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9/10
They're On A Mission...
jhclues14 December 2001
It started out as a bit on Saturday Night Live, and grew into probably THE most successful movie ever to have had it's genesis in that particular medium. And who would've thought that a couple of character actor/comedians would emerge from an innovative four-or-five minute act as `legendary' bluesmen of their era? Which is exactly what John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd did after first taking their show on the road as an opening act for the likes of Steve Martin, and then parlaying it into a feature length motion picture, `The Blues Brothers,' directed by John Landis. When Joliet Jake Blues (Belushi) is released from prison, his brother Elwood (Aykroyd) is there to pick him up, in-- of all things-- a used police car. And it doesn't bode well for this particular pair of out-of-work musicians, who on a visit to the orphanage in which they grew up discover that it is about to be shut down unless some taxes are paid on it, and soon. But what can Jake and Elwood do to help? They're broke. Well, after a bit of pondering and a couple of good production numbers later, Jake sees the light (literally), and it all becomes perfectly clear: They have to put their band back together and stage a concert, the proceeds of which should more than pay for the taxes on the orphanage. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it, and don't tell Jake and Elwood it's not possible, because they're on a mission from God...

It's a fairly simple plot, told in a straightforward manner by Landis, who creates a visually stimulating and aurally satisfying movie that follows the adventures of the Brothers Blues as they travel around the good state of Illinois, seeking out the members of their former band and formulating their plan to save the orphanage. Along the way they run afoul of a country/western band, incite the ire of some Illinois Nazis, ingratiate themselves to the diners in a classy restaurant, wreck an entire mall and generally wreak havoc wherever they go. It's a total rush of excitement, backed with a blur of real blues, served up by some of the truly legendary performers of our time, like Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles, Cab Calloway (doing his trademark `Minnie the Moocher') and John Lee Hooker. Not to mention the `band' itself, comprised of Steve `The Colonel' Cropper, Donald `Duck' Dunn, Murphy Dunne, Willie Hall, Tom `Bones' Malone, Lou `Blue Lou' Marini, Matt `Guitar' Murphy and `Mr. Fabulous' himself, Alan Rubin, all there to back the incomparable vocal stylings of Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues, who are determined to save their old home, now under the auspices of `The Penguin,' Sister Mary Stigmata (Kathleen Freeman). But one question remains to be answered: Who is Camille Ztdetelik (Carrie Fisher), and just what is she trying to do to Jake?

Without question, this was a great gig for Belushi and Aykroyd, who to millions of people ARE, and will forever be, the `Blues Brothers.' And forevermore shall they be linked in the memories of anyone who has seen this movie, heard their records or caught their act on SNL. Dan Aykroyd has gone on to have a successful and varied career in movies, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor (for `Driving Miss Daisy' in 1989), while John Belushi, of course, left us quite suddenly and way too soon, just as his career was on the rise. Were they great singers? Of course not; but they were accomplished performers who sagely surrounded themselves with the best of the best, a `band's' band that really made this gig work, because the music worked. Add to that the energy, excitement and passion they themselves brought to it, and you have their formula for success, which can be measured by the strong following they still enjoy to this day. And what a pity that Belushi isn't around to realize it.

Memorable in supporting roles are John Candy as Burton Mercer (who uttered the unforgettable line, `Orange whip? Orange whip?--); Henry Gibson as the steel-eyed head Nazi; Steve Lawrence, as agent Maury Sline; Charles Napier as Tucker McElroy, `Lead singer and driver of the Winnebago'; and Jeff Morris, who will always be remembered as Bob, owner of `Bob's Country Bunker,' the place with `both' kinds of music, Country `and' Western.

