Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Sep 22, 2011
    88
    A must-see for Pearl Jam fans - and for folks keen on gleaning insights into the pressures that come with megastardom.
  2. Reviewed by: Guy Dixon
    Sep 22, 2011
    75
    Even those more neutral about Pearl Jam will find it impossible not to enjoy director Cameron Crowe's driving retrospective of the band's stage-diving 20 years, at least on some level.
  3. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Sep 21, 2011
    75
    What makes Pearl Jam Twenty a little better than the average fan-friendly documentary is that Crowe focuses on the more significant parts of the Pearl Jam story: not how the group wrote "Alive," but how it's struggled with maintaining artistic credibility while selling millions.
  4. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Sep 24, 2011
    70
    This is a lovingly assembled tribute to the career of a working band that's still very much, to quote the title of its most iconic hit, "Alive."
  5. Reviewed by: Andy Webster
    Sep 22, 2011
    70
    Before viewers learn this venerable ensemble's story, much less see its members rock out on screen, they are subjected to Mr. Crowe's voice-over account of his own early discovery of the Seattle scene.
  6. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Sep 17, 2011
    70
    Cameron Crowe's feature documentary is among his most effective and deeply felt work.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Sep 23, 2011
    63
    It's a shame that, after nearly 40 years of writing about rock, Cameron Crowe is receptive to the clichés of the genre.
  8. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Sep 20, 2011
    63
    Wholly uninterested in puffing up his subjects into an iconic rock outfit on a par with their idols Led Zeppelin and the Who, Crowe instead merely tells their story free from the constraints of rise-fall-rise clichés.
  9. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Sep 20, 2011
    60
    The effort - by Vedder & Co., as well as Crowe - is heroic, if not quite persuasive. Legends aren't made of longevity alone, and while you wouldn't wish Kurt Cobain's pain on anyone, you can't help but feel this band survived well past its meaning.
  10. Reviewed by: Joseph Rose
    Sep 20, 2011
    58
    At its best, Pearl Jam 20 makes a convincing argument that Nirvana wasn't the most iconic band to rise from the grunge scene. Ultimately, however, Crowe's fanboy treatment pushes it into a mosh pit of mediocrity.
  11. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Sep 23, 2011
    40
    Kurt Cobain, TicketMaster and the tragic concert in Roskilde, Denmark, are addressed through plentiful backstage footage. If only it was about something other than rockers almost irked they got famous.
  12. Reviewed by: Eric Hynes
    Sep 20, 2011
    40
    Perhaps Pearl Jam's arc too closely resembles Crowe's own, and he can't see what's so uniquely poignant about dimmed but enduring stars.
  13. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Sep 17, 2011
    40
    Finding a pulse only in the band's late-reel performance of "Alive," a lusty passage that would've begun a pic intent on making a case for the group's greatness, "Twenty" simply counts the years from 1991 via sludgy backstage and onstage footage whose rarity can't forgive its inclusion. Crowe's critic mentor, the late Lester Bangs, would cringe.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Sep 20, 2011
    10
    This movie was absolutely fantastic. The best music documentary I've seen if not THE best documentary I've ever seen. Crowe did an amazing jobThis movie was absolutely fantastic. The best music documentary I've seen if not THE best documentary I've ever seen. Crowe did an amazing job of chronicling the band's success and explaining their motives and the way they see the fans, touring, album making, and music. It was a touching, sometimes shocking, emotional experience that barely let up any moment in entertainment and intrigue. I can't think of one thing wrong with it. If you're a fan, you'll be in awe. If you're not a fan, you'll be in love again. See it. You won't regret it. Full Review »
  2. Sep 21, 2011
    10
    This movie was a great film, I absolutely loved it. As a Pearl Jam fan, I think Cameron Crowe did an excellent job portraying the band.This movie was a great film, I absolutely loved it. As a Pearl Jam fan, I think Cameron Crowe did an excellent job portraying the band. There were a lot of rare footage on there and he covered everything from the beginning of Mother Love Bone until now. I had shivers throughout the movie he chose some great performances to show. If you were a fan way back in the beginning but lost your touch with PJ, watch this movie and feelings will return. Full Review »
  3. Jun 16, 2014
    9
    I came into this film only knowing a couple of songs by Pearl Jam and now 3 years later they are definitely in my top 5 favourite bands of allI came into this film only knowing a couple of songs by Pearl Jam and now 3 years later they are definitely in my top 5 favourite bands of all time. I've seen the film probably 5 or more times now and its just so well done. Cameron Crowe was the perfect man for the job, and he did such a great job of creating such an interesting and compelling story over the span of 20 years. Granted, most of the film focused on the first year, that never bothered me. Definitely my favourite music-related documentary, and probably one of my favourite documentaries in general. I can definitely thank this documentary for truly introducing me to one of my favourite bands. Full Review »