How to Grow a Band
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In How to Grow a Band, 26-year-old Chris Thile is at a crossroads. His marriage has ended, and his platinum-selling band, Nickel Creek, has gone on "indefinite hiatus." But Thile, a perfectionist prodigy who's defied expectations since he learned the mandolin at age five, has a plan. Step 1: Write a 45-minute, four-movement elegy to your failed marriage to be played by a bluegrass quintet. Step 2: Recruit the only musicians around talented enough to play it and crazy enough to sign on. Step 3: Make a record, launch an international tour and brace yourself. Filmed with uncommon… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 56%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Mr. Meatto's framing tends to catch the musicians' give-and-take, merging and dueling notes onstage, especially at a Manhattan concert that is the film's highlight."
‑ Nicolas Rapold, New York Times
"A fly-on-the-wall case study in the demands of making music for a living."
‑ Benjamin Mercer, Village Voice
"In the end, you come away knowing almost as little about Chris Thile and his music as when the film started...misses its chance to enlighten, choosing instead to promote."
‑ Marshall Fine, Hollywood & Fine
"How to Grow a Band is most fascinating as it tactfully charts the sort of artistic and philosophical differences that can eventually undermine any group endeavor, even among seemingly like-minded collaborators."
‑ Joe Leydon, Variety
"Mark Meatto's How To Grow A Band is masterful filmmaking that takes the audience where they need to go."
‑ Joan Radell, Paste Magazine
"Fans of the progressive-bluegrass prodigy Chris Thile will enjoy this look at his stripped-down struggles to introduce audiences to his new avant-garde fusion of bluegrass and classical."
‑ Frank Lovece, Film Journal International
"How To Grow A Band maintains a respectable distance from its subject that ultimately doesn't work in its favor."
‑ Nathan Rabin, AV Club
"[H]as a promising story to follow [but] disappointing, either as an introduction to progressive bluegrass or for longtime Thile fans."
‑ Nora Lee Mandel,
"The movie is unsurprisingly devoted to peddling up-and-comer Chris Thiele as something daring, something new."
‑ Joseph Jon Lanthier, Slant Magazine
More reviews for How to Grow a Band on Rotten Tomatoes