The additional supporting cast includes Steven Williams (Trooper Mount), Armand Cerami (Trooper Daniel), Layne Britton (The `Cheese Whiz'), Ralph Foody (Police Dispatcher) and John Landis (Trooper La Fong). Also, watch for cameos by Paul Reubens (Waiter), Frank Oz (Corrections Officer), Twiggy Lawson (Chic Lady) and Steven Spielberg as the County Clerk. A thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable movie, filled with memorable scenes and lines you'll be quoting for years to come (Aykroyd, in that `clipped' Elwood Blues delivery, to Tucker McElroy: `We'll, ah-- we'll talk to Bob--'), `The Blues Brothers' is a great film-- not in the sense of a film that should have walked away with a bagful of Oscars, but great for what it is and for the special place it holds in the history of the cinema. And, yes, it does have a place all it's own. Because a movie doesn't have to be `Citizen Kane,' or `Gone With the Wind' to be `great.' It's the ones that make you feel something for whatever reason, or make you laugh; the ones you remember because they're unique or have left their imprint on our culture in some way. So, check `All of the above,' or add your own reasons. For all that it's worth, this is the magic of the movies. I rate this one 9/10.
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10/10
One of my Favourite Movies
mjw230516 January 2005
1/ The music in this film is outstanding, with roles for Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway, John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles and more.... that's not really surprising.

2/ One of the finest car chases in cinematic history (The Italian Job and Smokey and the Bandit 2 are the only others that come close)

3/ John Belushi's own brand of comic genius throughout the movie

4/ Mulitiple memorable scenes and one liners

5/ Cameos from Steven Spielberg, Twiggy, Frank Oz, etc.

6/ Carrie Fisher as the psycho love interest intent on revenge.

Nuff said, watch it and love it 10/10
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10/10
Don't you miss comedies like this?
Smells_Like_Cheese16 November 2003
The Blues Brothers is definitely in my book one of the best comedies of all time. I couldn't believe my eyes that this film is not on the top 250, well, John Landis doesn't get enough credit in all. He brought us the most memorable comedies of all time: An American Werewolf in London, Trading Places, Animal House, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. He brings us The Blues Brothers, two popular characters off of Saturday Night Live who were at the height of their popularity. John puts them in Chicago(this is the best Chicago movie to watch next to Ferris Bueller by the way)and makes this into one of the greatest comedies ever. The great thing about this film is it's not gross out, it's not the obvious silly humor, it's just humor that keeps you laughing every minute. Dan and John are such a great comedic duo, they are without a doubt the most memorable duo off of SNL I would say.

Jake and Elwood go to the orphanage where they were raised and learn that it is being shut down due to insufficient funds, so they want to reunite their band and put on a show to help save the place. On a mission from God they claim, they gather up their old band members to put on the show of the decade! But along the way, Jake and Elwood get into quite a bit of trouble with the police, the Illinois Nazi party, a girlfriend of one of their band members, and a girl who just seems to keep going after them and wants them dead.

With great and endless cameos from great people like Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles, terrific Chicago landmarks, endless hilarious jokes, The Blues Brothers is the perfect comedy that is one of the best movies of all time. The concert scene is unforgettable and the scene that will always get me down on the floor in tears is where they go to the restaurant, John's line of "How much for your women?!" was just too priceless! You really have to see this movie, I guarantee you, you will die of laughter.

