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Family Movie Review: Muscle Shoals (PG)

MuscleShoals ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: PG       Length: 111 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. Younger children won’t be interested in this documentary about recording studios in Alabama, but tweens and teenagers interested in producing music could be intrigued by it. The most questionable elements are smoking, some isolated curse words, and passing references to drug use during the 1960s and 1970s, but overall it’s a fairly clear-cut documentary.

Documentary ‘Muscle Shoals’ analyzes the same-named Alabama town that became integral to the funky rock-and-roll that was sweeping the country during the ’60s and ’70s. But in somewhat skirting the racial issue, much like fellow music documentary ’20 Feet from Stardom,’ ‘Muscle Shoals’ falters.

By Roxana Hadadi

2013 has already been a pretty good year for music documentaries: “Sound City” and “20 Feet from Stardom” were solid, and even “One Direction: This Is Us” had its moments. A few brief moments, but moments nonetheless! And continuing that streak into fall is “Muscle Shoals,” which considers how small town Muscle Shoals, Alabama, helped usher in an era of funky rock-and-roll, soul, and country. With a variety of solid interviews from the likes of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Aretha Franklin, and Etta James, director Greg Camalier helps us understand that time and place, grounding quite easily why we should still care about this influential period in music’s history.

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