• Network: PBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 26, 2005
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Dallas Morning News
    Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jul 8, 2019
    100
    No Direction Home is a soul-stirring Scorsese masterwork. His The Last Waltz, which documented The Band's final concert, is generally considered the big screen's best-ever rock performance film. Now he's outdone himself with a lyrical, magical film rich in both context and subtext. [26 Sep 2005, p.1G]
  2. New York Daily News
    Reviewed by: David Bianculli
    Jul 8, 2019
    100
    "No Direction Home" is so thoroughly captivating, with so much rare and new material - fresh interviews, as well as vintage film and TV footage - that it's frustrating that the focus is so narrow. [26 Sep 2005, p.87]
  3. Philadelphia Inquirer
    Reviewed by: Jonathan Storm
    Jul 8, 2019
    100
    It runs 3 hours and 37 minutes. It's too darned short. [26 Sep 2005, p.C7]
  4. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Joel Selvin
    Jul 8, 2019
    100
    Extraordinary ... Scorsese uses Dylan himself as the narrator of the film, which follows about six years of his career. From the stunning opening sequence of Dylan braying "Like a Rolling Stone" at a 1966 British concert, "No Direction Home" brings it all back home, showing this remarkable young man, wise and cunning beyond his years, impish, impudent, frequently high and impossibly brilliant. [26 Sep 2005, p.C1]
  5. Arizona Republic
    Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jul 8, 2019
    100
    [An] utterly brilliant documentary. [25 Sep 2005, p.1E]
  6. Baltimore Sun
    Reviewed by: David Zurawik
    Jul 8, 2019
    100
    No Direction Home is not just another two nights in front of the tube. Even by the standards of PBS' American Masters -- the medium's finest biography series ever -- Scorsese's film is 3 1/2 hours of breathing air so rarefied compared to most television that it feels as if one is inhaling helium. [26 Sep 2005, p.1C]
  7. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jul 8, 2019
    100
    Scorsese's [film] ... creates a portrait that is deep, sympathetic, perceptive and yet finally leaves Dylan shrouded in mystery, which is where he properly lives.
  8. Miami Herald
    Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Jul 8, 2019
    90
    The result is a testament to Scorsese's considerable story-telling skills. With no narration at all, No Direction Home is an intricate yet seamless account of an elusive subject whose own friends call him a shape-shifter. [26 Sep 2005, p.E3]
  9. Boston Herald
    Reviewed by: Larry Katz
    Jul 8, 2019
    90
    This part of Dylan's story is, of course, well known. In understated style Scorsese makes it fresh, unearthing a wealth of rare performance footage of the impossibly young and magnetic singer and mixing it with incisive talking head interviews. [26 Sep 2005, p.41]
  10. Reviewed by: Phil Gallo
    Jul 8, 2019
    90
    Scorsese has created a document that will satiate Dylan fans over repeated viewings and should bring naysayers into the Dylan fold. The revelatory 3½-hour docu is a triumph.
  11. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Greg Kot
    Jul 8, 2019
    80
    "No Direction Home" isn't moviemaking, it's mythmaking -- albeit of the highest order. It lacks the hurly-burly immediacy of D.A. Pennebaker's 1967 portrait of Dylan on the road, "Dont Look Back," or the Maysles brothers' documentary of the Rolling Stones 1969 tour, "Gimme Shelter." Instead, it settles for the easy conclusions that Dylan once routinely punctured. That said, it's still a fascinating valentine from one artist to another, the most detailed look yet at Dylan's transformation from acoustic folk singer to shades-wearing rocker. [25 Sep 2005, p.C9]
  12. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    Reviewed by:  John Doyle
    Jul 8, 2019
    80
    A fabulous, fawning biography by Martin Scorsese ... It's a stunningly beautiful, powerful presentation of Bob Dylan as the one, true American Idol. [26 Sep 2005, p.R2]
  13. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Richard Cromelin
    Jul 8, 2019
    80
    The achievement of "No Direction Home" is that it humanizes the enigma without demystifying the artist, and it gives us a person to care about. [25 Sep 2005, p.E1]
  14. Washington Post
    Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jul 8, 2019
    80
    A lively, absorbing, often deeply moving account ... The result isn't a comprehensive compendium of factoids or deep dish -- there's precious little personal information related in the 207-minute running time -- but instead a tightly focused portrait of a young artist searching for his musical and professional identity and whose search happened to bring him to the very center of the American political and cultural zeitgeist. [26 Sep 2005, p.C1]
  15. Newsday
    Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Jul 8, 2019
    75
    While "No Direction Home" can't turn the American Mastery trick of telling us what makes a cultural titan tick, it probably gets deeper inside the Dylan mystery than any such portrait is likely to. [26 Sep 2005, p.B17]
  16. Denver Post
    Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Jul 8, 2019
    70
    The resulting Scorsese film is just like its subject: often frustrating but always compelling. [25 Sep 2005, p.F1]
  17. Reviewed by: David Yaffe
    Jul 8, 2019
    70
    Even though Scorsese does his share of sepia scanning, we are not, thank God, in PBS purgatory, with a portentous narrator telling you what to think. ... To narrate selected details from this journey from the Iron Range to Greenwich Village to Rock Star Babylon, we get generous, attention-span respecting clips of Dylan performances and reminiscences from carefully selected talking heads.
  18. 70
    If No Direction Home is less a concert film and more of an American Masters documentary than The Last Waltz was, it is so much longer (by about an hour and a half) that we end up with the same amount of music anyway, and most of this music hasn’t been nibbled to death by cretinous videoheads who think that what they have to say is more interesting than the music they say it about.
  19. Reviewed by: Steven Hart
    Jul 8, 2019
    60
    "No Direction Home" offers little that is new and much that is already grindingly familiar to fans of His Bobness. And yet it is tremendously watchable and occasionally rewarding, even if it's apt to leave most viewers with the feeling that they have been served appetizers and dessert without getting so much as a glimpse of the main course.
  20. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Jul 8, 2019
    40
    It yields no revelatory light to speak of on its subject.

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