10/10
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10/10
Someone found the fountain of youth and doused this baby in it, 'cause it sure ain't getting old
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews24 October 2008
I couldn't tell you how many times I've watched this. I can say truthfully that me and my father have sat down and seen it together for over ten years. And I can assure you, it never seems less enjoyable. Every scene(honestly, find me a single one that should be taken out, and I will be utterly baffled) is great, and holds something to look forward to, most even something to reference and quote. The acting of the band members, and possibly some of the musicians(though, for my money, they do pretty darn good jobs), aren't necessarily the best actors, but it's seldom that obvious or annoying, and, come on, what kind of performance are you looking for in them in this, a role to take on, or some fantastic music? This is a movie that should be viewed by anyone who loves one or more of the following: Blues, car chases(this held the record in the number of vehicles crashed in a film, until, I believe, it's less impressive sequel), Aykroyd, Belushi, Landis and their work and comedy, all three shine. Heck, no matter what, this is likely to entertain you, thoroughly, continually and masterfully. The pacing is amazing, off the charts action and speed, yet it never, for a second, overwhelms or leaves you exhausted from it, and this has the rather important "buffer" portions, where you can relax. The script and plot are excellent. The songs are well-chosen, well-done and set up well. Brown, Charles and Franklin are incredible in this, with very different pieces. The cinematography and editing are spot-on. There is a little language, and it does get harsh. There is no real eye candy, this doesn't stoop to that for more than possibly a few seconds. The Collectors' Edition DVD holds 18 minutes of new footage, of varying quality, but I'd say it's worth attention of those who already dig the film. It also has a theatrical trailer, cast and crew listings, production notes and a making of. I recommend this to anyone, especially those who are either already familiar with(and into) the kind of tunes it's packed with, or those not, who are open to them. 10/10
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9/10
Plot...What Plot...I Just Don't Care
Hitchcoc1 December 2016
Just as with "Ghostbusters," the characters in this film are so likable and so in your face, you can't help but love it. It also gives us a taste of the blues and its roots. There are songs throughout, including one by Aretha Franklin that will live forever. The choreography is terrific, and, of course, there are only two Blues Brothers, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. It doesn't matter what their reason is for doing what they do. They have determined they are on "a mission from God." Belushi was such a genius, though a troubled performer. Aykroyd was not nearly so gifted but played a very nice straight man to Belushi's insanity. We are slipping away from an era that provided us with some of the most memorable comedians we will ever see. This was a vehicle to bring much of that to fruition.
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10/10
Nitro and Glycerin
mcstack15 August 2000
A musical comedy action fantasy should not work, especially when one considers that it is the first SNL skit-to-screen adventure (which, history has shown us, is a decidedly mixed bag). But this one does. Two of the best car chases in cinematic history bookend the film, and in between there are show-stopping musical numbers, raw humor, Illinois Nazis, and a seriously disgruntled ex-fiancee. And it all makes perfect sense in the context of the universe created by Aykroyd (who co-wrote), Landis (who directed), and Belushi (his barely contained zeal provides the battery pack for this film).

Jake (Belushi) and Elwood (Aykroyd) are the former front men of a broken down blues band (actually a stunning collection of blues talent) which disbanded after Jake was arrested several years before. Upon his release, he discovers that his boyhood orphanage home is about to be foreclosed upon for non-payment of property taxes. Beaten up by a nun, sung to by James Brown, and touched by God, Jake sees the light and seeks to put the band together for one last show -- a charity benefit to save the orphanage.

Their journey takes them from James Brown to Aretha Franklin to Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker to Cab Calloway. The movie showcases the overwhelming talent of singers, musicians, and genres long out of vogue with popular musical tastes. Indeed, this movie is a vehicle for giving these performers a chance to shine -- to bring their music back to the masses and ultimately into pop-culture immortality (to go along with their more prestigious musical immortality).

This film is guaranteed to make you tap your feet, laugh out loud, gasp as both a mall and and entire fleet of Chicago police cars are destroyed, and believe in the magical powers of an old cop car. Like I said, it's a musical comedy action fantasy.

And it works.
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10/10
Quite possibly John Landis's best film
TheLittleSongbird25 September 2010
As much as I liked Animal House, Trading Places, Coming to America and Oscar(his most underrated I feel), The Blues Brothers is what I consider John Landis's best. True the plot is pretty skimpy, but there is so much that compensates. The Blues Brothers is beautifully filmed, is confidently directed once again by John Landis and the script is very funny. Other than the delightful cameos from music legends such as Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway and James Brown, the Pinto scene with the fall from the sky and the spectacular car chase(ludicrous I know but spectacular too) with the massed forces of the law and order, a country and western band and a bunch of neo-Nazis, what makes The Blues Brothers is the music, it is absolutely brilliant, and the numbers it features in are particularly rousing. And then we have endearing performances from John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Carrie Fisher as well. In conclusion, people may argue that it is a mess plot wise, but I am past caring really with the music and performances as good as they are. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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10/10
NO other movie like it has ever been made! A Permanent CLASSIC!
Ship_Captain_XplOrOrOr19 September 2004
Where to begin? I WISHED the adults in my life took me to see it when it first came out! But alas, it would be years later when I'd first see it, on TV, and on VHS, then many more times on TV. READ the list of cast from start to end! You will be amazed who was in this movie! Including Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia in Star Wars), and even Steven Spielberg acted in this movie too!

