Critic Reviews

79

Metascore

Based on 32 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
A musical detective story, this enthralling documentary focuses on a little-known American musician whose haunting voice and poetic lyrics were essentially unknown in his own country, but had a massive impact across the globe.
100
"Searching" has emotional valleys and zeniths, and gasp-inducing turns, as old friends, fans and Rodriguez's grown daughters are interviewed.
100
The information they eventually dislodge about Rodriguez suggests a secular saint, a deeply good man, whose music is the expression of a blessed inner being. I hope you're able to see this film. You deserve to. And yes, it exists because we need for it to.
100
It starts as a bittersweet parable about the cruelty of commerce, but the wonder of Searching for Sugar Man will not soon slip away.
90
The truth-is-stranger-than-fiction saga has been a hit on the festival circuit, winning top documentary prizes at Sundance for Sweden's Bendjelloul. What sets Searching for Sugar Man apart, though, is the way in which the filmmaker preserves a sense of mystery in the telling.
90
Intentionally or not, Searching for Sugar Man catches all that - the fleeting moments of triumph and the years of endurance, the accumulation of family and the unquenched dreams - and doesn't presume to sew it all up for us.
88
At 85 minutes, it's a tight, sharp achievement, yet one of the things I love about it is simple: It moves to a relaxed rhythm, in sync with its slightly otherworldly subject.
80
Rodriguez's story is almost inconceivable in an obsessively magnified, heavily hyped Internet era. Which makes it all the more important to be shared. Listen, be moved, and pass it on.
75
A fresh and unexpected documentary that plays like a nail-biting mystery and a ticket to ride the whirlwind where art and commerce do battle.
75
Sugar Man is most interesting when it touches on the conditions that combined to draw a cult hero out of some decent music and a generously enabled, imagination-firing mystique.
67
The yarn is too irresistible: We're fed plenty of sugar in this authorized fairy tale, but are left hungry for beef.
50
While all the interview subjects are enthusiastic, the overall lack of familiarity with Rodriquez's personal background and career collapse begin to drag.

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