20marley-thumbstandard Featuring dozens of interviews, electrifying concert performances and rare footage, this documentary explores the music, life and legacy of reggae icon Bob Marley, from his birth in 1945 to his death from cancer at age 36.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 4.3
NYT Critics' Pick
In “Marley," Kevin Macdonald’s documentary, Bob Marley’s life and art are defined by his attempt to reconcile his divided racial legacy. Read the review
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 95%
Critics' score: 95   Audience score: 92   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

Marley is highly watchable, finely crafted legacy preservation - and it's either a white-washed sham or awesomely shaded. full review

Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

It wants to show us the man behind the famous dreads, beatific smile and durable songs of love, hope and longing. In this task it succeeds admirably. full review

Peter Howell, Toronto Star

Sprinkled with riffs, concert footage and home videos, the family-authorized documentary does what the artist usually did: When in doubt, return to the beat. full review

Scott Bowles, USA Today

Macdonald supplies some interesting and novel details about the musician's life and art, though the movie's narrative arc and documentary methods are totally predictable. full review

Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

Bob Marley wrote the same song about 8,000 times, and the documentary "Marley" makes sure to include each version. full review

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

This is a life story worth telling, and "Marley" does it much justice. Marley may or may not have been perfect, but he was certainly fascinating. full review

Tom Long, Detroit News

It's hard to imagine audiences who don't know much about the man sticking around for more than a few minutes of this. And they're the ones who need to know about him most of all. full review

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

The movie has enormous force - because it's about a genius, yes, but even more so because of the intelligence, passion and wit of the people who knew Marley. full review

Farran Smith Nehme, New York Post

It's exhaustive without being exhausting, an eye-opening and all-encompassing portrait that should go a long way to rescuing him from being a marijuana mascot. full review

David Malitz, Washington Post

Every now and then, the movie comes close to placing us where the music often did - in the realm of the mystical, with a beat everybody could dance to. full review

Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Chronologically organized and voiceover-free, the movie is a 145-minute patchwork of old concert footage and talking-head interviews -- lots and lots of them -- from people who knew, loved, and worked with the reggae giant. full review

Dana Stevens, Slate

The enormous popularity of the transcendent reggae superstar shows no signs of abating, a situation"Marley," a moving and authoritative new documentary, takes as its mission to illustrate and explain. full review

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Stylistically unremarkable, playing it safe with structure, the film is still quietly revelatory. full review

The director, Kevin Macdonald, searches for clarity amid the contradictions of Marley's life and reaches no conclusions, but that's a tribute to his subject's complexity in a film of fascinating too-muchness. full review

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

A riveting two-and-a-half-hour documentary biography... full review

Stephen Holden, New York Times

Marley celebrates the fact that its subject is still among us in the way that perhaps matters most: His music not only survives, it thrives. full review

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

This film is long. But it grabs one's senses and won't let go. full review

Steve Morse, Boston Globe

Clocking in at nearly two and a half hours, it is gripping from the start, not just because of the quality of the music, but because of Marley's magnetic, challenging personality, as well. full review

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

You see a man, flawed and imperfect, finding his way through with his music, constantly searching for his place in the world until that quest was cut tragically short. full review

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

The narrative does a solid job of explaining key elements of Marley's keen sensibility, including his deep identification with outsiders and his encompassing world view. full review

Jim Farber, New York Daily News
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