Parents' Guide to

Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Musical docu has great performances, strong vocab.

Movie NR 2015 120 minutes
Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

James Brown fans will get a kick out of watching him sing, dance, and showboat as only he knew how to do. From seeing him perform on the "chitlin' circuit" (a network of venues where African-American entertainers could perform in the segregated South) in the early 1960s to appealing to a national audience on the Ed Sullivan Show, the documentary highlights the key moments in James Brown's musical career that define his success. In between musical performances, Mr. Dynamite examines how the racial segregation he experienced in his youth influenced his role in the American civil rights movement. The controversial way the singer and his music served as an assertion of Black pride also is explored.

Devoted music enthusiasts will appreciate the conversations about Brown's unique sound and style and the way he worked with artists to produce that sound, which combines soul, jazz, swing, funk, and other styles and which influenced artists such as Michael Jackson, Prince, Public Enemy, Bruno Mars, and countless others. It's great fun, though if you don't care for the singer or his music, chances are you'll lose interest before the film's over.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate