Critic Reviews



Based on 30 critic reviews provided by
The ensemble is stupendous--howlingly great--and the music goes deep.
It's an enjoyable ramble, with a feel for what made the early days of rock as wild as any that followed.
The movie's biopic aspect is multiplied by the sheer number of players who made Chess the first family of Chicago blues, R&B and rock 'n' roll...That all of them were later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame attests to their enormous influence on popular music and culture.
The Hollywood Reporter
In watching this film, it's best not to worry much about the film's fidelity to history but rather simply lean back and enjoy one great jam session on film.
Cadillac Records is an account of the Chess story that depends more on music than history, which is perhaps as it should be. The film is a fascinating record of the evolution of a black musical style, and the tangled motives of the white men who had an instinct for it.
Chicago Tribune
Mos Def makes a terrific Berry, all flash and confidence, and Wright offers a memorably soulful take on Waters, whether he's strutting, singing, suffering or all three. Walker's Howlin' Wolf is a deep-throated, pride-filled bear of a man who dominates the screen.
Most of the details are right-on in Cadillac Records, though the director's efforts to sell it sometimes steers the film into mawkish or hokey territory.
Director Darnell Martin (I Like it Like That) races through the script's bullet points with a brisk superficiality that leaves crucial plot points underdeveloped and unresolved, and refuses to engage the dark side of Leonard Chess’ paternalism.
The A.V. Club
Martin attempts to present the whole oversized Chess story, but instead winds up reducing the lives and art that give it shape.
Village Voice
With everything so wrong, how can there be anything right about Cadillac Records?

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