Review: Chuck Berry (2018)

Chuck Berry

Release Date: September 2, 2020

Run Time: 1 hour & 43 minutes

Reviewed By: Adam

Chuck Berry is the first-ever feature length documentary devoted to the life of singer/songwriter/guitarist widely considered the “Granddaddy of Rock and Roll” (1927 – 2017), known for hits like “Maybelline,” “Rock and Roll Music,” “Johnny B. Goode” and many others. Award-winning filmmaker Jon Brewer (BB King: The Life Of Riley; Nat King Cole: Afraid Of The Dark) melds archival performance footage and ruminations on Berry’s influence from other music greats (Keith Richards, Nils Lofgren, Steve Van Zandt, Joe Perry, and Alice Cooper among them) with an exploration of the legendary guitarist’s personal life (including the first-ever interview with Themetta “Toddy” Suggs, his wife of 68 years) and experience as a Black artist traversing the American racial landscape of the 1950s onward.

Despite his iconic status, and reverence for his talent by rock’s heroes John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards, Steve Van Zandt, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, all featured, Chuck Berry was at heart, a family man. He was a prolific craftsman of words and chords; an undisputed and stunning combination of talent and charisma.

The King! Man, I never realized how much of an influence Chuck Berry was to rock & roll and music in general. I honestly never knew much about him besides a few of his songs. 

The soundtrack alone keeps you interested the entire time.

Really wish I could’ve seen Chuck live…

I will say, there are points of the movie (like the picture above) when they recreate Chuck’s songs/stories with actors. I would LOVE to see an entire Chuck Berry movie done that way. Someone make it happen!

If you have any interest in music, this is one you should see.

Reel ROB Rating: 6.25 out of 10 stars

Post Credits Scene: No

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