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Parents' Guide to

A Man Named Scott

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Music docu has language, drugs, mature themes.

Movie NR 2021 95 minutes
A Man Named Scott Poster Image

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

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This is a comprehensive overview of Kid Cudi's music and lasting influence among fans and fellow musicians alike. Starting with his humble beginnings in Cleveland, to finding MySpace success in NYC with his viral hit "Day N Nite," to the extreme ups and downs of a musical career in which depression and a willingness to be open with his complicated internal life led to creativity even as it led to more challenges from within, the documentary does a great job of balancing Kid Cudi's career and discography with his seemingly fearless creative process and how his career has inspired so many. While it's definitely a "fan's documentary," A Man Named Scott is accessible to those who aren't the biggest fans and whose lives weren't saved by his music and lyrics, and while by this point it's hard not to be completely skeptical to hear Kanye West share a hyperbolic opinion on anything he says is the "greatest," the star power in the movie and the thoughtful comments shared by celebs and fans alike attest to what Kid Cudi has achieved.

That said, some of the fawning praise and claims of Kid Cudi's innovation get to be a bit much at times. While perhaps not as successful as Kid Cudi, there were certainly other hip-hop artists writing and recording at the same time as when Kid Cudi was starting out that were in touch with their feelings, to say nothing of other genres (punk comes to mind) that reached a similar impasse when macho invulnerability grew tiresome and shopworn. And speaking of hyperbole, the fans who gush over how Kid Cudi's music "saved [their] lives" maybe don't give themselves enough credit. These moments test the credibility of the documentary, but don't break it, and the overall takeaway is that Kid Cudi's contribution to music and culture is substantial.

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