Taking Woodstock

Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35

Where To Watch

Stream On
Stream On

Critic Reviews

  1. A love letter to the time, and the period, and the legend that has grown around both. Maybe it's all too wonderful to be true, but that's OK. If Taking Woodstock is a fantasy, then it's a most benevolent one, and more power to it.
  2. 63
    This is as safe and sweet a movie as you could make about America’s sex-drugs-and-rock ’n’ roll-est event.
  3. Ang Lee adds to the mythology with the sweet, gentle Taking Woodstock.
  4. 75
    Taking Woodstock has the freshness of something being created, not remembered.
  5. This is very light material, and, unusually for a Lee picture, not everybody in the ensemble appears to be acting in the same universe, let alone the same story. On the other hand: It’s fun.
  6. Lee has always had an affinity for innocence and an abiding affection for outcasts, and both traits serve him well in Taking Woodstock -- but only up to a point. Beyond that point, where sanctification meets reality, the film floats up, up, and away.
  7. Lee captures the fractious, joyful, monstrously evolving mass it all was.
  8. Lee keeps things afloat with an appealing air of levity, including a fun but restrained use of split-screen, an homage to the 1970 doc, as well as cameos by that movie's Port-O-San guy and its peace-sign-flashing nuns.
  9. Lee distills the flavor of this transforming event and hints at how it transformed some who were there. His movie is a contact high.
  10. 67
    Somehow Lee fails to make it speak to us. His heart is in the right place, but like many of the crowd that swarmed Yasgur's farm, he has rather lost his head.
  11. 63
    The movie hits its stride when it deals directly with the concert. The more peripheral Elliot is to the story, the better things become.
  12. 63
    The film's major sin of omission: the music.
  13. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to be there - to actually be there, man - this movie gets it.
  14. Taiwanese director Ang Lee sees the '60s through a rose-colored telephoto lens, but his sympathetic spirit extends the generous message of the hippie era like a passed joint.
  15. It's a low-wattage film about a high-wattage event. Which is somewhat disappointing, though you do get a thoughtful, playful, often amusing film about what happened backstage at one of the '60s' great happenings.
  16. This likable, humane movie is not an attempt to recreate the epochal Woodstock Music and Art Fair captured in Michael Wadleigh’s documentary “Woodstock.” It is essentially a small, intimate film into which is fitted a peripheral view of the landmark event.
  17. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    This is Woodstock from another perspective -- one without Jimi Hendrix or Janis Joplin.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 11
  2. Negative: 3 out of 11
  1. Sep 1, 2014
    2
    Blasphemy! Utterly preposterous to create a film revolving around Woodstock 1969 and have absolutely no moments of appreciation for the music.Blasphemy! Utterly preposterous to create a film revolving around Woodstock 1969 and have absolutely no moments of appreciation for the music. Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock is disrespectful to the greatest era of music by creating this odd-ball look at music's greatest weekend and failing to recognize key necessities. Full Review »
  2. Feb 1, 2013
    8
    A wonderful pleasing film in which the reenactment of the event seems so vivid and accurate. It is entertaining and fun. This movie was neverA wonderful pleasing film in which the reenactment of the event seems so vivid and accurate. It is entertaining and fun. This movie was never supposed to be just about the music. Full Review »
  3. DavidK
    Jan 9, 2010
    4
    This movie is an unqualified disaster. The script makes no sense. You never care about the main character and his relationship with his This movie is an unqualified disaster. The script makes no sense. You never care about the main character and his relationship with his parents and Dimitri Martin never conveys anything but a blank look. Compared to the weirdly dramatic emoting of his parents, it is, as one reviewer said, that they are not in the same movie. And in the end, despite Ang Lee's attention to the background details, the scope of the event is never conveyed. The one shot of the mass of people is unconvincing...It needed one large overhead shot or something....anyway, Ang Lee will be great again, but he is not here. Full Review »