Western Stars

Movie Information

The concert doc is a pleasant way to experience Bruce Springsteen's new album.
Genre: Documentary/Concert Film
Director: Bruce Springsteen, Thom Zimny
Starring: Bruce Springsteen
Rated: PG

The most affordable and intimate Bruce Springsteen concert experience one is likely to have, Western Stars brings The Boss’ latest album to screens instead of arenas.

Performed in its entirety in the picturesque and acoustically blessed barn on his California ranch, the titular record may not be the catchiest of his creations, but lensed by active cameras and edits that nicely cycle through the 30-piece orchestra, the live takes of the 13 new songs yield steady charms.

Bridging the tunes are hokey but insightful introductions — overly scripted musings that clash with the authenticity of the show, especially when paired with slow-mo images of Springsteen driving or walking around his property. Fun archival footage of the artist in the studio or with his wife, Patti Scialfa, work far better, but it’s all window dressing for the music, the undisputed main attraction that merits the price of admission.

About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for ashevillemovies.com and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA).

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