Get on Up (PG-13)

Film

Drama

Time Out rating:

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Time Out says

Wed Jul 30

A grand piece of magic happens with Chadwick Boseman’s utter inhabitation of the role of James Brown—himself an artist who gave a lifelong performance—and still, the mysterious man behind the legend comes through with uncommon, heart-stopping electricity. It’s not just that Boseman has the moves, the splits, the hip-swiveling attitude—he’s also got a frenetic hummingbird in his voice box (unavoidably, he’s lip-synching on some of the songs), and the young actor, already a stunner in the Jackie Robinson biopic 42, leaps fearlessly into Brown’s ego, his eyes burning behind the mask.

The difficulty here, insanely high yet taken on by director Tate Taylor with an inspired hand, is in making a compelling story about a man who turns himself into an island. (Not for nothing does Boseman address the lens directly several times; he’s lost in himself.) The movie gives its subject not the usual strong-willed love interest, but a fellow traveler—the classic hype man Bobby Byrd (True Blood’s velvet-voiced Nelsan Ellis), who learns to dim his own star to make way for Brown’s fiery comet. These self-negating scenes are awful to watch yet fascinating, as are the band’s rehearsals, complete with Brown’s infamous fining of his musicians for unfunky mistakes.

The film’s few missteps are negligible: concessions to a genre that always seems to require a raging bull in a jail cell. Still, so much of Get on Up is uncannily perfect, from its nightmarish Georgia childhood flashbacks to delirious concert re-creations and the casting of Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd as Brown’s longtime manager, Ben Bart, who grabs the whole of the movie in one moment on a private plane. He pushes his client toward fearlessness, because the alternative is too hard to bear. You have to see this thing.

Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf

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Release details

Rated:

PG-13

US release:

Fri Aug 1, 2014

Duration:

138 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Tate Taylor

Screenwriter:

Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth

Cast:

Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Viola Davis, Dan Aykroyd

Movie Theaters showing Get on Up

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AMC Loews Country Club Hills 16

4201 W. 167th St., Country Club Hills, 60478 Show map/details

  • Address:

    AMC Loews Country Club Hills 16 4201 W. 167th St.
    Country Club Hills
    60478

  • Venue phone:

    888-262-4386

  • Map

    1. AMC Loews Country Club Hills 16
      • 4201 W. 167th St.
        Country Club Hills
        60478
      • 888-262-4386
      • 41.5861,-87.7218
Map
  • Tue Sep 23:

    • 1:05pm
    • 4:10pm
    • 7:15pm
    • 10:20pm
  • Wed Sep 24:

    • 1:05pm
    • 4:10pm
    • 7:15pm
    • 10:20pm

I.C.E. Chatham 14

210 W 87th Street, (between Dan Ryan Expwy and Holland Rd), Chicago Show map/details

  • Address:

    I.C.E. Chatham 14 210 W 87th Street
    Chicago

  • Cross Street:

    between Dan Ryan Expwy and Holland Rd

  • Venue phone:

    773-892-3204

  • Transport:

    El stop: Red to 87th. Bus: 29, 87.

  • Price:

    $9.50, seniors and kids $7

  • Map

    1. I.C.E. Chatham 14
      • 210 W 87th Street
        Chicago
      • 773-892-3204
      • 41.738945,-87.631929
Map
  • Tue Sep 23:

    • 12:30pm
    • 3:30pm
    • 6:30pm
    • 9:30pm
  • Wed Sep 24:

    • 12:30pm
    • 3:30pm
    • 6:30pm
    • 9:30pm
  • Thu Sep 25:

    • 12:30pm
    • 3:30pm
    • 6:30pm
    • 9:30pm

Lansing Cinema 8

16621 Torrence Ave., Lansing, 60438 Show map/details

  • Address:

    Lansing Cinema 8 16621 Torrence Ave.
    Lansing
    60438

  • Venue phone:

    708-418-0300

  • Map

    1. Lansing Cinema 8
      • 16621 Torrence Ave.
        Lansing
        60438
      • 708-418-0300
      • 41.594,-87.5585
Map
  • Tue Sep 23:

    • 12:30pm
    • 4:00pm
    • 6:50pm
    • 9:30pm
  • Wed Sep 24:

    • 12:30pm
    • 4:00pm
    • 6:50pm
    • 9:30pm
  • Thu Sep 25:

    • 12:30pm
    • 4:00pm
    • 6:50pm
    • 9:30pm

Marcus Chicago Heights

1301 Hilltop Ave., Chicago Heights, 60411 Show map/details

  • Address:

    Marcus Chicago Heights 1301 Hilltop Ave.
    Chicago Heights
    60411

  • Venue phone:

    708-747-0800

  • Map

    1. Marcus Chicago Heights
      • 1301 Hilltop Ave.
        Chicago Heights
        60411
      • 708-747-0800
      • 41.5077,-87.6692
Map
  • Tue Sep 23:

    • 1:30pm
    • 7:30pm
  • Wed Sep 24:

    • 1:30pm
    • 7:30pm
  • Thu Sep 25:

    • 1:30pm
    • 7:30pm

Regal Lincolnshire Stadium 21 & IMAX

300 Parkway Dr., Lincolnshire, 60069 Show map/details

  • Address:

    Regal Lincolnshire Stadium 21 & IMAX 300 Parkway Dr.
    Lincolnshire
    60069

  • Venue phone:

    847-229-9100

  • Map

    1. Regal Lincolnshire Stadium 21 & IMAX
      • 300 Parkway Dr.
        Lincolnshire
        60069
      • 847-229-9100
      • 42.18,-87.9296
Map
  • Tue Sep 23:

    • 3:20pm
    • 9:30pm

Wilmette Theatre

1122 Central Ave, (between 11th St and Wilmette Ave), Wilmette Show map/details

  • Address:

    Wilmette Theatre 1122 Central Ave
    Wilmette

  • Cross Street:

    between 11th St and Wilmette Ave

  • Venue phone:

    847-251-7424

  • Venue website:

    wilmettetheatre.com

  • Transport:

    Train: Union Pacific N to Wilmette.

  • Map

    1. Wilmette Theatre
Map
  • Tue Sep 23:

    • 2:00pm
    • 4:50pm
  • Wed Sep 24:

    • 11:00am
    • 4:30pm
    • 7:00pm
  • Thu Sep 25:

    • 2:00pm
    • 4:50pm

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