The Blues Brothers

Soul-stirring celebration or crass cultural exploitation? Truth is, ‘The Blues Brothers’ is a bit of both, lending exposure to rhythm and blues legends who might otherwise have faded into silence while at the same time treating black culture as a colourful pantomime backdrop for the antics of two white comedians. That Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi adore this music is not in question – it’s lovingly chosen and brilliantly performed – but the film sometimes feels like a work of cultural tourism, particularly in scenes set in a gospel church and a Chicago street market. These lively musical sequences also sit awkwardly with director John Landis’s bizarre predilection for wholesale destruction: sure, smashing up cop cars can be fun, but Landis takes things to a tiresome extreme. Still, the film retains a huge nostalgic kick, thanks in large part to Aykroyd and Belushi’s easy rapport, a smattering of daft, shaggy humour and some truly iconic musical sequences.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday July 24 2009
Duration: 133 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Landis
Screenwriter: Dan Aykroyd, John Landis
Cast: John Belushi
Dan Aykroyd
Kathleen Freeman
James Brown
Henry Gibson
John Landis
Frank Oz
Cab Calloway
Aretha Franklin
Carrie Fisher

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|10
1 person listening
F

32 years on and the legend lives on. Never mind what critics say.

F

32 years on and the legend lives on. Never mind what critics say.

HeidBummer

Interesting that our easily offended critic chooses to get huffy about the portrayal of black culture and not the portrayal of nuns. This is one of the most positive, upbeat, funny films ever

HeidBummer

Interesting that our easily offended critic chooses to get huffy about the portrayal of black culture and not the portrayal of nuns. This is one of the most positive, upbeat, funny films ever

csfulham

Clearly someone got out of the wrong side of bed this morning. This is one of the most iconic and genre-defining films of its era, with a stellar cast and an awesome pace, putting smiles on the faces of millions. Do you really think James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles et al felt like they were providing a pantomime backdrop as they took centre stage for their cameos?

csfulham

Clearly someone got out of the wrong side of bed this morning. This is one of the most iconic and genre-defining films of its era, with a stellar cast and an awesome pace, putting smiles on the faces of millions. Do you really think James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles et al felt like they were providing a pantomime backdrop as they took centre stage for their cameos?

Jon

My favourite film of all time. I can't believe the Time Out review was talking about the same movie. It has great music, lots of quotable lines, the best car chase ever, and a slightly surreal whimsical plot. Surely *everoyone* cheers when the Illinois Nazis are forced to jump in the river by the Bluesmobile...?

Jon

My favourite film of all time. I can't believe the Time Out review was talking about the same movie. It has great music, lots of quotable lines, the best car chase ever, and a slightly surreal whimsical plot. Surely *everoyone* cheers when the Illinois Nazis are forced to jump in the river by the Bluesmobile...?

Torren P

This is an extremely bias review. The Blues Brothers was a childhood favorite of mine, and I'm sure can be thoroughly enjoyed by anyone with a sense of humor and a love of music. It is a GREAT film!

Torren P

This is an extremely bias review. The Blues Brothers was a childhood favorite of mine, and I'm sure can be thoroughly enjoyed by anyone with a sense of humor and a love of music. It is a GREAT film!