6.9/10
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Get on Up (2014)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Music | 1 August 2014 (USA)
Trailer
2:39 | Trailer
A chronicle of James Brown's rise from extreme poverty to become one of the most influential musicians in history.

Director:

Tate Taylor

Writers:

Jez Butterworth (screenplay), John-Henry Butterworth (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
5 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chadwick Boseman ... James Brown
Nelsan Ellis ... Bobby Byrd
Dan Aykroyd ... Ben Bart
Viola Davis ... Susie Brown
Lennie James ... Joe Brown
Fred Melamed ... Syd Nathan
Craig Robinson ... Maceo Parker
Jill Scott ... DeeDee Brown
Octavia Spencer ... Aunt Honey
Josh Hopkins ... Ralph Bass
Brandon Mychal Smith ... Little Richard (as Brandon Smith)
Tika Sumpter ... Yvonne Fair
Aunjanue Ellis ... Vicki Anderson
Tariq Trotter ... Pee Wee Ellis
Aloe Blacc ... Nafloyd Scott
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 August 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Get on Up See more »

Filming Locations:

Natchez, Mississippi, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,585,915, 3 August 2014

Gross USA:

$30,703,100

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$33,448,971
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Datasat | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene preceding the 1964 T.A.M.I. show, when James is discussing The Rolling Stones with Pop, The Beach Boys are in the background, rehearsing vocals. See more »

Goofs

When the madam pays James, she peels off a roll of $1 bills.They're federal reserve notes with a green seal, introduced in the early 1960s. The bills should've been silver certificates or US notes with blue or red seals. See more »

Quotes

Bobby Byrd: He's a show-stopper. It's a miracle!
Sarah Byrd: Really? Maybe me and you could work on a little harmony together.
Mrs. Byrd: Sarah, get down here!
Bobby Byrd: She coming, mama. She coming.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The movie's title is shown as neon lit text, hanging in a window during the opening scene. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Chadwick Boseman/Cardi B (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Erin's Song
Written by Curt Sobel, Gary Schreiner
Performed by P.O.E.
Courtesy of Palisades Music Productions
See more »

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User Reviews

Pretty erratic
16 August 2014 | by Red_IdentitySee all my reviews

I feel like there really was an interesting film somewhere in here, somewhere buried deep inside here though. The performances here are solid, if not a little too over-the-top that venture on caricatures from the supporting roles. The lead performance, though, really is fantastic, and it's such a shame that the film drags him down so much. The editing here is pretty atrocious, although much of it could be attributed to the screenplay's problems and wanting to go through his whole life in little segments that really feel way too erratic. The set deigns are good as is the music segments, but James deserved a much better film, and the lead as well.


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