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The Sparks Brothers

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United Kingdom · 2021
2h 15m
Director Edgar Wright
Starring Ron Mael, Russell Mael, Beck, Jane Wiedlin
Genre Comedy, Documentary, Music

How can one rock band be successful, underrated, hugely influential, and criminally overlooked all at the same time? This film traces a musical odyssey through five weird and wonderful decades with brothers Ron & Russell Mael, celebrating the inspiring legacy of Sparks: your favorite band’s favorite band.

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What are critics saying?


Consequence by Clint Worthington

To watch The Sparks Brothers is to listen to a superfan corner you at a party and evangelize about their favorite band with all the verve of a street preacher. He’s lucky, then, that Sparks is worth the praise, and that Wright’s breathless enthusiasm matches their cheeky, irreverent vibe.


IndieWire by David Ehrlich

[A] delightful and unusually spirited love letter ... Tempting as it can be to wish that Wright had slowed down, probed deeper, and leaned even harder into the Mael brothers’ love of movies, it’s so fun and thrilling to watch the movies finally love them back.


Slashfilm by Ethan Anderton

This portrait of Sparks is just as lighthearted and delightful as the music you’ll be tapping your toe to throughout the entire movie. As soon as the movie is over, you’ll probably be adding Sparks songs to your streaming playlists and hoping that this won’t be the last time that Edgar Wright feels compelled to give us a deep dive into one of his favorite musical acts.


The Hollywood Reporter by Frank Scheck

While The Sparks Brothers may be a bit too exhaustive for those merely seeking an introduction to the band, longtime fans will be thrilled by the deluxe treatment.


Variety by Jessica Kiang

After the 140 minutes of “The Sparks Brothers” zip by like a tight half-hour, even the previously uninitiated may well feel like they’ve known Sparks all along – or at least that they should have.


Total Film by Jordan Farley

Crucially, while there’s plenty here that fans of the famously enigmatic pair may be learning for the first time thanks to Wright’s exhaustive access, it’s a documentary that doubles as an accessible, breezy introduction to a band you may never have heard of, and a springboard to further explore their celebrated back catalogue.


The Guardian by Jordan Hoffman

This is a film that loves its subjects and only someone with a biological revulsion to catchy pop or grand rock theatrics will dislike the film.


Film Threat by Lorry Kikta

This funny, heartwarming, and thorough documentation of Sparks’ career [is] a benchmark by which all future music documentaries will be judged.


The Playlist by Rodrigo Perez

Transmitting such a deep and moving paean of a band, the music they’ve created, the complex humans behind it, and bow-down respect for the long-haul resilience they’ve demonstrated over years of ups and downs, Wright presents a movie like a superdeluxe mixtape gift, adorned with loving attention to detail, gorgeous artwork, footnotes, and other bells and whistles, that is extremely easy to fall head over heels for regardless of your conversant knowledge of the band or its odd, but catchy music.


TheWrap by Steve Pond

It’s excessive and exhausting and elusive, and entirely in keeping with the curious career of the Mael brothers.

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