Everyone should be required to see this movie, as kids, teens, and adults! Every age group will enjoy this movie. NICE family movie too! The kids and adults will 100% enjoy watching it. It is sooo sad that many of those music legends are forgotten, are not taught about in any school, and remain unknown! I never knew who Ray Charles was until I finally saw this movie! Possibly the first ever movie in which the soundtrack sold as well as the movie. There is even a tribute to Elvis at the very end. The re-watch factor is NICE - one never ever gets tired of re-watching this movie over and over! Which is unheard of with present day movies.
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10/10
It's all about the blues.
lee_eisenberg21 December 2005
After John Landis had directed John Belushi in "Animal House", and after John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd had co-starred in "1941", all three collaborated on a movie with which they will forever be associated: "The Blues Brothers". The plot of course has Jake (Belushi) and Elwood Blues (Aykroyd) on "a mission from God" to save the orphanage where they grew up. This necessitates reassembling their blues band and going on tour. By going on tour, I mean making a mess of everything. Whether it's their boorish behavior in a ritzy restaurant, the demolition of a mall, or an infinite number of car crashes, these guys are the bane of orderly society.

Of course, the real star is the music. Making guest appearances are some of the twentieth century's most renowned artists. Ray Charles plays a music store owner, James Brown plays a preacher, Aretha Franklin plays The Soul Food Cafe owner, and there's many more. This movie reminds us why the blues remain an integral part of our national heritage. The big concert is probably the best example (especially with Elwood's crazy dance).

Also appearing are Carrie Fisher as a woman out to kill Jake, John Candy as the police chief chasing them, Henry Gibson as an Illinois Nazi out to get Jake and Elwood after a most unusual encounter, and Steven Spielberg as the Cook County Clerk. All in all, this is one movie that won't disappoint you. Because everybody needs some movie to love (some movie to love/some movie to love). It needs you, you, you...
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10/10
Why the hell is "THE BLUES BROTHERS" not in 'The Top 250?'
crazykrueger10 August 2006
Forget the sequel... completely disregard it 100%... this film is the ultimate cult classic and the greatest musical ever made because it wasn't too corny! Fantastic Blues/Rock/Jazz/Swing... very nice stuff... John Belushi Rules... this is my all time favorite movie EVER! From the one-liners to the music to the performances to the dialog... everything about it was just so witty, original, unique, intelligent, superb, hilarious... if only more (or dare I say... less) SNL Spin-Off Film Characters were in TRULY ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC MOVIES LIKE THIS ONE... the world would be a much better place in my opinion! GET THE DVD AND DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT GOING ANYWHERE NEAR BLUES BROTHERS 2000! AT ALL!
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7/10
Wild "musical comedy" offers long-lasting fun and excitement.
emm14 May 1999
What an impressive following this large movie is recently having! It would've been just another cult classic to begin with! THE BLUES BROTHERS is easily the best film collaboration with Dan ("Dry White Toast") Aykroyd, and John ("4 Fried Chickens & A Coke") Belushi. While it gets too overly far-fetched with the action plot, there is reason to sit back and chow down on the comical hilarity and nonsense thrills that only John Landis can master perfectly into a comedy.

This is such a big deal after all because it offers a walloping combination of soul tunes, car chases, special effects, and crazy characters like female assassin Carrie Fisher and Nazi leader Henry Gibson. Put everything else together and you have one of the wildest experiences ever. If you want to know why it's so wild, the supporting cast of dancers, prison inmates, and law enforcers really shows that the movie itself is very hard at work! The music was supposed to be the main attraction in the first place, with real-life singers James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Cab Calloway. They add to the theme of this "bluesy" movie with their own style of performing familiar tunes. The real stars are Aykroyd and Belushi who can be both funny and talented on and off the stage. Probably the duo's all-time best performance is the singing numbers. But after the singing, we await the sudden amazement of car crashes and smashes that make up the excitement, with the largest impact ever since the 1974 cult classic GONE IN 60 SECONDS. It certainly has "Made In Chicago" stamped all over this picture! There are tons of entertaining moments that never go blind. Just sit back and watch it all go boom!

