3.4/10
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40 user 3 critic

Man in the Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story (2004)

Chronicles the rise and fall of pop king Michael Jackson.

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bobby
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Holly
Krista Rae ...
Patricia Idlette ...
Kat
Lynne Cormack ...
Liz
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Manny
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Ziggy
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Debbie (as April Amber Telek)
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Holly's Producer
Steven Saunders ...
Sara's Son
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Roxanne Wong ...
Rebecca
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Jack
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Dr. Goodman (as Dan Libman)
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Storyline

Chronicles the rise and fall of pop king Michael Jackson.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements | See all certifications »
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6 August 2004 (USA)  »

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Family Values  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although this film is about Michael Jackson and his music career, it doesn't contain any of the artist's music. See more »

Goofs

Jehovah's Witnesses also do not refer to their place of worship as a church. The call it a Kingdom Hall. Actually, for tax purposes, they call it a Church. See more »

Quotes

Michael Jackson: [Having just dangled his baby out the window] I just wanted to share Blanket with the World.
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Connections

References Michael Jackson: Thriller (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

In The Gloaming
Traditional
Arranged by Lori Cullen
Performed by Lori Cullen
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User Reviews

 
Banal biopic with a couple of redeeming points
29 August 2009 | by (US) – See all my reviews

The main word that comes to mind when considering this film is "dodgy". This is a low-quality film biography of one of the most iconic performers of all time. The Gloved One deserved better.

Before getting into the meat of my thoughts on this biopic, I have to say that there are two things I found effective. First was the use of actual fan footage and interviews at certain points in the film, especially in the scenes depicting the first set of child molestation allegations. I feel that this contributed a certain authenticity that was *severely* lacking throughout the rest of the film. Second was the sequence depicting the courtship of Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. I will not comment on whether I believe the marriage was a sham, but by many accounts, it was a relationship where care and affection existed between the two parties involved. That really came across in this film; Flex Anderson and Krista Rae had decent enough chemistry to pull it off. These successful points are enough to keep Man in the Mirror away from 1-star status.

That said...there was very little else here that worked. Very few of the actors looked like the people they were supposed to portray, most egregiously those playing Elizabeth Taylor, Janet Jackson, and Diana Ross. Also, the absence of Jackson's music was a huge loss. How can you effectively tell a story about him without his music?? I understand that they were unable to secure the rights to it with this being a low-budget, unauthorized production; it seems, though, that if you can't have the man's music in a film about him, you might as well pack it up and go home, because you're missing out on an extremely important part of his life story.

This film's characterization of Jackson bothered me a little, too. I won't argue that he was troubled and may have been a few fries short of a value meal, but here, he was portrayed as something close to mentally disabled. I don't believe that Jackson, known to have been a shrewd businessman, would have been quite as naive about how the adult world works as he was made out to be in this film.

Finally, the way this film was written was nothing short of disgraceful. Many lines or exchanges of dialogue were either extremely corny, like Michael and Janet's "Tinkerbell" exchange, or nonsensical, like the "Blanket of love" comments made by Michael. Also, the screenwriters don't exactly have a knack for subtlety. There was a lot of telegraphing of upcoming events ("What could possibly go wrong??" sorts of lines) and extremely overt hammering of themes and motifs in the film (if I'd heard the word "believe" one more time...). This is what ultimately hobbled the film as something that could be considered awesomely bad.

Perhaps when we are a few years, or even a decade or three, removed from Jackson's death, someone will be able to bring his story to life in a more deserving film. By that time, we might have a better perspective on his life, and someone will be able to present a truly thoughtful examination of who Michael Jackson really was and what he's meant to the world of entertainment. This very dodgy biopic was not that film.


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