Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band

100 mins
Poster for Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band

Tracking the monumental rise of colossal music group The Band, this biographical documentary follows their career from backing up Bob... More

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Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band is available... More to stream in New Zealand now on YouTube and Google TV and DocPlay and Apple TV Store and AroVision.

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band | Ratings & Reviews

"Unless another, more balanced and definitive film is made, which seems unlikely now, then Once Were Brothers will hold up as a respectful, enthralling and engaging look at the band who were simply The Band."


"Apart from the usual frustrating lack of actual music, Once Were Brothers falls into another trap of the modern Boomer music documentary and that is the temptation to over-direct and over-edit – to fancy it up with filters as if that means we won’t notice that we are seeing the same still photograph from the album cover sessions over and over again."

Radio New ZealandRadio New Zealand

"Robertson, a deeply talented musician and songwriter who is still working today, is a fascinating subject, but the really compelling stuff is lingering just out of the frame."


"This conventional rock-doc is light on new insights — and its focus on Robertson’s viewpoint short-changes his former bandmates in this often-contentious group — but it tells its story with considerable affection."

Screen DailyScreen Daily

"Robertson’s sense of having witnessed friends and collaborators get washed away by bitterness and addiction was more fulsomely evoked by The Last Waltz."

Slant MagazineSlant Magazine

"You can’t beat the access or the clips, although the absence of Hudson (whom Roher apparently filmed) from the present-day interviews is peculiar. His voice might have provided a valuable counterpoint to Robertson’s recollections."

The New York TimesThe New York Times

"These amiable fellow don’t understand young Robbie’s ambitions — what’s with the rock ’n’ roll and all? — until they put it together and exclaim: “You want to be in SHOW BUSINESS.” For all the grand achievements chronicled here — and the music still sounds pretty great — this still is a show business venture."


"The film picks up more general interest once it moves past the early nobility of the outfit as a band of brothers into the things that cripple the least greatest of groups ... Robertson [is] an articulate and ingratiating tour guide through all this glorious and eventually tortured history."


"Although, structurally speaking, the production follows a safely familiar path, it doesn’t require a lot of fancy footwork when you’ve got an enthusiastic on-camera fan base..."

Hollywood ReporterHollywood Reporter

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band | Details

M, Sexual reference and occasional coarse language
Documentary, Musical
Country of origin
USA, Canada

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band | Trailers