Aykroyd and Belushi would have fared well in GHOSTBUSTERS had there been more movies produced, but this remains to be THE comedy classic for the wild SNL pair. DVD owners must not miss this one as it makes a valuable addition to your library. It's not really the masterpiece of a genius, but it is a good-natured effort in using different film genres in one complete package. Definitely recommended for Landis lovers out there.
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8/10
A Wild & Crazy Ride
ccthemovieman-16 December 2006
What a wild ride! This film was full of music, action scenes, dancing, comedy and Left Wing loony politics, of course. For a comedy, I was sorry to hear all the profanity and usage of the Lord's name in vain. Too bad they had to make and R-rated film of this. A little toned down and more people could have enjoyed all the antics of Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi and the others.

Speaking of names: what a strange cast. The above two with John Candy, Carrie Fisher, Henry Gibson and singers James Brown, Steve Lawrence, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin!

It's a lot of fun to watch with some memorable scenes. Most memorable to me was the incredible car chase scene through an indoor mall. I laugh every time I think about it, almost as much as I laugh when I pictured Aykroyd and Belushi doing back flips down the aisle!
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8/10
Belushi, Akyroyd and Landis' Star Studded Musical Masterpiece.
meddlecore24 September 2020
Before Bill & Ted (but after The Muppets), the original Men In Black...on a mission from God...were Jake & Elwood...also known as The Blues Brothers, from Chicago.

Jake is straight outta Joliet, and is being hunted by an ex-lover...while Elwood has a couple of pigs from the Chicago PD on his tail for a series of traffic violations.

Meanwhile, they need to make $5000 dollars to save the orphange that raised them.

After visiting the Triple Rock Church (where James Brown is the preacher), they see the light...and realize what God's plan for them really is.

They just need to convince the old band to get back together, and score a gig that can make them enough money to pay off the band, and the debts of the orphanage...in order to save the children.

Crusing around in their former police cruiser- the new bluesmobile- they manage to get the mission on track...but not before they piss off a group of Nazis, a redneck bar owner, and band of country musicians...all of whom are out to get them.

Against all odds, they manage to secure the perfect gig- at the Palace- which, with a little divine intervention, and help from their friends...they pack to the rafters.

The only question, now, is...will they be able to rock the house hard enough to pay the band, and for the orphange, while retaining their freedom- and lives?

It doesn't hurt to have a little luck on your side.

Because they are certainly going to need it.

God really does work in mysterious ways.

National Lampoon staples, John Belushi and Dan Akyroyd make for a killer combination.

While the rest of the cast is studded with stars, from James Brown, Cab Calloway, John Lee Hooker, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles...to John Candy, Carrie Fisher and Henry Gibson.

The resulting soundtrack is, thus, about as stellar as they come.

Which, alongside the choreography from Charlton Johnson and the action sequences from director John Landis...make for an absolute classic film that will have you shaking and twisting from start to finish.

Because, let's face it...who doesn't hate nazis and love to see the cops lose.

The Blues Brothers is a straight up musical masterpiece, which few other films since have been able to match the intensity of.

If you haven't seen it...then you might not know how to rock (because you certainly haven't learned how to roll).

Good guys this rad, always win.

8.5 out of 10.
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6/10
"We're on a mission from God"
didi-58 November 2003
John Landis' spin-off from the Blues Brothers Band sketches of SNL starts with Jake (the wonderful John Belushi) coming out of prison to be met by brother Elwood (energetic Dan Aykroyd) in the new Bluesmobile - a high powered ex-cop car with special features, allowing it to leap across bridges and such. After a trip to see the scary 'penguin', their ex-matriarch (Kathleen Freeman) they decide to reform their band to raise cash for their old orphanage. Thing is, the members of their band are all doing other things like working in burger bars, as maitre d', and so on, and need to be persuaded.

