Lightning in a Bottle (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Documentary, Music  |  5 August 2004 (Germany)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 534 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 17 user | 28 critic | 24 from

Antoine Fuqua's documentary on the blues, shot at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.


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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Aerosmith ...
Herself (as India.Arie)
James Blood Ulmer ...
Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown ...
Ruth Brown ...
Shemekia Copeland ...
Robert Cray ...
Honeyboy Edwards ...


Beginning with a stirring African folk song (Zélié performed by Angélique Kidjo) the roots are established and rapidly swell into a trunk thickened by the hardships of the Great Depression (Gamblin' Man performed by David 'Honeyboy' Edwards) and the oppression of segregation (Jim Crow Blues performed by Odetta). Finally, this Blues family tree shows off vibrant new growth as it reveals the Blues' influence on our modern wealth of talented musicians (Midnight Special performed by John Fogerty and Hound Dog done by Macy Gray). Ruth Brown gives Blll Cosby a full-throttle serenade (and a playful smoldering gaze), along with Mavis Staples and Natalie Cole. Angélique Kidjo persuades Buddy Guy to an unforgettable rendition of 'Voodoo Child,' shortly before Bonnie Raitt and Robert Cray accompany B.B. King and Lucille for the final number, 'Paying the Cost to be the Boss.' This documentary presents to the audience, with authority and candor, an authentic history of this musical form. The ... Written by Annie Campos

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A one night history of the blues


Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 August 2004 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Blues ekrixi  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,300 (USA) (22 October 2004)


$201,574 (USA) (4 March 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente) | (Ontario)

Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Natalie Cole: This is dedicated to the men, but ladies...listen up!
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User Reviews

Fantastic Docu-Concert about the Blues!
16 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I really enjoyed this movie. It was a mixture of Blues history, music, interviews and historical footage - heavy on the Blues music. It was a treat to have some of the oldies, especially Buddy Guy, getting intense and passionate while doing their music. "Voodoo Chile" was magical. I also enjoyed the younger/newer artists doing covers on some of the songs. I would have given this movie a "9 or 10" except for one inappropriate performance. Chuck D did his sloppy version of one of the classics and used it to interject his negative opinion of President Bush. It didn't fit the rest of this "classy" film. I highly recommend this film to anyone that likes the Blues. It would be an especially good film to watch with a few music-loving friends because it feels like you're getting a personal concert. Check it out!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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