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59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 23 Ratings

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  • Summary: Pearl Jam Twenty chronicles the years leading up to the band’s formation, the chaos that ensued soon-after their rise to megastardom, their step back from center stage, and the creation of a trusted circle that would surround them—giving way to a work culture that would sustain them. Told in big themes and bold colors with blistering sound, the film is carved from over 1200 hours of rarely-seen and never-before seen footage spanning the band’s career. Pearl Jam twenty is the definitive portrait of Pearl Jam: part concert film, part intimate insider –hang, part testimonial to the power of music and uncompromising artists. (Vinyl Films) Expand
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: 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  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 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. Collapse
  2. fve
    Aug 12, 2013
    10
    Esta es un gran documental, acerca mucho al lado humado de la banda, permite conocer cada detalle de la larga vida de este grupo que ha sobrevivido al cambio generacional y a la comercialización abrupta de nuevos talentos y música de moda. Expand
  3. Mar 21, 2012
    10
    Where the Foo Fighters' "Back and Forth" was a discography with interesting anecdotes and philosophizing of music (which is great, and I love and own the film), Pearl Jam Twenty is an in depth exploration of an entire generation of music at a time when something new was born. It's a great documentary and the DVD has some exceptional special features. More than worth your time. Expand
  4. 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. 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. Expand
  5. Oct 24, 2011
    8
    Pay no attention to the mixed reaction in the metascore-- if you like Pearl Jam then you'll like this doc. If you don't like Pearl Jam, then I'd imagine it would be a bit dull. It's got some great archive footage, a compelling arc, and of course a great soundtrack. Expand
  6. j30
    Jan 12, 2012
    8
    I really enjoyed this film, like I do with most of Cameron Crowe's I'm surprised by the mixed feedback from critics. I'm a fan of Pearl Jam without really knowing who they are (like I'd imagine most people are, besides the die-hard fans). Even I had heard about some of the topics brought up in the movie (Denmark and Ticketmaster), the film had this kind of introspective point of view that made the movie both compelling and inspiring. Expand
  7. Jan 7, 2012
    8
    I never really got into Pearl Jam, and other than a couple of hits their career pretty much passed me by, but this is compulsive viewing. A combination of interviews and captured footage make this a great documentary. Can't say I'm a fan of the band as a result, but they seem a nice enough bunch who have handled fame and fortune better than some in the industry. Worth watching by anyone with the slightest interest in rock. Expand

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