For those about to doc, we salute you! Because this week you’ll be joining the king of merciless cool, director Jim Jarmusch, whose new documentary
captures the raw power and influence of Iggy Pop and the Stooges. In addition, there’s Gimme Danger , chronicling the ’90s rise of the Gallagher brothers/musicians/alleged potato. These movies serve as the inspiration for this week’s 24 Frames: Certified Fresh rock documentaries…and remember, a gallery like this Oasis: Supersonic goes to 11 (and by 11, we mean 27).
(2015, 98%) Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
Critics Consensus: Makes a persuasive case for its subject without resorting to hagiography — and includes plenty of rare and unreleased footage for fans.
(2013, 89%) The Punk Singer
Critics Consensus: It verges on hagiography, but given the deeply compelling nature of its subject’s story, The Punk Singer can be forgiven its lack of objectivity.
(2000, 95%) The Filth and the Fury
Critics Consensus: A complete and completely unabashed look at The Sex Pistols, shot in suitably propulsive punk fashion.
(1978, 98%) The Last Waltz
Critics Consensus: Among one of, if not the best rock movie ever made, The Last Waltz is a revealing, electrifying view of The Band at their height.
(2015, 93%) Janis: Little Girl Blue
Critics Consensus: Inquisitive without being intrusive, LGB offers an insightful glimpse into the life of a rock ‘n’ roll legend, Janis Joplin.
(2013, 94%) A Band Called Death
Critics Consensus: Not only a fascinating portrait of a pioneering rock group, but also a tribute to family ties and perseverance in the face of hardship.
(2009, 80%) It Might Get Loud
Critics Consensus: An affectionate tribute to rock’s most distinctive instrument (the electric guitar), IMGL is insightful and musically satisfying.
(2008, 87%) Shine a Light
Critics Consensus: It may offer little new for fans, but Martin Scorsese’s document of the Rolling Stones’ electrifying live show should provide satisfaction to audiences.
(2016, 95%) The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years
Critics Consensus: We love them, yeah, yeah, yeah — and with archival footage like that, you know The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years can’t be bad.
(2015, 94%) The Wrecking Crew
Critics Consensus: May not achieve the greatness of the many classic songs its subjects helped bring to life, but it remains a heartfelt, overdue tribute to overshadowed brilliance.
(2006, 77%) The U.S. vs. John Lennon
Critics Consensus: Though it glosses over anything negative about Lennon, this documentary offers a lot of fascinating archival footage, plus its political issues still have relevance for today.
(2013, 100%) Sound City
Critics Consensus: Smart, affectionate, and unabashedly sincere, Sound City pairs a great soundtrack with a well-argued ode to one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most fondly remembered bygone eras.
(2013, 96%) Muscle Shoals
Critics Consensus: Essential for soul fans and entertaining for novices, Muscle Shoals offers a compelling, warts-and-all glimpse at one of the most fascinating stories in modern American music.
(2014, 95%) 20,000 Days on Earth
Critics Consensus: Revealing yet respectful, 20kDoE is essential viewing for any Nick Cave fan.
(2009, 98%) Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Critics Consensus: A touching, uplifting and inspirational rockumentary about an aging metal band, both hilarious and heart-warming in equal measure.
(2004, 89%) Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
Critics Consensus: Fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how Metallica survived one of their more turbulent periods.
(2002, 88%) I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
Critics Consensus: Besides being a treat for Wilco fans, IaTtBYH also exposes the workings of a profit-driven music industry.
(2006, 72%) American Hardcore
Critics Consensus: An informative and highly entertaining look at the heyday of punk in the early 1980s.
(2006, 89%) The Devil and Daniel Johnston
Critics Consensus: Whether you think this mentally ill cult musician is worthy of being called a “genius,” this document of his life is crafted with sincere respect and is fascinating to watch.
(2004, 87%) Lightning in a Bottle
Critics Consensus: Pays dazzling tribute to the blues by capturing its power and excitement through backstage interviews and performance footage.
(2004, 90%) Dig!
Critics Consensus: Compellingly chronicles the ups and downs of the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre, two ambitious bands whose love/hate relationship embodies many of the potential pratfalls of the music business.
(2016, 91%) Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words
Critics Consensus: An illuminating primer for Zappa novices as well as an entertaining retrospective for diehard fans.
(2011, 100%) Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone
Critics Consensus: An entertaining, heartwarming, and balanced documentary about the influential Los Angeles band, Fishbone.
(2007, 89%) Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten
Critics Consensus: Succeeds as both an engrossing documentary and a comprehensive examination of one of music’s most legendary figures.
(2015, 87%) Lambert & Stamp
Critics Consensus: A sharp accounting of an era framed through the early adventures of the Who and the managers who helped make them famous.
(2012, 94%) Searching for Sugar Man
Critics Consensus: A fascinating portrait of a forgotten musical pioneer, Searching for Sugar Man is by turns informative and mysterious.
(2006, 85%) Air Guitar Nation
Critics Consensus: It’s up for debate how serious or ironic its subjects are, but Air Guitar Nation is nonetheless a funny and exciting documentary with a killer soundtrack.