Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Summary: An intimate and moving meditation on the late musician and artist Kurt Cobain, based on more than 25 hours of previously unheard audiotaped interviews conducted with Cobain by noted music journalist Michael Azerrad for his book "Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana." In the film, Kurt Cobain recounts his own life - from his childhood and adolescence to his days of musical discovery and later dealings with explosive fame - and offers often piercing insights into his life, music, and times. The conversations heard in the film have never before been made public and they reveal a highly personal portrait of an artist much discussed but not particularly well understood. (Sidetrack Films) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Mark Bell
    Everyone involved with the film brings their top talents to the fore, and the result is a touching, heartbreaking and an ultimately honest personal experience.
  2. Even without the oral history, this trippy exploration of Cobain's earthy habitations would be worth seeing as a "Koyaanisqatsi" for the Puget Sound area.
  3. Reviewed by: Camille Dodero
    About a Son is essentially a dead rock star talking about his life for an hour and a half, and—here, jacket-blurbers!—it's deeply moving.
  4. 75
    A lovely piece of filmmaking, a gripping, minimalist marriage of sound and image.
  5. A true gift to fans of this important musician.
  6. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Some fans will find the approach (which avoids Nirvana music and perf footage) too arty and indirect; but others will welcome the specialized theatrical release and the subsequent DVD.
  7. Reviewed by: Joel Selvin
    Never penetrates Cobain's circumstances or character.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. CharlotteS.
    Oct 5, 2007
    Didn't really know what to expect given the up and down reviews I found online but in the end I thought this was an amazing look into Kurt's world and beautifully put together. It was rather haunting to hear his voice and how conflicted he was. Expand
  2. Puja
    Oct 9, 2007
    As a mile-high Nirvana fan, I was always eager to learn more about not only Kurt but the band itself. This documentary provided some closure for me in terms of Kurt's death, which in turn was the death of Nirvana. It was painful to remember that there would be no more music from such a great band who expressed the unexplainable angst of my generation. However i feel that the documentary, now over 10 years after his death, help the now elder generation come into terms with what happened though it still doesn't explain Kurt's decision. But that's ok, we were never intended to know about it and he never wanted anyone to know much about his personal life. He was just a normal kid with normal problems - like one of us. It was beautiful to hear his voice and feel his pain that he knows we all share. Expand
  3. PaulK.
    Nov 7, 2007
    If you're a fan, this is definitely worth checking out. I thought the re-created images to go along w/ the phone taped interviews worked in some parts but not others. I liked the live photos of nirvana at the end. I wish there would have been more real documentation to accompany Kurt's words. As it stands, it's a detached and odd feeling documentary. Appropriate enough, given the subject. Expand
  4. JayH.
    Feb 6, 2008
    A good documentary is one that will engross you in the subject, whether you have an interest in it or not. On this level, About a Son fails. I didn't care about Kurt Cobain before watching, during it, or after it. It is painfully overlong. This is strictly for fans of Cobain. Expand