Wattstax (re-released) Image
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: This documentary contains selections from a non-stop 7-hour musical event celebrating the seventh annual Watts Summer Festival, held at the Los Angeles Coliseum on August 20, 1972.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Bill White
    100
    Commentary from shockingly outspoken Watts residents on topics ranging from revolution to infidelity are a vital part of the documentary.
  2. 90
    A candid, colorful and deeply meaningful sociocultural time capsule, one that captured the black community at the height of its political energy and optimism.
  3. The result is a time capsule par excellence...This is the best of times and the worst of times, African American style.
  4. I wish I could say that Wattstax was an ecstatic soul celebration, but most of the performances, while enjoyable, fall short of memorable.
  5. 75
    Wattstax is a disorienting and ironic moviegoing experience. It's a film about the curative powers of rhythm-and-blues music that sets out to frustrate your sense of rhythm in its insistence on the blues.
  6. 70
    Not only documents the soul-titan concert held at L.A. Coliseum seven years after Watts burned, but illuminates the rue and kinesis of a city in full Black Power flower.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Scheinfeld
    70
    The film is saved by the raw power of the performances, and especially, Richard Pryor's bitterly funny observations.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6