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Miles Ahead (2015)

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An exploration of the life and music of Miles Davis.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
3,330 ( 361)
1 win & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dave Braden
Junior (as Lakeith Lee Stanfield)
Walter (as Brian Bowman)
Janice (as Christina Karis)
Brent Vimtrup ...
Michael Bath ...
Reginald Willis ...
Montez Jenkins ...
Chris Grays ...


An exploration of the life and music of Miles Davis.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fight | party | key | sunglasses | recluse | See All (55) »


If you gonna tell a story, come with some attitude

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language throughout, drug use, some sexuality/nudity and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

22 April 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kill the Trumpet Player  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$114,530 (USA) (1 April 2016)


$2,610,719 (USA) (22 July 2016)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The song that Tami, the girl in bed, references is "Freddie Freeloader," from the 1959 "Kind of Blue" recordings. See more »


At one point during the nightclub scene, about 53 minutes in, the shot is flipped, and the bassist is suddenly left-handed. See more »


Doorman: Do you have a pass?
Miles Davis: [points to his face] Your Looking At It
See more »


Performed by Boz Scaggs
Published by Scaggs Boz Music & Hudmar Publishing Co Inc
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

A Social Movie
20 March 2016 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

As the reviews of Miles Ahead amass on the Internet I'll be interested to read all the different ways people will have to describe Don Cheadle's electrifying performance as jazz great Miles Davis. Or should I say "social music" great, a term Mr. Davis preferred to jazz, according to this biopic. I'd never heard this term before, looked it up online after the movie ended, but couldn't find any definition that fit what I thought Mr. Davis might have meant. What it meant to me though, after being treated to a sumptuous sampling of Miles Davis music in the film, is that there's no better musical expression of the human soul than jazz if done right. In Miles Ahead, Don Cheadle seems to be able to relate to that. As for his portrayal of Miles Davis in general, he plays a man who lays everything on the line in everything he does. Total honesty. Total this feels right so I'm going to do it. No-bs, no-putting-up-with-bs attitude. From violence and crudeness to stunning beauty - this is humanity unadulterated. The movie's high points, to me, are the stunning beauty scenes - when Mr. Davis plays the horn. That is the culmination of everything.

Still, it's ironic that while Don Cheadle seems to get not only jazz, but the concept of creativity - starting off the movie with the Miles Davis quote "When you're creating your own sh**, man, even the sky ain't the limit" - Miles Ahead is limited by being formulaic. In other words, the movie itself is not jazz, though at times it tries to be and wants you to think it is. For example, there is too much clichéd man/woman relationship drama in the film, and while I get that Miles' love of women is necessary to portray for the all-important character development, Miles Ahead gets a little schmaltzy at times, if only because I'd seen the same kind of drama scenes more or less so many times before in so many Hollywood movies.

Overall, Miles Ahead is a passionate tribute, beautifully done, and the love that Don Cheadle had for the project and for Miles Davis really shines through.

13 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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