The best thing about this movie is the music, and this isn't just provided by the boys and their band, but by a number of guest appearances such as those of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, and best of all, the great Cab Calloway. The car chase sequences where a whole shopping mall and loads of police cars are destroyed is also brilliantly done. There are lots of other goodies along the way, like the country club, the pseudo-Nazis, and of course, psychotic Carrie Fisher. The sequel wasn't bad but this is the real McCoy.
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10/10
Probably the best musical in the world...
Dr_Gonzo_Pineapple25 October 2004
Music is essential to the world of musicals. That's obvious. So, tell me, why do some musicals have crappy music?

Anyway, i turned to 'The Blues Brothers' and first time in my life my musical ears have been cleaned. How can such a music genre be so... excellent. Blues music is influential, and so is this film. Since watching this movie, i have found myself engrossed to the world of Blues music. How can a movie be anymore influential?

This movie is not for the faint hearted, because it will grab you and shake you up real good.

10/10

Dr. Pineapple
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An Eccentric Cult Classic
angdev5 March 2000
This definitive cult classic combines two of the pioneers of Saturday Night Live in a hilarious comedy, indulging into their characters from the show. John Belushi and Dan Akroyd are Jake and Elwood Blues, two eccentric brothers who are "On A Mission From God". They seem to inevitably find themselves in large amounts of trouble. The most fun is living vicariously through them as they stick it to the police and other authority figures and evade the consequences. Blues fans will rave over the fantastic soundtrack full of classic blues tunes from the biggest stars. This film is one that will have you quoting lines, singing along, and quite possibly dancing like Elwood. By the way, sunglasses can be worn at all times, black never goes out of style, and dry white toast is quite possibly the world's perfect food.
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9/10
Awesome
TheOneThatYouWanted4 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"We're getting the band back together" - I always wondered where they got that from, and now I know. Plus, this film.. a freaking comedy.. with music numbers, has maybe THE BEST car chase scene I have ever seen in my life, and I am a huge film buff. Anyway, I always knew about this film, and its cult following and etc, etc but for whatever reason never got a chance to watch it until now. Yeah, I'm geeking out over this one. And The Blues Brothers are just cool. I think their expressionless faces are what hammer this sucker home. But yeah, that car chase. And the million-and one cameos. I need to look up how much this cost because it looks like it cost a lot to make. It was like they knew ahead of time that this was going to turn out as good as it did. I could go on and on about this film but I'm not going to. Oh, Princess Leia is in this. Now I'm going to check wiki for the budget on this sucker. It only cost 30 million to make? Whoa.
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9/10
It's all real
ericstevenson12 February 2018
I admit that the main reason this movie is so good is because of how literally real it is. When it shows them destroying the shopping mall, that is an actual shopping mall that's being destroyed. I remember learning about it on Wikipedia's list of unusual articles. It's the Dixie Square Mall which was abandoned before finally being demolished in 2012. All the car pileups that appear are real as well. You have to admire a film that goes that far for the sake of a joke.

Apart from that, I really did find myself caring for these characters and couldn't help but be engrossed at how cool they were. I love that this is such an all star cast. It makes me miss Carrie Fisher, but I'm glad to know her for roles other than "Star Wars". Tons of real life musicians appear. It's the awesome music and choreography that's a big part of what makes this movie so good. I love the random explosions. ***1/2
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6/10
As a musical, it's doing something right
MOscarbradley25 May 2006
John Landis' movie doesn't quite cut the mustard but it consistently hits the goal-posts. It looks fabulous, (it's like a Frank Tashlin movie from the fifties on a much larger scale). What it is, really, is a series of sketches, some of them terrific, rather than a plot, interrupted by some great musical numbers. It may be a terrible film, (it's like a big screen version of "Saturday Night Live"), but it has two great iconic moments.

