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VODetails: 'Marley'

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by Matt Singer
April 23, 2012 4:10 PM
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Magnolia Pictures "Marley"

More and more films premiere on Video on Demand -- if they don't simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar.  This time we're looking at "Marley," the documentary about the legendary reggae musician, Rastafarian, and guy on dorm room wall posters around the world.

Director: Kevin Macdonald

Cast: Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley, Cedella Marley

Official Synopsis: "Bob Marley's universal appeal, impact on music history and role as a social and political prophet is both unique and unparalleled. 'Marley' is the definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary, and legend, from his early days to his rise to international superstardom. Made with the support of the Marley family, the film features rare footage, incredible performances and revelatory interviews with the people that knew him best.  From Academy Award-winning director Kevin Macdonald ('One Day In September,' 'The Last King of Scotland') comes the story of a towering figure of musical history, whose music and message has transcended different cultures, languages and creeds to resonate around the world today as powerfully as when he was alive."

Trailer:

Reviews:

Scott Bowles, USA Today:

"Macdonald's warts-and-all approach makes 'Marley' sing."

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune:

"Documentaries fully authorized by the subject's surviving family members are rarely this rich."

Anthony Lane, The New Yorker:

"The film runs for almost two and a half hours, but there’s no question that Marley both merits and fills the space."

Dana Stevens, Slate:

"Macdonald is indisputably seduced by the singer’s charisma and dazzled by the natural beauty and cultural richness of his native Jamaica. But the director also doesn’t gloss over what he learns about the driven, insecure, and sometimes heartless man behind the legend—even if both the good and the bad Marley remain enigmatic enough to seem always just out of our reach."

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger:

"The film doesn’t find a way to make him real."

"Marley" is now available on VOD, and is playing in limited release.

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