Tagline: One Love
Bob Marley has been such an intrinsic part of popular culture for so long that it’s a bit surprising the definitive documentary had yet to be made about him. But with the blessing of the Marley family, director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, Touching the Void) has here assembled rare footage, brilliant performances and revelatory interviews with the people that knew him best.
And Marley is receiving notable notices for not just showcasing the good side to the Jamaican star, who died in 1981, but the bad (for starters, he was a notorious adulterer who fathered 11 children by seven women). Time Out London plays up the tactic (“Such an honest depiction can only contribute to a deeper appreciation of this remarkable artist”) with its New York counterpart equally ebullient: “A ‘redemption song’ for anyone dreaming of a musician profile done right.” Empire calls it “a testament befitting a legend,” while our colleagues at Entertainment Weekly single out Macdonald, noting that he “shows off his chops not by doing anything dazzling — the film is documentary prose, not poetry — but by treating Marley as a man of depth and nuance, of inner light and shadow.”