Aretha Franklin plays a waitress and gets to strut her stuff and sing "Think" and it's a legendary moment, and Cab Callaway gets to do "Minnie the Moocher" in front of a large audience and he's magnificent. And any movie that has Ray Charles and James Brown in it is doing something right. The film quickly developed a cult following and has since spawned a stage show based on it's leading characters. It has become something of a classic. It's certainly a guilty pleasure. In Italy, Fellini might have made something like this on an off-day and if he was in a good mood. Unfortunately, the climatic chase, while spectacular, does drag on a bit (and what a waste of 1000 extras).
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10/10
A true classic, comedy the way it should be - FUNNY
blanche-210 June 2017
From 1980, "The Blues Brothers," starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, is good for what ails you. It's funny and offbeat with great music and one of the all-time classic car chases thrown in.

As one critic said, it shouldn't work. But it does. Big time.

After musician Jake Blues (Belushi) is released from prison, and he and his brother Elwood (Aykroyd) visit one of the nuns (Kathleen Freeman) who raised them. She needs $5000 to pay taxes on the boarding school she runs. The boys want to help, even though she can slap a mean ruler on their knuckles, so they reassemble their old blues band and then attempt to find some gigs, even taking one at a country-western bar that isn't theirs.

Just one problem. Everyone is after them, including the law, neo-Nazis led by Henry Gibson, the owner of the country-western bar where they didn't pay their bar bill, and a diminutive woman (Carrie Fisher) who tries to get them with bazookas, flame throwers, and whatever she can get her hands on.

The musical artists in this film include James Brown, Ray Charles, Cab Calloway, and Aretha Franklin, and they're all fabulous, as is their music. The Blues Brothers band itself is terrific.

Belushi and Aykroyd make a perfect pair. The funniest part for me was Belushi at one point begging for his life. Such a loss of talent.

John Landis did a masterful job of directing what was in fact a multi- genre film that was in fact no genre at all, combining elements of comedy, musical, and action-adventure.

What fun.
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6/10
"We're on a mission from God."
classicsoncall2 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this film once before and that should have been enough, but nooooooo!, I managed to put myself through it again for the sake of this review. Quite honestly, I don't get the film's rating of 7.9 as I write this. It seems like one long car chase, well, make that two long car chases, and that doesn't satisfy in place of an effective story. I'd like to know how many cars were wrecked in service to this picture, I would have started a count but too many of them got by me and I wasn't going back to find out.

I'll say this though - you couldn't ask for a better or more eclectic line-up of musicians than the ones who showed up here. James Brown, Ray Charles, Steve Cropper, Aretha Franklin, and the icing on the cake for me - John Lee Hooker! Or maybe it was Cab Calloway with his signature 'Hi-De-Ho'. Any way you look at it, they were all a blast.

As for the Blues Brothers themselves, I was a fan of Belushi and Aykroyd back to the original Saturday Night Live days, and they do have a certain charisma as Jake and Elwood Blues, but I think they could have been given a better vehicle to work with. AND, I thought I'd get to see them perform 'Soul Man', but that turned out to be another movie. Bummer.
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10/10
A great musical for people who don't like musicals!
Tweekums16 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
As the film opens we see Jake Blues being released from prison and picked up by his brother Elwood; they head to the orphanage where they were raised and learn that the place will me closed down of somebody doesn't pay the $5000 tax demand in the next few days. Soon The Blues Brothers are on a mission from God to save the orphanage. To do this Jake wants to get their old band back together but it won't be easy as the members have all got on with their lives while he was in jail. Even once they have got the band back together it will be hard to earn that sort of money at short notice… and that isn't mentioning the fact that they are wanted by the police, the local Nazis and a mysterious woman who is determined to kill Jake! It is safe to say that by the time they pay the $5000 considerably more damage will have been none!

