Marley

Marley

A documentary on the life, music, and legacy of Bob Marley. 3.9 out of 5 based on 17 reviews
Marley

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Biography, Documentary, Music
Director Kevin Macdonald
Cast Rita Marley, Ziggy Marley, Jimmy Cliff Bob Marley
Studio Universal Pictures
Release Date April 2012
Running Time 144 mins
 

A documentary on the life, music, and legacy of Bob Marley.

Reviews

Empire Magazine

Eve Barlow

This epic, uplifting film takes us to the colourful heart of Jamaica, through American tours and on to Bob’s exile in London ... A testament befitting a legend.

17/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Evening Standard

Derek Malcolm

An appropriately exhaustive study of the man and his music, its only failing is the absence of a decent political analysis of Rastafari and the beliefs that informed Marley to the end of his life. Despite marketing campaigns that led to 25 million sales worldwide of his posthumous album, Legend, he was a man of the people — in a way, Che Guevara all over again, singing “them bellyfull, we hungry”.

20/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Financial Times

Antonia Quirke

Kevin Macdonald’s two-and-a-half-hour documentary about Bob Marley is too short. As the credits roll on Marley one must physically rouse oneself from a swoon of total capitulation. Your reviewer even found herself vocally irritated that so little had been resolved about its subject’s possible financial exploitation and briefly considered some kind of sit-in until more footage was wheeled in. Any footage – just more.

19/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

Cliche and stereotype paints Jamaica as dreamy, sunny, laidback. Marley, on the other hand, emerges as driven, industrious, competitive, a natural leader of charisma who was political in the broadest sense, but never boxed in by politics and who never sold out.

19/04/2012

Read Full Review


Total Film

Kevin Harley

Every second is earned in Macdonald’s long, generous and rigorously detailed Bob doc. You might wish for more live material but what’s here is stirring, probing and moving.

10/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Sunday Times

Edward Porter

Viewers who aren’t Marley experts might feel that what’s most lacking — amid all the necessary stuff about the man, the Rastafarianism, the marijuana, the Jamaican politics and the early death — is an adequate introduction to his music. Meanwhile, his fans will probably wish the film had more depth everywhere.

22/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Independent on Sunday

Tim Walker

... comprehensive, absorbing and inspirational ...

22/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Observer

Philip French

There are splendid anecdotes about survival, about Bob and his band, the Wailers, developing a new kind of music that fused local and international forms into a distinctive form of reggae, and the zig-zagging of a career that took Marley to the United States, where his mother had relocated, to Europe and to Africa. Much of what we hear from Jamaican witnesses is spoken in a beguiling, if sometimes obscure, patois and there are the kind of contradictions in the individual assessments of his character and the accounts of the fraught progress of the Wailers that one would expect.

22/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Los Angeles Times

Kenneth Turan

Though Marley speaks for himself in a bit of Q&A footage, there is apparently not a lot of this kind of material, so much of the sense of the man that we get comes from interviews done specifically for this project, and it's a tribute to the strength of the impression Marley left that people still talk about him with vividness and involvement.

20/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

Marley’s excellent music speaks for itself, but this is not a performance film. It’s an absorbing analysis of the man and his appeal — and, as such, it could hardly be bettered.

20/04/2012

Read Full Review


The New York Times

Stephen Holden

Though made with the cooperation of the Marley family, the film is far from a hagiography; and while stocked with musical sequences, it is not a concert film. Few if any of his songs are heard all the way through. “Marley” is a detailed, finely edited character study whose theme — Marley’s bid to reconcile his divided racial legacy — defined his music and his life.

19/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Scotsman

Siobhan Synnot

Macdonald wisely doesn’t try to add music criticism to the list. Besides, he has the last remaining Wailer, Bunny Wailer, on hand to offer a frank assessment of Marley’s ambition and drive towards global fame. Wailer also appeared in Fire In Babylon, where he gave a personal assessment of the importance of cricket to Jamaican culture and had a long argument with a dog. This time he turns up in a dazzling white officer’s uniform and smokes a carrot. More documentaries could benefit from having Bunny Wailer in them.

17/04/2012

Read Full Review


Screen

David D'arcy

Macdonald’s visual story deploys a widely-sourced jumble of archival imagery and footage from stage and studio – even part of Marley and Stevie Wonder’s rousing rendition of I Shot the Sheriff. Sound is a parallel eclectic jumble, especially from the early days, in the marathon doc that may be too long for film critics but an irresistible groove for the crowd that comes to see their hero.

12/02/2012

Read Full Review


The Daily Telegraph

Robbie Collin

Even audiences for whom easing up to dutty riddims is not an habitual pursuit will get an intoxicating whiff of reggae’s soothing powers from Marley, Kevin Macdonald’s blissed-out but sharp-witted documentary about the genre’s indeposable king. It’s hard to imagine any Bob Marley film, past or future, being more comprehensive than this.

20/04/2012

Read Full Review


Time Out

Tom Huddleston

The big flaw in the film – and it’s perhaps unavoidable – is that, despite interviews with many of Marley’s closest family, including wife Rita, son Ziggy and longtime girlfriend Cindy Breakspeare, we never truly get a sense of his personality. Memories of him are conflicting and contradictory: to some he was a holy man, to others a scoundrel, and so the portrait which emerges shifts and fragments, reshaped with each new piece of information. By the end, Marley remains as much of an enigma as when it began.

18/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Times

Kate Muir

You want more of the elusive Marley talking about himself. Family approval and legal wrangles dogged this documentary for years until Kevin Macdonald took it on and many questions are left unanswered.

20/04/2012

Read Full Review


The Independent

Anthony Quinn

Well, we are none of us perfect, and presented with serious temptation who knows how we might behave? The problem with Marley is the reverential distance it keeps. It's not quite a hagiography, but it's close. It isn't just about being economical with the truth. It affects the whole pace of the film which, at nearly two and a half hours, can be heavy going. You long for someone to come out and say, "He could be a real pain in the ass," or "I couldn't stand him," an alternative view which, paradoxically, would make one more inclined to believe all the good stuff about him. Macdonald doesn't dare to stray off-message.

20/04/2012

Read Full Review


©2013 The Omnivore