6.9/10
18,101
108 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 (SD) on Prime 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
3,240 ( 287)
6 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... James Brown
... Bobby Byrd
... Ben Bart
... Susie Brown
... Joe Brown
... Syd Nathan
... Maceo Parker
... DeeDee Brown
... Aunt Honey
... Ralph Bass
... Little Richard (as Brandon Smith)
... Yvonne Fair
... Vicki Anderson
... 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:

Official Facebook | Official site |  »

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

1 August 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Get on Up: Príbeh Jamese Browna  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,585,915, 3 August 2014, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$30,513,940, 12 September 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This is Aunjanue Ellis' third film based on a real-life musician. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of 1965, Ben gives James a chauffeur-driven black 1967 Cadillac. See more »

Quotes

Aunt Honey: You special. You mama's a no account fool, your daddy too, but you ain't going to be. You gonna be okay. One day, everybody going to know your name.
See more »


Soundtracks

Please, Please, Please
Written by James Brown and Johnny Terry
Performed by James Brown
Courtesy of Republic Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Tight as any James Brown track!
7 August 2014 | by See all my reviews

Two viewings in three days, to fully appreciate the magnificent achievement that's on screen. Not one extraneous word, scene, shot or sequence. The whole is as tight as James Brown's hits - or his pants.

The underlying construction of these snapshots of James Brown's life is flawless. Far from being haphazard or out-of-sequence for mere "effect," this non- linear storytelling technique has rarely been used with greater impact. Thankfully, Tate Tayler, Mick Jagger, the other producers and writers, decided AGAINST the boring born-in-a-shack and then this happened, and next that happened, and finally he died structure.

Result? The film has unexpected rhythms that never let go and build to the astonishing, electrifying re-creation of Brown's Paris concert that - even on second viewing - had me jumping out of my seat, fist-pumping the air and screaming, "YES!"

I wasn't alone.

Chadwick Boseman may be the black male Meryl Streep. His technical achievements alone are remarkable: Brown's moves, speech rhythms and timbre - but mainly his lip-syncing to Brown's vocals: flawless!

Even in the final moments, as the aged Brown silences his band, then begins the haunting "Try Me" a capella - in a closeup so tight you practically see Boseman's tonsils, his mouth, tongue placement, breathing and facial emotions are so perfectly and intensely aligned with Brown's voice you'd swear Boseman were doing his own signing.

But Boseman is equally true portraying Brown at any age, any stage, from any distance. You can't fake that level of acting proficiency. Whether he wins best actor, he is certain to (deservedly) be nominated.

Boseman'surrounded by an equally perfect cast, not one of whom rings false: ultimately a tribute to the director - stunningly supported by the script, cinematography and editing.

By comparison, Clint Eastwood's "Jersey Boys" looks exactly like what it is: a tired, clichéd jukebox Broadway musical with great old safe, whitebread hits (distinguished mainly by Frankie Valli's falsetto) and nothing else to write home about.

James Brown, on the other hand, was always in your face. So were (are) Mick Jagger and the Stones. And so, rightly, is "Get On Up" as a rousing cinematic experience that has to be seen to be believed.


48 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 108 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial