Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Bird, a film burnished with the magic of that 1946 concert encounter between legend and future legend and honored with an Academy Award for Best Sound in its spellbinding recreation of a man and his music. Like jazz itself, Bird rings with counterpoints and embellishments. Past and future overlap as the film explores Yardbird's soaring skill and destructive excesses. (Warner Bros.) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    100
    n a remarkable directorial effort, Eastwood shows a great flair for atmosphere and composition and presents a nuanced, complex, humane portrait of Parker's talents, obstacles, virtues and failings. Whitaker gives a towering performance as the tortured musical genius, and Venora is equally impressive as the independent, compassionate Chan.
  2. Clint Eastwood's ambitious 1988 feature about the great Charlie Parker (Forest Whitaker) is the most serious, conscientious, and accomplished jazz biopic ever made, and almost certainly Eastwood's best picture as well.
  3. 88
    Bird wisely does not attempt to "explain" Parker's music by connecting experiences with musical discoveries. This is a film of music, not about it, and one of the most extraordinary things about it is that we are really, literally, hearing Parker on the soundtrack.
  4. At two hours and 43 minutes, Eastwood's Bird is a hypnotic, darkly photographed, loosely constructed marvel that avoids every cliche of the self-destructive-celebrity biography, a particularly remarkable achievement in that Parker played out every cliche of the self- destructive-celebrity life. [14 Oct 1988, p. C1]
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    Clint Eastwood remains a competent, rather than distinctive, film maker, but he obviously respects the material. Bird is essentially factual, and we come to understand why so many other musicians thought shooting heroin might enable them to transfer [Charlie Parker]'s genius to themselves. [26 Sept 1988, p. 4D]
  6. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    75
    It's more than a labor of love -- it's a powerful summoning of devoted craft, conveying the pain and complexity of a great musical innovator, avoiding almost totally the usual Hollywood cliches. [14 Oct 1988, p. 53]
  7. Reviewed by: Desson Howe
    60
    You'll leave Bird's smooth flow of nightclub images, dark motel rooms and recharged Parker tracks with new respect for Eastwood the Director. But you'll also leave none the wiser about Parker the Man.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

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  3. Negative: 0 out of

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