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Shine a Light (2008)

PG-13  |   |  Documentary, Biography, Music  |  4 April 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 9,261 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 67 user | 129 critic | 36 from

A career-spanning documentary on the Rolling Stones, with concert footage from their "A Bigger Bang" tour.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself - The Rolling Stones: vocals / guitar / harmonica
Himself - The Rolling Stones: guitar / vocals
Himself - The Rolling Stones: drums
Himself - The Rolling Stones: guitar (as Ronnie Wood)
Darryl Jones ...
Himself - The Rolling Stones: bass guitar
Chuck Leavell ...
Himself - The Rolling Stones: keyboards
Bobby Keys ...
Himself - The Rolling Stones: saxophone
Bernard Fowler ...
Himself - The Rolling Stones: vocals
Herself - The Rolling Stones: vocals
Blondie Chaplin ...
Himself - The Rolling Stones: vocals
Tim Ries ...
Himself - The Rolling Stones: saxophone / keyboards
Kent Smith ...
Himself - The Rolling Stones: trumpet
Michael Davis ...
Himself - The Rolling Stones: trombone
Himself - Camera in Hand


Martin Scorsese and the Rolling Stones unite in "Shine A Light," a look at The Rolling Stones." Scorcese filmed the Stones over a two-day period at the intimate Beacon Theater in New York City in fall 2006. Cinematographers capture the raw energy of the legendary band. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, drug references and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 April 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shine a Light: The IMAX Experience  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,488,081 (USA) (4 April 2008)


$5,355,376 (USA) (13 June 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| | | (IMAX version)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Martin Scorsese:  [tracking shot]  Uses a tracking shot to follow the main character(s) through a hallway. See more »


Mick Jagger: Well we've been doing this music thing for two years now and we never thought we would last this long, but I can see us doing it for maybe another year.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing disclaimer: The preceding interviews and commentaries are for entertainment only. The views and opinions expressed therein are those of the of the individual speakers and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Paramount Classics, Shangri-La Entertainment, Concert Productions International or any of their respective affiliates or employees. See more »


References The Last Waltz (1978) See more »


She Saw Me Coming
Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
Performed by The Rolling Stones
Courtesy of Promopub B.V.
See more »

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User Reviews

If only all concert films were like this
7 April 2008 | by ( – See all my reviews

"Shine a Light" is Martin Scorsese's second real concert film after 1978's "The Last Waltz", which by now is generally acknowledged as a masterpiece and is my favorite film by the director. I really hope we will see more concert films from Scorsese in the future, because "Shine a Light" is further excellence from him. If all, or even a significant number of concert films were filmed with such skill and exuded such energy, there would be far more of them made and far more released theatrically.

"Shine a Light" is a concert film. I'm not sure I'd call it a documentary on the Rolling Stones so much as a filming (a brilliant filming) of an especially good concert they played recently. Scorsese is smart enough, however, to use interviews and clips from all stages of the Stones' career for purposes of humor and even commentary on various aspects of music and the music business, as well as the band itself.

Your average Rolling Stones fan waiting to see a Rolling Stones concert and who isn't a fan of film probably will be bored during the film's opening scenes, but for those interested in film, they provide a fascinating glimpse into the marriage of live music and film-making, which doesn't happen as much as it should. It's also quite an intimate look at the Stones as a bunch of people, exposing them in the same sort of way the non-concert scenes in "Gimme Shelter" did. Then again, how much of it is real and how much is an act is really the essential question that we will forever be asking about this band.

"Shine a Light" isn't a document of an important historical event like Scorsese's "The Last Waltz" or the Maysles Bros' "Gimme Shelter" was as a Rolling Stones film, so one shouldn't expect that sort of greatness from "Shine a Light". What one should expect is a great concert, filmed with great skill, tasteful guest appearances that do nothing but add to the music, and a gorgeous film interspersed tastefully with archive footage chosen carefully and played at just the right moments.

The Stones and Scorsese are on top form here, making this a memorable and exciting concert film and the sort of marriage of film-making and live music that really should happen more often.


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