Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band

critic Reviews

79% Certified Fresh Tomatometer Score79%
  • Once Were Brothers my frustrate Band fans looking for a less narrowly focused overview, but the group's music and history remain as engrossing as ever.
  • Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Robert LevinNewsday
    The better way to come close to an understanding of who The Band was is to re-watch The Last Waltz instead.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Ed MasleyArizona Republic
    Robertson is chasing something different here - a fond remembrance of the complicated friendships lost along the way that celebrates the good times through the music they created while they could.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Ann HornadayWashington Post
    Even at its most painful, the Band's story captures something golden, incendiary and wistfully beautiful - "so beautiful," Robertson reflects, "that it went up in flames."
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Jon BreamMinneapolis Star Tribune
    Music fans will appreciate this cinematic ode to the greatness of the Band, if not its lack of fairness.
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  • Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Joel SelvinSan Francisco Chronicle
    Robertson has a gift for romanticizing his own hero's journey, even if in the end, the film comes off as elaborate self-justification.
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  • Rotten Tomatometer Score
    David FearRolling Stone
    This is really one man's look back in anger, joy and sentimentality. "Robbie Robertson on the Band" would be a more accurate description.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Loren KingNewport This Week (RI)
    "Once Were Brothers" is a moving cautionary tale and an important piece of music history, but it's in the pure joy of such moments that The Band is best remembered.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Steven ProkopyThird Coast Review
    It's the stories about recording The Band's first few albums that are the most interesting, especially when you consider that Robertson was Canadian but he still managed to capture the spirit of American roots rock.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Marjorie BaumgartenAustin Chronicle
    In most ways, the film is a conventional rock doc, a nostalgic and valorizing chronicle of a group's rise and fall. The Band is one group that deserves the deep dive.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Rick LevinEugene Weekly (OR)
    Mostly, the documentary conveys the way The Band, a product of the '60s, stood both inside and outside the culture of the time.
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