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Parents' Guide to

20 Feet from Stardom

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Smart, thoughtful docu shines light on background singers.

Movie PG-13 2014 91 minutes
20 Feet from Stardom Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 16+

Language Issues

There were two instances of the f-word that we weren't expecting when watching with my kids. It's also a little boring for teenagers, as they aren't familiar with 60s and 70s rock stars.

This title has:

Too much swearing
age 13+

Heart warming and infectious!

The fact that these great ladies haven't been able to make it (well, a few did) shows you a great deal about the music biz, especially a bit about what producing legend Phil Spector did to one of the interviewees. It shows a profession one really doesn't think about too often, and how sometimes what a thankless job it is! There's a few f-bombs, but the music is catchy as anything, and it deserved the Oscar!

This title has:

Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

20 Feet From Stardom is an absolute thrill, a chance to see the faces behind the voices backing the biggest names in music -- Ray Charles, David Bowie, and the Rolling Stones, to start. They have long deserved the spotlight, and the documentary gives them their due, allowing each subject to share not only their vocal genius, but also their histories, professional and personal. The music, phenomenal here, takes second position to the singers, most of whom are yet to become household names, despite decades in the business.

Apart from being enormously interesting and entertaining (plenty of scenes feature big-name stars like Sting and Bruce Springsteen), the film offers choice surprises, including the fact that Sheryl Crow was once a backup singer; that many, like Darlene Love, have "ghost-sung" for other singers; and that a lot of these crooners, most of them women, sing even better than those who've "made it." The revelations are allowed their time in the sun, their rightful place in American history explored, but free of the heavy-handedness that plagues some documentaries. 20 Feet From Stardom is confidently told, expertly filmed, and entirely inspiring. See it.

Movie Details

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