The Velvet Underground (2021) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Velvet Underground (2021)

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Critic Consensus: The Velvet Underground takes a fittingly idiosyncratic approach to delivering a rock documentary that captures the band as well as its era.

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Movie Info

The Velvet Underground created a new sound that changed the world of music, cementing its place as one of rock 'n' roll's most revered bands. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Todd Haynes, "The Velvet Underground" shows just how the group became a cultural touchstone representing a range of contradictions: the band is both of their time, yet timeless; literary yet realistic; rooted in high art and street culture. The film features in-depth interviews with the key players of that time combined with a treasure trove of never-before-seen performances and a rich collection of recordings, Warhol films, and other experimental art that creates an immersive experience into what founding member John Cale describes as the band's creative ethos: "how to be elegant and how to be brutal."

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Critic Reviews for The Velvet Underground

All Critics (126) | Top Critics (41)

This bracing collage is pure rock bliss and a poke in the eye to old-style storytelling.

December 22, 2021 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

If you already love the Velvet Underground, this is two hours of visual and aural bliss. If you don't, same.

December 3, 2021 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Claims for the eternal qualities of any music are dubious at best, but what Haynes exhibits through his own complex, textured documentary is that the Velvet Underground's music remains fertile ground for inspiration.

December 3, 2021 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Haynes jettisons the traditional role of talking heads; he dispatches incidental music; he regards emotional arcs and sentimentality the way he might a toothache. He made a film that feels of a kind with the subject.

December 3, 2021 | Full Review…

What makes a rock band worth attending to a half century after its breakup isn't its personalities or backstory or context, interesting as those can be, and here they're all highly interesting. It's the music.

December 3, 2021 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Haynes' dazzling visuals are grounded by interviews with the two living band members - most extensively John Cale, the Welshman and classically trained violist who formed a potent partnership with the Long Island-born Reed.

October 28, 2021 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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