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71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 32 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 42
  2. Negative: 1 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Jul 30, 2014
    100
    In 2007, Jamie Foxx won Best Actor for his subtle performance as Ray Charles. Boseman exceeds that solid standard. Incarnating James Brown in all his ornery uniqueness, he deserves a Pulitzer, a Nobel and instant election to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jul 31, 2014
    88
    Get on Up hits all these high points. But the Butterworths fracture the order, fruitfully. They're more interested in making musical and dramatic connections across time and space — something in the '70s triggering a childhood memory, for example — than in laying them out predictably.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jul 31, 2014
    80
    All the more remarkably, then, this flawed but startling biopic stars another performer, Chadwick Boseman, who fills Brown's shoes with a dynamism that transcends imitation.
  4. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jul 31, 2014
    75
    Taylor's movie is overly episodic, but a number of those episodes are marvelous.
  5. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Aug 1, 2014
    67
    Though Get On Up never congeals into a satisfactory whole, its fragmentary portrait of the singer at the height of his fame — intercut with his troubled single-parent childhood — effectively shows his invasive power in popular culture.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Aug 1, 2014
    60
    Few of the film's secondary characters feel fully developed, with the possible exception of Nelsan Ellis' portrayal of Brown sidekick Bobby Byrd.
  7. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Jul 30, 2014
    33
    Get On Up is the Hollywood biopic at its near-worst — a formless, extravagant assortment of historical incidents and lip-synched musical numbers, which ultimately amount to little more than a 138-minute showcase reel for Chadwick Boseman’s technically impressive and utterly opaque James Brown impression.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Aug 2, 2014
    10
    No chance I'm ever going to see a better movie. I loved Get On Up , brilliant movie!!!DO see this! A great movie for the whole family. If you only see one movie this summer see Get On Up !!! Expand
  2. Sep 2, 2014
    10
    i just got done watching into the storm an it was off the hook !. for odd reason i walked up to the door an saw get on up in the middle of the movie i knew it was the film that people needed to see to learn why music has its legend James Brown an how that brown inspired popular singers like Ice Cube , Usher an Justin Timberlake. I did not see the beginning of the movie i only saw the half of the movie. but i understand that i did not need understand james brown as a boy i only needed to know why music has its legend James Brown Basically 42 Chadwick Boseman performance of the legend is probably the new elvis. Awesome Producing from Mick Jagger, Brian Grazer, Tate Taylor. how could i not forget the director of help Mr. Talyor who directed this amazing Musical Picture. Taylor has some dramactic segregation stories like the help which was an amazing movie. But Taylor decides to get back in the game with drama , Viola Davis again. Grade A+ Expand
  3. Aug 2, 2014
    9
    Outstanding performance by Chadwick Boseman. His James Brown is spot on. The movie tells the back story of one of rock n' roll's most defining stars. The plot is a bit jumbled with timelines bouncing back & forth, but Boseman's performance makes the trip more than worth the ride. Expand
  4. Aug 5, 2014
    6
    This one is pretty good and is ultimately a good, fair look at James Brown's life. It did not show just all the success and positivity he had, but it also showed the negative elements of him and his life and, overall, felt very complete and well done. The storytelling could have been a little better (it kept jumping around in time throughout), but the direction was strong for the most part and felt very focused. The soundtrack is also great, as expected. The acting from all is also good, however, the real superstar here is Chadwick Boseman. In a true Oscar nomination-worthy performance, Boseman really embodies Brown to a t and really brings the "funk" and "groove" in his performance and his dance moves. This was a true powerhouse performance from an actor who is clearly somebody on the rise. At the end of the day, it is a biopic and it is hard to cover everything in a person's life in a 2 hour+ time frame, but I think this one did pretty well (even if it did jump around and gloss over some things) and, as I said, felt very fair. But, this one will be remembered as the film that made Boseman into a star, more so than for any other element of it. Expand
  5. Aug 14, 2014
    6
    Sometime during the movie a thought occurred to me: "How could this happen without him getting arrested?" and so it stayed and cropped up every time something ridiculous happened. Might be a hard pill to swallow but this is a biopic, recounted from people close to James Brown (with parts from his biography spattered in). It's not a typical biopic as it frequently breaks the "fourth wall" as well as other well-timed jokes about the past. Only really emotional when talking of his family, otherwise a show about a show performer. Must have been a blast filming.
    In summary, see it if you like his music (or any music from that era) otherwise worth a rent if you are curious.
    Expand
  6. Aug 9, 2014
    6
    Boseman's portrayal of James Brown is fascinating, and this film does a great job of showing his determination and sheer genius. But that's where my compliments stop. The script jumps around all over the place, and skims over important details like the death of his son and his descent into drugs and ruin. It spends much more time explaining his pathology by way of flashbacks to his childhood. A good editor and better director (is Mick Jagger broke?!) could have brought in a great movie in under 2:18. Expand
  7. Aug 10, 2014
    4
    Weak attempt at trying to recreate RAY-like cast and atmosphere here.
    I think Chadwick Boseman gives a pretty good performance but this lacks
    originality and uniqueness.
    Be here, seen this.
    Expand

See all 14 User Reviews

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