Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool

critic Reviews

93% Certified Fresh Tomatometer Score93%
  • Entertaining for longtime fans as well as casually interested viewers, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool burnishes the legacy of a brilliant artist.
  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Verne GayNewsday
    Davis is demystified and deconstructed in this corrective - and excellent - portrait.
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  • Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Ben SachsChicago Reader
    Like many music documentaries, this profile of groundbreaking trumpet player and bandleader Miles Davis feels constrained by its conventional length, and devotes too little time to too many subjects.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Tom LongDetroit News
    A well-made account of both the man's achievements and his jerkiness.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Matthew LickonaSan Diego Reader
    The result, for the most part, is pleasant and informative, if not particularly inspiring or revelatory. But now and then, the music and images can't help but break through.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Peter HowellToronto Star
    The film is kind of brilliant in the way it covers and contextualizes more than 50 years of groundbreaking music in barely two hours.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Joel SelvinSan Francisco Chronicle
    It's a film that Miles himself would recognize - truthful, gritty, elegantly musical, unpredictable and even surprising - the kind of complex yet elegiac tribute a man as relentlessly real as Miles Davis deserves.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Carlos BonfilLa Jornada
    The documentary Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, by the African-American director Stanley Nelson, offers an amalgamation of good cinema and formidable music. [Full Review in Spanish]
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    César PradinesClarín
    Excellent. [Full review in Spanish]
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Steven SheehanThe Digital Fix
    Those not familiar with Miles Davis will probably take more away than committed fans, although that will hopefully also open up some ears along the way.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Jonita DavisThe Fix
    In 'Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool', Director Stanley Nelson frames Davis' return to a reality in which he was not wanted but his music was as the catalyst for his addiction.
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