Muscle Shoals Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Muscle Shoals

Additional Info

  • Rating:

    PG: Mild themes and coarse language.

  • The pitch:

    The river that sings.

  • Starring:

    Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, Alicia Keys, Bono, Candi Staton, Gregg Allman, Keith Richards, Steve Winwood, Jimmy Cliff, John Paul White, Ed King, Donna Jean Godchaux, Jaimoe, Clarence Carter, Rick Hall, Jimmy Johnson, David Hood, Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins, Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, Percy Sledge, Clayton Ivey, Tom Hendrix, Peanut Montgomery, Norbert Putnam, David Briggs, Donnie Fritts, Jimmy Johnson, Jerry Carrigan, Wilson Pickett, Etta James

  • Directed by:

    Greg 'Freddy' Camalier

  • Running time:

    116 minutes

  • Rated:

    PG (Australia), PG (UK), PG (USA)


    Vehicle rollover, fatal car accident, fighting, arguing discussed. Photograph of plane crash wreckage. Death of band members mentioned.


    Photo of naked men (genitals obscured). Womanising, prostitute mother mentioned. Cleavage, skimpy clothing.


    Alcohol (spirits). Smoking. Alcohol abuse, intoxication mentioned. Coricidin pills, smoking marijuana mentioned.


    F-words, s-words, a-words, p*ss. Name-calling. Discussions of racial tension, segregation.


    Muscle Shoals (Alabama), Fame Recording Studios, Rick Hall, Jerry Wexler, music, legends, sound recording, style, Tennessee River, death, grief, songwriting, music-producing, talent-spotting, poverty, racism, segregation, cotton-picking, rejection, tragedy, the Swampers, soul, roots, R&B, rock'n'roll, Helen Keller.


    Deceased wife, deceased brother/son, deceased father, estranged mother, job loss, former husband mentioned. Archival footage of patients in hospital beds. Full moon, planes, helicopter, bonfire. Birds, cows, horses, beetle, dogs, fishing. Mid-credits scenes, post-credits scene.


    Elegant, remarkable, thrilling, elegiac, picturesque, joyous, uplifting, well-researched, funky, magnificent, soulful, mandatory, fascinating, worthy, mesmerising, persuasive, smooth, lightweight, celebratory. Terrific archival footage, strong sense of place, gorgeous music, rich anecdotes, winning tribute, exceptional doc photography, strong first half.


    A tad overlong, talking heads from Bono and Alicia Keys are superfluous, overstuffed with interviews, second half feels redundant.

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