Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: David Lewis
    Sep 25, 2014
    100
    It’s right up there with the best rock documentaries. That is, if you can call it a documentary.
  2. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    Sep 16, 2014
    100
    The film conceals as much as it reveals, and its beauty is that it pretends to do nothing else. It embraces a mystery and protects it, and it’s thrilling to behold.
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Mar 12, 2014
    80
    An aptly intense and innovative study of pioneering rock poet Nick Cave, 20,000 Days on Earth playfully disguises itself as fiction while more than fulfilling the requirements of a biographical documentary.
  5. Reviewed by: Ed Frankl
    Sep 18, 2014
    80
    The film is both a biography of Cave's life and a beguiling vision of a musician considering the meaning of his own art.
  6. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Sep 26, 2014
    75
    It's a wondrous mix of the momentous and mundane, the profound and the perverse, with Cave blues-talking his way through the goofy juxtapositions, the darkness, and the light.
  7. Reviewed by: John Semley
    Mar 12, 2014
    63
    While the film is seemingly accessible as a portrait of an artist who seems particularly attuned to his own creative process, and particularly adept at describing this attunement, it's unlikely that many who aren't already whole-hog Bad Seeds fans would be able to stomach much of Cave's self-styled pomposity.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 2
  2. Negative: 1 out of 2
  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 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 films and will sit through slow films if they have something interesting goin on. This had nothing. Expand

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