feeling as if he needed to reinvent himself and then asks Nick if he ever felt that way. Nick responds, by telling the tale of when he chose to be something other than himself and the creation of the God like rock star he aspired to be.

    Similarly, Kylie Minogue regales her first ever encounter with Nick Cave, seeing him on stage for the first time, how he was like a mist that rolled in, something straight out of a movie scene.

    I am a Nick Cave fan, I have been for some time. I’m not die hard, but I do love a great deal many of his songs. This film had me from beginning to end. Regardless of what was fact and what was fiction. I was enthralled. I was entertained and I was mezmerized by the story telling, from his interactions to the people he encountered throughout his day, through to the narratives of his songs and the intermittent philosophical voice overs from the man himself.

    It is the entertaining, at times funny and at times sombre story of a masterful story teller and I highly recommend it to anyone who has even a passing interest in Nick Cave and his work.

    “All of our days are numbered. We cannot afford to be idle. To act on a bad idea is better than to not act at all, because the worth of an idea never becomes apparent until you do it.
    Sometimes this idea can be the smallest thing in the world – a little flame that you hunch over, and cup with your hand, and pray will not be extinguished by all the storm that howls about it. If you can hold on to that flame, great things can be constructed around it that are massive, and powerful, and world changing. All held up by the tiniest of ideas.”
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  4. Nov 30, 2014
    1
    You'll love this if you’re a Nick Cave fanboy but if like me you only have a passing interest in the man and his music then this film will probably leave you a bit baffled. I think it’d be missing the point to call the movie self-indulgent as it’s a wilful and deliberative dive into the psyche and history of the man behind the Bad Seeds but there’s not much here for the average watcher toYou'll love this if you’re a Nick Cave fanboy but if like me you only have a passing interest in the man and his music then this film will probably leave you a bit baffled. I think it’d be missing the point to call the movie self-indulgent as it’s a wilful and deliberative dive into the psyche and history of the man behind the Bad Seeds but there’s not much here for the average watcher to connect with.

    In the absence of any real enthusiasm for Nick, I found the 'day in the life' plot boring. And I found the various, disembodied and biblically-proportioned pontifications on life, music, art, etc. to be touch too pretentious, intellectual and introverted - rarely inspiring or accessible.

    I am more of a fan or Warren Ellis though - who tries his best to look comfortable during the 'improvised' banter that pops up occasionally but these sections are obviously a bit staged and the try-hard dialogue is uncomfortable to watch, if you're watching impartially.

    I got dragged along to see this by my girlfriend. If you're not a huge fan either (and I mean huge) then be cautious.
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Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Baker
    Oct 17, 2014
    91
    Talented, prolific, familiar with film, etc. Cave is a natural to push documentaries in a new direction, and 20,000 Days on Earth does it.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Oct 2, 2014
    88
    20,000 Days on Earth isn’t so much a portrait of the artist as a middle-aged man, looking back on his life, as it is a meditation on the art of storytelling.
  3. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Oct 1, 2014
    78
    What’s great about this “documentary” – Cave gets a script credit alongside the directors, which kind of invalidates the whole notion of hands-off documentary filmmaking – is that it delves deeply into Cave’s notoriously fussy creative process without ever becoming stodgy or dull.