Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jun 27, 2013
    90
    And then would come this generous, spirited documentary, to capture one of the strangest and most inspiring of all family stories of tragedy and triumph that this crazy country has produced.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Jun 27, 2013
    90
    Joy and redemption aren't exactly punk mantras, but A Band Called Death might just give your heart a thrashing.
  3. Reviewed by: Brian McManus
    Jun 26, 2013
    90
    A beautiful tale of life, love, music, and family, of things not working out but also working out just as predicted.
  4. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jun 27, 2013
    83
    A Band Called Death lacks the thrill of mystery but makes up for it with pathos.
  5. Reviewed by: Katie Walsh
    Jun 26, 2013
    83
    This rock doc rewrites punk history while telling an emotional story about an artist’s spirit and his faithful family.
  6. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Jul 11, 2013
    80
    It’s a soul-stirring tribute to a man whose vision was too bold and revolutionary for his lifetime, or the convention-bound ways of the music industry, but was ultimately too powerful to be denied.
  7. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    Jun 27, 2013
    80
    A Band Called Death is more concerned with bringing out the personal connections behind their driven music than with insisting upon the group’s distinction in the perennial music history search for oddities and firsts.
  8. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jun 27, 2013
    75
    Like the recent "Searching for Sugar Man," A Band Called Death celebrates music born in Detroit that, with a turn of the wrist and a different roll of the dice, might've found the audience it deserved the first time.
  9. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Jun 26, 2013
    75
    The film springs to life in its second half, when the members’ grown kids, who are also working musicians, discover that their dads/uncles were in a forgotten, innovative band that the family had never once mentioned.
  10. Reviewed by: Drew Hunt
    Jun 26, 2013
    75
    The film is made impetuously watchable and disarmingly emotional by the filmmakers' strong command of docudrama and nonfiction narrative style.
  11. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jul 4, 2013
    67
    A Band Called Death is more effective as a chronicle of the intensely close relationship between three musically ambitious brothers than as proto-punk archaeology.
  12. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Jun 26, 2013
    67
    Although the film is never fully convincing about this rock band’s overlooked potential – despite testimonials from the likes of Alice Cooper, Henry Rollins, Jello Biafra, and Elijah Wood – the story of Death sure adds an interesting and virtually unknown footnote to the annals of punk rock.
  13. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Jul 16, 2013
    63
    In the end Death triumphs, but its allure and obsession remain a mystery.
  14. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jun 25, 2013
    60
    Too much of the doc takes our taste for granted; Alice Cooper, Henry Rollins and others won’t persuade you that Death could have been huge, nor does a clichéd last-act reunion show. But the film’s alternating inquiry — into family love, slow compromise and, yes, death — resonates strongly.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jul 31, 2013
    7
    Unlike this review, the movie was a little long winded. The middle dragged. It didn't cover anything about the band's old live performanceUnlike this review, the movie was a little long winded. The middle dragged. It didn't cover anything about the band's old live performance days. However, it was overall enjoyable and a must see for any old school punk rock kids from back in the day. Full Review »