20 Feet From Stardom Synopsis
Filmmaker Morgan Neville celebrates the contributions of longtime backup singers like Darlene Love.
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings


Chicago Tribune

By Michael Phillips
Yes, for every star there are five more also-rans and maybe-next-times. But there is honor and glory in being part of the blend. And, at...
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Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
20 Feet From Stardom may possibly be the happiest time you’ll have at the movies all summer, but it comes with a heavy load of frustration....
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The Hollywood Reporter

Neville unearths a treasure trove of archival TV, concert and film footage featuring many of these vocalists in their heyday, balancing the...
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Los Angeles Times

By Kenneth Turan
A moving and joyous behind-the-scenes documentary about a world filled with big, bold personalities and the music they make.
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Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
Sometimes it's racism; sometimes bum luck; sometimes it's producer Phil Spector putting Love's voice in another singer's mouth. You watch....
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Chicago Sun-Times

From front to back stage, 20 Feet From Stardom is a compelling look at the spirit of these giving artists as they navigated the rapid...
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USA Today

By Claudia Puig
Audiences meet the most memorable voices in the world of backup singers. They perform with world-famous musical acts, but theirs are not...
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By William Goss
A well-polished production with a remarkable soundtrack.
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Village Voice

By Ernest Hardy
It does what the most powerful films and music have always done, which is to spark contemplation of our own lives and choices, and our...
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By Peter Debruge
For most of its running time, this personality-packed docu is nothing short of absorbing as it recaps the essential role African-American...
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Amazing Singers! Great Stories About Classic Rock!

By pedsarq
I felt as if I had just attended the best music class of my life after watching this film. The story spans the entire history of classic rock from the Beatles/Stones to the virtual disappearance of...

20 Feet from Stardom

By rlbown1999
Excellent movie. The story was compelling, very insightful and helps the music lover appreciate the role of the background singer. As one critic said, it takes more than a great voice to become the...


By LovesMovies1234
When I was a teenager, I remember honing-in on what the backup singers were bringing to the music and now I know why. The talent of the backup singers...they're as amazing (or more amazing) than the...

Great exposure to some wonderful unsung singers!

By jdowney3
This documentary traces the history of several truly gifted singers, most of whom toiled during the entirety of their careers as backup singers, but who could easily have been out front, if luck or...

Great Movie Learned How much backup singers contribute to music

By niner108
This movie was stupendous. Learning about the Waters family and how much they contributed and performed on all kinds of venues including down the title song of Growing Pains, Also great...

I didn't want to movie to end...

By magritte59
Real people. Real pain. Real Joy. Backup singers deserve a lot of love. I will never see them the same way again. Best movie in years. And I go to a movie every week....

Beautifully made

By Dashiell
This film is beautifully made. Fans of rock, soul, and R & B will not be disappointed. There are plenty of archival clips and contemporary footage tracing the careers of Darlene Love, Merry Clayton,...

Legendary Powerhouse A-List Pioneer Backup Singers! Best Movie This Year!

By alivia_d
I just heard about this movie yesterday. Watched the previews and I had to go. I chose to see this over Wolverine, which I will see next week, but boy am I glad I chose 20 Feet from Stardom. ...

20 Feet from Stardom is a Must See for Music Lovers

By agnes525
Exceptionally talented Background singers on Motown, Rock, and Folk music are covered from the 1960s thru today. You'll recognize many of the voices. You'll be surprised by who started as singing...

Raw talent

By ingersollax
Fascinating film as it explored the particular musicianship - and life's challenges - of backup singers. Some were familiar but others were revelations. In particular, Lisa Fischer's current...

More Info

Rated PG-13 | For Some Strong Language and Sexual Material
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Smart, thoughtful docu shines light on background singers.
Read the Common Sense Media Review