Anvil! The Story of Anvil


Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 26
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 26
  3. Negative: 0 out of 26

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Sam Toy
    The lyrics to AC/DC’s Long Way To The Top were never more appropriate. Anvil! is exactly what's needed to slap the recent rash of doomsayer documentaries in the face -- preferably with a studded, fingerless leather glove.
  2. It's a hilarious, and unexpectedly moving, documentary about the greatest metal band you've probably never heard of.
  3. Anvil lives somewhere in that thoroughly entertaining gray area between self-parody and the triumph of human spirit.
  4. 91
    Yet in his despair, there's something Kudlow misses, and it's what makes Anvil! as moving as it is hilarious.
  5. 91
    A hilarious, touching, profound and inspiring film about art and dreams and self-belief and the goggle-eyed hope that you can will a miracle into reality through sheer effort and desire.
  6. 90
    The most stirring release of the year thus far is a documentary.
  7. 88
    Want to find the heart of rock & roll? You can hear it thundering in Anvil.
  8. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Neil Young once said: It's better to burn out than it is to rust. But moviegoers are lucky Anvil didn't take Young's advice. Who knew heavy metal could seem like fine art when it rusts?
  9. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Anvil! is one of the sweetest, funniest films I've seen this year. Also the loudest and most foulmouthed.
  10. For Kudlow, for whom "music lives forever" - it's never over. And the opportunity to seize the day continues to present itself in this deeply human documentary.
  11. I can't imagine Anvil! not appealing to anyone interested in any aspect of showbiz, and the drug of fame, and the lives people lead in pursuit of the next fix.
  12. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Well-shot and edited, Anvil! is an underdog saga even non-metalheads will root for. It tows that fine line between chuckling at its protags' somewhat absurd situation and celebrating their sheer unwillingness to give up.
  13. 80
    From the too-good-to-be-true desk comes this loving and hilarious portrait of Spinal Tap-esque Canadian metal band Anvil, who were briefly a hard-rock sensation in the early '80s (mainly for the song "Metal on Metal") and have been struggling along in total obscurity ever since.
  14. You may never have expected to see the words heavy metal, endearing and warmhearted in the same sentence, but you just did.
  15. Alternately funny, sad and outrageous, Sacha Gervasi's terrific documentary feels like the lost sequel to “This Is Spinal Tap” -- and everyone involved seems to know it, except the leads.
  16. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    The director, Sacha Gervasi, is a fan first and a documentarian second. If Anvil! has a flaw, it's that it's too enthusiastic, a reverently uncritical valentine to the director's adolescent heroes.
  17. 80
    Every bit enjoyable as that famed mockumentary.
  18. 80
    Gervasi has tapped into a powerful if much-overlooked truth: humanity rocks.
  19. Surprisingly touching and funny.
  20. 75
    You won't be seeing any stretch Hummers, wild late night parties and 75,000 seat arena shows in this documentary, but that's what makes this so good.
  21. 75
    Not exactly as well known as Megadeth or Metallica, Anvil did indeed have 15 minutes of fame back in the 1980s. Then it went into obscurity. Now it's back, trying like hell to be somebody.
  22. 75
    "How many bands stay together for 30 years?" asks Slash of Guns N' Roses, in a backstage interview. "You've got the Stones, the Who, U2 -- and Anvil." Yeah. And Anvil.
  23. The documentary is solid as … as … an anvil. And if you can forget Spinal Tap (hard), it's also rather touching the way these 50-year-olds still have the forged-in-fire fortitude.
  24. A loopy, endearing documentary.
  25. 70
    Mr. Reiner and Mr. Kudlow may not quite merit full-metal glory, but they don't deserve oblivion either, and Anvil! The Story of Anvil makes both a case and a place for their band.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. LyleS.
    Oct 6, 2009
    This is the best rock movie of all time - it is the essence of love for rock.
  2. TeresaL.
    Oct 5, 2009
    This movie is so moving...a true testament to the human spirit. I am so thrilled that Anvil is getting the recognition that they definitely This movie is so moving...a true testament to the human spirit. I am so thrilled that Anvil is getting the recognition that they definitely deserve. Fantastic movie. Just purchased my signed copy of the dvd. Long Live Anvil!!!!! Full Review »
  3. Feb 12, 2013
    This documentary was truly moving, it gave a perfect example of what bands really go through to "get to the top". You are rooting for them throughout!