I Am Trying to Break Your Heart


Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24

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Critic Reviews

  1. 90
    A superb portrait of a band and an industry in flux.
  2. 90
    In the last two decades rock documentaries have become ubiquitous on TV but marginalized as cinema; this is the rare exception that earns its place on the big screen.
  3. 88
    This picture is jagged and exciting; it tells several plots imperfectly, yet makes them add up to a great American story about integrity challenged and triumphant.
  4. Tells Wilco's story so well that you'll leave the theater thinking the album is a work of genius.
  5. An exciting and involving rock music doc, a smart and satisfying look inside that tumultuous world.
  6. 80
    A photographer for magazines like Vanity Fair and GQ, as well as a veteran director of commercials, Mr. Jones brings a trained eye to this, his first documentary. The low gray skies of Chicago prove once again to be a boon to photography, and the city has seldom looked better than it does here, in its chilly, minimalist beauty.
  7. 80
    It testifies to art's vitality and endurance, despite its marketers' -- and sometimes even its makers' -- efforts to the contrary.
  8. Austin Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Much to cheer here, from its treasure trove of early and alternate versions of songs to the triumphant finale.
  9. This is a rare gem tripped over while making a run-of-the-mill rockumentary about a band's new album.
  10. A modest vérité portrait of Wilco, the engagingly melodious, deeply unglam alt-folk rockers.
  11. The film perpetuates a self-congratulatory vision of the record's worth, when an opposing point of view would have provided a more balanced perspective.
  12. 70
    In 30 years’ time it might seem as incisive a document of its time as, say, “Don’t Look Back” or “Gimme Shelter.” As a study of how the current corporate idiocy impacts one man’s art, it’s priceless.
  13. Shot in grainy black and white, the film features tons of entertaining footage of the band in the studio as well as an enlightening commentary from music critics Greg Kot and David Frick.
  14. The unexpected drama captured puts I Am Trying to Break Your Heart in the good company, if not quite the league, of "Let It Be" and "Gimme Shelter."
  15. 63
    The concert footage is stirring, the recording sessions are intriguing, and -- on the way to striking a blow for artistic integrity -- this quality band may pick up new admirers.
  16. May be anticorporate, it's by no means hype-free.
  17. This is compelling stuff, but Jones seems almost pathologically averse to upstaging the songs themselves.
  18. 63
    To love Wilco is to believe in a certain rustic intelligence about popular music (and about yourself) and to embrace the Tweedy worldview that you need sarcasm and vagueness to cope with the pitfalls of sincerity.
  19. what we've got here is a little propaganda film. A mild one, certainly, but the cliché of DIY hopefuls (band) versus the Big Machine (music industry) foments the same tedious struggle of art versus commerce.
  20. 50
    A slightly dull film by photographer Sam Jones.
  21. 40
    Jones's documentary, named for the opening song on Foxtrot, is most effective as a poison-pen missive to Corporate Rock.
  22. 40
    As Tweedy talks about canning his stockbroker and repairing his pool, you yearn for a few airborne TV sets or nude groupies on the nod to liven things up. And what do we get? Diet Coke! Tonight is definitely not the night.
  23. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    May leave itself open to charges of being little more than a promo feature posing as a documentary, but pic nevertheless is a warts-and-all look at a group of musicians -- and the music biz -- likely to make most record label flacks flinch.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. BrianH
    Jun 26, 2007
    I love this DVD but I'm a hardcore fan and don't expect everyone to dig it. Notice how the East and West Coast Papers have such a I love this DVD but I'm a hardcore fan and don't expect everyone to dig it. Notice how the East and West Coast Papers have such a disdain for this amazing band. Could it be that Wilco is from the Midwest. Aren't these the same papers and reviewers who cheer for shit like Hillary Duff or Gwen Stefani or any other musician who is more entertainer than artist. I love me some Gwen sometimes, don't get me wrong. But don't fuck with Wilco just because they are normal people who drink Diet Coke. Full Review »