Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt And The Magnetic Fields
Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt And The Magnetic Fields (2010)

Performing with the Magnetic Fields since 1991, Stephin Merritt has composed some of his generation's most intellectually incisive, whimsical, witty and acerbic music. A dedicated, growing army of admirers flocks to the group's… More

Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: October 27, 2010
DVD Release Date: April 1, 2011
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Critic Score: 77% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Ty Burr
Boston Globe

In inviting us along to peek into the life, filmmakers Kerthy Fix and Gail O'Hara don't give us quite enough about the art.

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Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter

This portrait of the famed indie rock composer-musician is for fans only.

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Jason Anderson

Merritt seems to loathe the very idea of being in a movie. That impression lends a weird tension to Fix and O'Hara's otherwise affectionate and conventional account of his career to date.

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Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle

Overall, this is a nice introduction to an amiably dour tunesmith who once wrote that "all art aspires to the condition of Top 40 bubblegum pop."

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V.A. Musetto
New York Post

No matter your take on Merritt's persona, there's no denying that he's a unique musician whose songs -- such as "Papa Was a Rodeo" and "Living in an Abandoned Firehouse With You" -- are worth discovering. As is this film.

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Shawn Levy

"Strange Powers" moves with lightness, verve and charm, which Magnetic Fields fans might find amusing, given Merritt's well-known morosity.

Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

Clearly, the directors have to be Merritt advocates to hang in there that long, but the film that resulted has elements that keep it from being simply a fan's notes.

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Noel Murray
AV Club

Most fan-docs are fairly remedial, but Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt And The Magnetic Fields is more sophisticated than the norm, in keeping with its subject.

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Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

A most satisfying portrait of the artist as a middle-aged curmudgeon.

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