Parents' Guide to

Jimi: All Is By My Side

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Unique biopic focuses on one year of guitarist's wild life.

Movie R 2014 118 minutes
Jimi: All Is By My Side Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

This title has:

Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

This is a mostly flawed if occasionally entertaining look at a musician who may never get his justice on screen. (His estate refuses to allow the good, the bad, and the ugly to be portrayed.) Writer-director John Ridley (an Academy Award winner for adapting 12 Years a Slave) has long been obsessed with the story of how a beautiful blond Englishwoman helped discover Hendrix. And as Poots plays Keith, she's so much more than a gorgeous groupie -- she's a well-bred young woman with an eye for talent. Of course, this isn't a movie about Keith (although someone should make one), but she is the catalyst for the story. Unfortunately, Ridley was unable to secure the rights to any of Hendrix's actual music, so you won't hear a medley of Hendrix's greatest hits like you do in other musical biopics, like Ray or Walk the Line. And to be honest, you won't find out much about Hendrix's past or future -- just a pivotal slice of this particular year in his life.

Benjamin plays Hendrix as a laid back, go-with-the-flow man, not exactly a deep-thinking or particularly ambitious musical genius. It's too bad that Benjamin, who certainly looks the part, wasn't given the chance to do much singing except at the end -- and even then it's just a cover. It's basically a radical experiment on Ridley's part to create a biopic devoid of Hendrix's own music, and it's clever of him to get around the issue by concentrating on the tumultuous year leading up to the Monterrey Music Festival (which itself isn't part of the film). There are a few memorable moments, like when Eric Clapton refuses to stay on stage with Hendrix once he hears him play, or when Hendrix refuses to give into an English black power activist's call for him to be more outspoken on race issues.

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