Only the Strong Survive Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Documentary filmmakers DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus catch up with the great soul singers of the 1960s and early 1970s. The result is a musical celebration of soul, a glimpse into the skewed world of the music industry, and a compelling narrative of these seven talented acts. (Miramax)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 21
  2. Negative: 3 out of 21
  1. 88
    One for the time capsule.
  2. One of the happiest movies around.
  3. This is no antique show: Faced with an audience, they are still amazingly vital and sometimes amazingly lewd.
  4. 67
    Agreeable and warm, is content for the most part merely to allude to complexity and darkness in the lives of its subjects.
  5. 63
    Captures some remarkably vivid present-day performances by the aging performers.
  6. 60
    I'd have welcomed more archival footage (Pennebaker did, after all, document Otis Redding's epochal performance at the Monterey Pop Festival), but that would be asking for another movie.
  7. 10
    All Only the Strong Survive has to offer are scraps, and it's a sad thing to sit through a movie billed as a tribute to a group of terrific performers and to come away with nothing more than scraps.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. MichelleM.
    May 6, 2006
    Several great performances: : Jerry Butler, Wilson Pickett, Ann Peebles, Mary Wilson, stitched together with chatter and disconnected vignettes. Lack of depth in portraying the soul of the performers or of the culture in which they thrived. Much less compelling or evocative than Standing In the Shadows of Motown. Expand

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