Shine a Light

Kevin Mazur/Paramount Pictures

Review in a Hurry:  The Rolling Stones and Martin Scorsese—it probably looked great on paper. Oh, sure, the concert scenes in this documentary about the Stones' show in New York are top-of-the-line, but it's nothing new. The die-hard fans will camp out for tickets. For everyone else, the result is likely to be a resounding "Meh."

The Bigger Picture:  The Stones. Scorsese. Arguably the best rock band ever, with one of the best directors ever. There could have been an amazing movie there. Instead, Scorsese and the Stones elected to film a tight show in a small venue. The result leaves you wondering why, of the more than 18 documentaries about the Rolling Stones, this one was added to the pile.

In between the concert footage, Scorsese inserts old clips of the Stones in their younger days, answering the same lame reporters' queries. We get it: A lot of people have asked them when they'll quit.

But it would have been nice to see Scorsese ask what keeps them going. They've been performing for almost 50 years now. In that time, other artists have retired, faded onto the state-fair circuit and died. Even if they hadn't created legendary songs, their longevity would be amazing. And when a former President (Bill Clinton) is your opening act, you've probably tapped into something deeper than the latest American Idol winner.

Maybe the Stones don't require that kind of intellectual justification. They're the living embodiment of the whole sex-drugs-rock ideal. And they sure look like they're having fun.

Still, a concert film this limited in scope doesn't need someone of Scorsese's talents. Or, for that matter, the talents of the A-list cinematographers working with him. Does it take an Oscar winner to cut to Keith Richards during a guitar solo, or Jagger doing his strut, or the hot chicks in the front row?

The 180—a Second Opinion:  Think about this: You won't trust your grandpa with the remote, but the Stones are still dancing and playing and screaming on tour—and they're almost the same age. You want to see something impressive? Watch these so-called geezers light up the stage for two hours. They don't even need CGI to pull it off.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.