The opening scene might make one think this was going to be a fairly slow movie but once Jake is out of prison it isn't long before the laughter and mayhem begin… and there is a lot of both. The action is over the top and utterly hilarious with countless cop cars, shop windows and even entire buildings being destroyed. This mayhem is regularly interrupted by musical interludes by the likes of James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Cab Callaway. These songs are frequently accompanied by entertaining dance routines. As well as lots of well known singers there are also quite a few other well known people in cameo roles; the best being Carrie Fisher who plays the woman trying to kill Jake; I loved how it isn't explained why she is doing it till nearly the end. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd are great as Jake and Elwood; two characters who almost never remove their sunglasses; even at night. I'd heartily recommend this to anybody wanting a good laugh; don't worry if you don't usually like musicals; this one is great!
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9/10
Utterly ridiculous... but, that's the whole point.
RockyMtnVideo6 September 2020
What is this film about?

It's a love-letter to Chicago, disguised as a road picture. In this case, Dan and John on an almost continuous journey around more Chicago locales than you can count on all of your available digits.

It's a musical. Throughout the "road trip", the film exploits every opportunity to enlist so many musical legends (who find reasons to "break out in song"), that you probably won't be able to keep track of all of them, either.

It's an excuse to throw in a long list of famous comedians, and other celebrities, strewn throughout the movie in bit parts, just for grins. (You should pay attention to almost every character that shows up along the journey, as virtually all of them are someone famous, e.g. even Twiggy shows up at one point.)

It's an excuse to destroy, in unimaginably creative ways, an entire mall, and numerous other buildings, as a result of chases, vendettas, etc., just in case you need an "action fix" to "round out" the movie's musical and comedic experience. (A decent percentage of those destructive activities, perpetrated by Carrie Fisher's character.)

There is a "plot thread" that provides an underlying reason for Dan and John's journey, but it's just there to facilitate all of the craziness. The journey is never boring (there's never time to get bored), and it is an awful lot of fun.

I finally decided to review this, while watching the 2020 4K UHD release (which, as an aside, looks great). I would be remiss not to mention that it's a bit hard to watch the film, and not feel a hint of sadness, based upon the fact that 40 years on, from its original release, so many of the actors, musicians, and comedians it features, are simply not with us anymore. For some, that is simply a consequence of age, but there are far too many others that should have still been with us. The only silver lining is that we get to see why we enjoyed them, while we had them.

I highly recommend this. It successfully melds so many film genres together into a single film, that it's almost impossible not to have fun.
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10/10
Right on
bevo-1367830 March 2020
One of the best movies ever made. Awesome car chases
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10/10
A critique of the criticisms
Qanqor10 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not going to go into why the movie is great, that's already been done a thousand times here.

Just for yucks, I actually sat and read EVERY review here (about 260), and mostly they were good reviews. But some of them are just from planet Mars.

People complaining about the music are just flaunting their own ignorance. No matter what else one might say about the movie, the music is terrific and anyone who says otherwise is just *wrong*. I'm on my second CD of the soundtrack because I wore out the first one. And it's not like I'm a particularly big blues fan, either, this is one of about three blues albums in my collection.

People complaining about the comedy, well, I suppose comedy is a matter of taste. But I think the movie is hilarious. Nobody even mentioned one of my favorite gags: the last shot of Twiggy. :)

But what I *really* want to respond to is a couple ridiculous claims that peoples' love of this film is in-genuine, that it's either a result of sheepish devotion to what they've been told is good, or else pure nostalgia for Belushi. That, my friends, is a first class CROCK. First of all, you'll never find *anyone* who's less go-along-with-what-the-crowd-says than me, and to be told that that's why I like the film, is so insulting, I could spit. And as far as Belushi nostalgia, also utter nonsense. If that were true, I'd love all the other Belushi films too, and in fact the only other one I really like is Animal House. Indeed, I consider Neighbors to be among the worst films I've ever seen.

But for those who appreciate the Blues Brothers, I'll close with a tiny personal anecdote: Today I received a package in the mail, from some friends from Boston, who I used to be in a band with, and who I left behind when I moved to Washington. I don't really see or hear from them anymore, although I try to hook up with them on the rare occasions I get back to Boston. So I was surprised and delighted when I received this package. The contents: a can of cheeze whiz. :) :) :)
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