6.9/10
15,448
104 user 164 critic

Get on Up (2014)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Music | 1 August 2014 (USA)
Trailer
2:39 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

A chronicle of James Brown's rise from extreme poverty to become one of the most influential musicians in history.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,068 ( 895)
6 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

42 (2013)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The story of Jackie Robinson from his signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization in 1945 to his historic 1947 rookie season when he broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball.

Director: Brian Helgeland
Stars: Chadwick Boseman, T.R. Knight, Harrison Ford
Jersey Boys (2014)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda
Draft Day I (2014)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

At the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to rebuild his team when he trades for the number one pick. He must decide what he's willing to sacrifice on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with NFL dreams.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Kevin Costner, Chadwick Boseman, Jennifer Garner
Ray I (2004)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.

Director: Taylor Hackford
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington
Selma (2014)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A chronicle of Martin Luther King's campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.

Director: Ava DuVernay
Stars: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Jim White moves his family after losing his last job as a football coach. He sees that some of the students are worth starting a cross-country team and turns seven students with no hope into one of the best cross-country teams.

Director: Niki Caro
Stars: Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Ramiro Rodriguez
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A sports agent stages an unconventional recruitment strategy to get talented Indian cricket players to play Major League Baseball.

Director: Craig Gillespie
Stars: Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Alan Arkin
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Lucy has always used food to escape life's problems, but when this self-titled "fat friend" lures her group of old college buddies to the Montana wilderness, she reveals a new self - skinny, beautiful and still flawed.

Director: Tate Taylor
Stars: Missi Pyle, Melissa McCarthy, Larry Sullivan
Unbroken I (2014)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.

Director: Angelina Jolie
Stars: Jack O'Connell, Miyavi, Domhnall Gleeson
Chicken Party (2003)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A comedic look at crime, love, tolerance and fried chicken.

Director: Tate Taylor
Stars: Octavia Spencer, Allison Janney, Tate Taylor
The Judge (2014)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Big-city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family.

Director: David Dobkin
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga
The Good Lie (2014)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A group of Sudanese refugees given the chance to resettle in America arrive in Kansas City, Missouri, where their encounter with an employment agency counselor forever changes all of their lives.

Director: Philippe Falardeau
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Syd Nathan
...
Maceo Parker
...
DeeDee Brown
...
...
Ralph Bass
...
Little Richard (as Brandon Smith)
...
Yvonne Fair
...
Tariq Trotter ...
Pee Wee Ellis
...
Nafloyd Scott
Edit

Storyline

On route to the stage, singer James Brown recalls a life with a turbulent childhood where music was his only constructive release for his passions. A chance demonstration of that in prison led to a new friend who helped get him out and into a musical career. With his fire and creative daring, Brown became a star who defiantly created new possibilities in show business both on and behind the stage in face of racism and conventional thinking. Along the way, James would also become a peacemaker who redefined and raised the African-American community's feeling of self-worth when it was needed most. However, those same domineering passions would lead James Brown alienating everyone around him as his appetites became ever more self-destructive. Only after he hit rock bottom with a serious mistake does Brown realize what he needs to do make his life as the Godfather of Soul truly worthwhile. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Funk don't Quit

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug use, some strong language, and violent situations | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

1 August 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Get on Up: Príbeh Jamese Browna  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$13,585,915 (USA) (1 August 2014)

Gross:

$30,513,940 (USA) (12 September 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

James Brown learns that the Rolling Stones will close the TV show, not him. Ben Bart says the band will soon be forgotten. Fifty years later, The Stones are still performing together, and frontman Mick Jagger is this film's executive music producer and one of its main producers. See more »

Goofs

When James walks to the private jet after talking to Velma at the airport, modern cars can be seen parked behind the control tower. Later, when the police are chasing James in his truck through an industrial area, modern cars can again be seen parked in the background. See more »

Quotes

James Brown: What's wrong, Maceo?
Maceo Parker: We can't play that like you told us. It doesn't work musically.
James Brown: Does it sound good?
Maceo Parker: Yeah
James Brown: Does it feel good?
Maceo Parker: Yeah
James Brown: If it sound good and it feel good, then it's musical.
See more »


Soundtracks

Do the Everything
Written by Michael Eugene Liggins and Leonard Michael Lenaburg
Performed by Small Paul
Courtesy of Fervor Records Vintage Masters
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
James Brown gets the music biopic treatment.
5 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

James Brown was a unique musician. He was the Godfather of Soul and inspired many musicians. He had hits like "Get Up Offa That Thing" and "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." Tate Taylor (who did a wonderful job adapting "The Help") takes on Brown's story in "Get On Up" and tries to cram almost all of Brown's life story in a little over 2 hours. Taylor tries to make the film as bold and sporadic as Brown was by jumping around in time and breaking the fourth wall, but I don't think it worked.

In the first 15 minutes, we jump around to 3 different time periods, but it doesn't feel like it has much purpose for the juxtaposition of these time lines. We have to follow all these different story lines that don't always connect. A character says he's leaving Brown in one scene and by the next scene, the character is with Brown again like nothing happened. The lack of chronological flow makes it harder to appreciate what Brown did for his time, like the concert after Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death. It can be confusing and I think it could have stronger moments if it was done chronologically. The film didn't hook me within the first half hour and all the jumping around in time made the film feel never ending.

The breaking of the fourth wall isn't used consistently and well enough to make it useful. It took a long time for the film to establish that breaking the fourth wall was going to be apart of the film. I think it's better when a film starts with breaking the fourth wall instead of waiting 20 minutes to introduce it. It seemed like Taylor was trying to be like Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" or Woody Allen's "Annie Hall," but I don't think it worked as well with "Get On Up." I admire how the film was trying to break the music biopic formula. However, I don't think it did it well.

"Get On Up" does have interesting juxtapositions when it merges Brown's older life with his younger self, but Brown is the only one we get to focus on and learn anything about. There is a large cast that surrounds him with great actors like Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. These actors do the best they can, but the film doesn't give them enough time and they feel flat and one-dimensional. It's hard to connect with any of the supporting characters and Brown is a narcissistic jerk that you don't really want to connect with. Chadwick Boseman does a really good job showing all of Brown's charms and flaws, but everything around his performance feels weak.

Taylor's "Get On Up" tries to be a lot of different things, but it doesn't juggle them well. Brown went through so much in his life that it may have been better to focus on one of these important moments than to throw them all together. What we get is a slow moving and messy film that doesn't always add up to what it could have been. The film ends strongly with a montage that sums up Brown well and a song, but the two hours we go through to get there doesn't feel worth it.


16 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
They pick the wrong actor! BIGERN52
Who else could have played James Brown? mag_carr
Age group who saw the film ryhoyarbie
Chadwick Boseman did an excellent job. DreamsAgain
Worth my $6 iheartnormi
Boston Concert FourHbcaps
Discuss Get on Up (2014) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?