Only the Strong Survive
Only the Strong Survive (2003)

Roger Friedman is an entertainment journalist and music fan with a particular love for R&B and soul music from the mid-'50s to the pre-disco era of the early '70s. Owing in part to segregated booking policies and simple lack of… More

Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: May 9, 2003
DVD Release Date: February 3, 2004
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Available Online

Critic Score: 61% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Though this documentary could be more informative, the performances themselves are wonderful.

Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic

There's no problem with a little bias, but Friedman's fan-boy perspective puts the subjects of Only the Strong Survive on too high a pedestal.

Richard Harrington
Washington Post

Fortunately, the performances themselves are beautifully filmed and recorded.

Cole Smithey

...fails to give audiences as much frame of reference for the unifying economic, political and atmospheric elements that made the Stax brand of R&B soul music so powerful.

Full review…
Gene Seymour

Content to merely serve as a cluttered, heart-shaped scrapbook, missing many more stories than it bothers to include.

Ann Hornaday
Washington Post

A film that even with its flaws should be cheered for preserving the later years of these towering musical talents.

Christopher Null

you get the feeling that Hegedus and Pennebaker couldn't care less about soul music.

Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper

... the music is great, but as a film thumbs down.

Mike Clark
USA Today

Worth the time and money some of the summer's effects-driven spectacles probably won't be.

David Cornelius

I would have prefered deeper insights... [but] as a concert film, this one's a blast.

Full review…
More reviews for Only the Strong Survive