This Rolling Stones documentary focuses on the two concerts from the group's current "A Bigger Bang" tour and includes scenes from a recent concert in Austin, Texas. It also includes behind-the-scenes footage and interviews.
In many ways [Shine a Light is] an unintentional funeral dance commemorating the vanished vitality and subversive potential of mainstream rock 'n' roll and celebrating its current utility as a nostalgic anodyne.
At times, the cutting shifts from the hasty to the impatient to the borderline epileptic, and, while never doubting Scorsese's ardor for the Stones, I got the distinct impression of a style in search of a subject.
He brings all his skills as a filmmaker to the film, but Scorsese did not achieve the monumental dimensions of his movie from cinematic savoir faire. Shine a Light is huge because the Stones are giants.
Once the Rolling Stones push "Jumpin' Jack Flash's" tempo toward a cliff, Scorsese treats "Shine a Light" like a character piece about artistic give-and-take, not a mere concert film. As long as the Stones are ambulatory, they're ageless.