• Network: SHOWTIME
  • Series Premiere Date: Jul 12, 2019

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Jul 12, 2019
    After four hours, not only does the Showtime documentary provide insight on the central subject, but why his way of thinking could benefit a muddled, repetitive, and stagnant artistic community.
  2. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Jul 12, 2019
    How Neville, Malmberg and their team manage to make all of this cohere together over four free-form episodes is slightly unbelievable. Somehow, the drifting from recording sessions to vigorous Rubin head-nodding to old film clips to community-college theater department recreations of Krush Groove to pro-wrestling footage — Rick is a huge fan — to existential musings makes you feel like you’re inside the producer’s head.
  3. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Jul 12, 2019
    We eavesdrop on conversations between Rubin and his artists, we get tours of the ground to learn its history, and the series attains a cumulative, mesmerizing power that I imagine is akin to spending a long night around a bonfire with Rubin, talking a bit about his legacy but also about what it means to be an artist, and even more to be a human being.
  4. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jul 12, 2019
    There are many levels of successful and riveting storytelling in Shangri-La. Rubin's early career is so drastically different from his present life that the evolution is a can't-miss arc. ... If there is one area where Shangri-La falls flat, it's in not getting a little dirtier and messier in the examination of those middle years.
  5. Reviewed by: Josh Modell
    Jul 12, 2019
    At nearly four hours, Shangri-La does occasionally feel overstuffed, and it can jump from navel-gazing philosophy to brass-tacks music history too abruptly. ... But there’s enough fascinating history in this place—and in the man—to make it worthwhile.
  6. Reviewed by: Glenn Gamboa
    Jul 10, 2019
    “Shangri-La” offers a look into the private world Rubin has created. It may be limited, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fascinating.
  7. Reviewed by: Judy Berman
    Jul 18, 2019
    It’s not a traditional biography. Director Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?) lets each episode meander like a train of thought. ... What resonates most in Shangri-La—a gentle, summery viewing experience as relaxing as its subject is relaxed—is Rubin’s authenticity, his ability to connect with whoever happens to be in his studio regardless of their age, race or gender.
  8. Reviewed by: Lily Moayeri
    Aug 7, 2019
    Shangri-La is not an advertisement for the studio, nor is it a biography on Rubin. It touches on the history of the space, which was built in 1976, featuring some classic footage with Scorsese and The Band, and the titular character for the television show Mr. Ed, who lived in a stable at Shangri-La when on hiatus.
  9. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Jul 12, 2019
    Alternately fascinating and frustrating. ... While Neville and Malmberg’s atypical non-fiction approach is initially refreshing, their disinterest in so much of the output that made Rubin a unique icon eventually becomes disheartening. Moreover, it results in repetition.

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