(2013)

Critic Reviews

76

Metascore

Based on 15 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
88
The film's genius is the way it applies the lessons of Sound City to any job. “The human element,” says Grohl, “that's what makes the magic.” In his directing debut, Grohl shows the instincts of a real filmmaker. Sound City hits you like a shot in the heart.
80
Dave Grohl has more than clout in his corner in his terrifically entertaining documentary Sound City. He brings elements that can't be faked -- passion and heart -- to this lovingly assembled insider account of what it feels like to make real handcrafted rock music.
80
For a movie that's essentially about a piece of hardware-the legendary Neve mixing console, an imposing slab of knobs and meters - this geeked-out documentary beats with more heart than could be imagined.
80
High-spirited, emotional and funny, Sound City is, of all things, a mash note to a machine. Not just any machine, however, but one that helped change the face of rock 'n' roll.
80
Sound City is a music geek's dream, a rollicking look at a dumpy California studio where a lot of musicians found magic. It's also a bit of a mess, like all good rock and roll ought to be.
75
Sound City is Grohl's first effort at filmmaking, and if it doesn't break any ground as a documentary, it's a heartfelt testament to a place he considers among the most hallowed halls of rock.
75
Grohl's appreciation for the inhabitants of this dingy demimonde, from the artists to the secretaries at the front desk, makes Sound City an infectious and sincere Valentine to a rapidly disappearing art form.
75
It's still a passion project, in all the best ways, a jaunty, juicy ramble through music history from Johnny Cash to Nine Inch Nails, Neil Young to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
70
Grohl's jovial presence is the hook; playing interviewer and emcee as well as director, he's the catchy bit you welcome every time it returns. The star-studded interview list provides much of the personality and attitude, as does a fantastically tense behind-the-scenes video of Petty and his band laboring long hours to craft their breakthrough record.
63
Given Dave Grohl's reputation for versatility and good taste, the film's sturdy sense of forward motion may come as no surprise.
60
Grohl has a longstanding reputation as one of the nicest guys in rock. So it should come as no surprise that this may be the most positive music documentary you'll ever see.

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