Lightning in a Bottle
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The United States Congress named 2003 the "Year of the Blues" as part of an initiative by several musical education groups to make more Americans aware of the history and heritage of blues music, one of America's most important homegrown art forms. To kick off this celebration of the blues, a special concert was held at New York City's historic Radio City Music Hall, and Lightning in a Bottle documents a memorable evening of music from a star-studded roster of artists. Offering a glimpse at the rehearsals and preparations that went into putting the show together as well as… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The event's musical director, Steve Jordan, marvels at one point: 'Looks like y'all hired the phone book . . . just looked up "Blues" in the Yellow Pages.'"
‑ Richard Harrington, Washington Post
"The filmmakers really have captured something quite spectacular with this one."
‑ Jason Gorber, Film Scouts
"This is music for which there are not enough superlatives."
‑ David Cornelius,
"... we'll save the arguments about the patronizing nature of blues fetishism for another time. If you wish you were there, you'll want to see this film."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Lightning in a Bottle is at once deliberate and agile."
‑ Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters
"Features a who's who of world-wise bluesmen (and women) and newbie practitioners."
‑ Sean Daly, Washington Post
"It is as much a lesson in musical appreciation as it is a thrilling concert."
‑ Eric D. Snider,
"Features performances by such masters of the form as Buddy Guy, Solomon Burke, B.B. King. But the movie doesn't depend on your knowledge of them or their works."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"A thrilling experience for jazz fans, and if you're not in that category, the film's overpowering atmosphere could have you changing your tune within minutes."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
"A fast, sweet, cram course in the blues. And it does so in an extremely coherent, vital and entertaining fashion."
‑ Jonathan Takiff, Philadelphia Daily News
"Every so often there comes a must-see movie. This one's a must-hear."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Lightning in a Bottle is a feel-good film, ironically, for fans of the blues and a solid primer for newcomers to the sound."
‑ Jeffrey Bruner, Des Moines Register
"[It] achieves the goal of every concert film, to make you feel like you were there - or at least wish you were there."
‑ Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
"Mostly, director Antoine Fuqua's straightforward film gives the greats a chance to shine, and they deliver."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"This 'blues' film devotes more time to the music of Jimi Hendrix than to that of Robert Johnson or Muddy Waters..."
‑ John Beifuss, Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
More reviews for Lightning In A Bottle on Rotten Tomatoes