Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band

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 Dylan to becoming one of the most influential groups of its era.

2020Rating: M, Sexual reference and occasional coarse language100 minsUSA, Canada
DocumentaryMusical
66%
want to see

Reviews & comments

Radio New Zealand

Radio New Zealand

press

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.

IndieWire

IndieWire

press

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.

Screen Daily

Screen Daily

press

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.

Slant Magazine

Slant Magazine

press

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

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

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.

RogerEbert.com

RogerEbert.com

press

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.

Variety

Variety

press

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.

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

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...

Radio New Zealand

Radio New Zealand

press

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.

IndieWire

IndieWire

press

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.

Screen Daily

Screen Daily

press

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.

Slant Magazine

Slant Magazine

press

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

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

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.

RogerEbert.com

RogerEbert.com

press

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.

Variety

Variety

press

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.

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

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...

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