Get on Up

Get on Up

Tate Taylor (2014)

12 Certificate
Tomorrow 11:30pm - 2am Channel 4


Our Score
The life and times of music legend James Brown has the potential to make a great biopic, but for all its gloss and elaborately staged musical sequences Get on Up falls slightly short of the mark. Chadwick Boseman stars as the self-styled "Godfather of Soul", who was born into poverty and pulled himself up by his bootstraps to become one of the most influential performers of the 20th century, but who also had a knack for hitting the headlines as often as the charts. Director Tate Taylor (The Help) jumps back and forth in time to chronicle Brown's ascent to superstardom, and while he acknowledges the less savoury elements of the uncompromising singer's character, he never dwells on them. Boseman is superb at conveying the charisma that helped make Brown a hero to millions, and there is fine support from Dan Aykroyd as his manager, but ultimately the film is a sanitised version of events that focuses on fame rather than notoriety.


Biopic of James Brown, examining key moments in the soul singer's life, from his impoverished childhood in South Carolina to his rise to become one of the most influential figures in music history, and following his intense friendship with fellow singer Bobby Byrd. Starring Chadwick Boseman, with Viola Davis, Nelsan Ellis and Octavia Spencer.

Cast & Crew

James Brown Chadwick Boseman
Susie Brown Viola Davis
Bobby Byrd Nelsan Ellis
Aunt Honey Octavia Spencer
Ben Bart Dan Aykroyd
Joe Brown Lennie James
Syd Nathan Fred Melamed
Maceo Parker Craig Robinson
Director Tate Taylor
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: UniversalGuidance: Swearing, sex scenes, drug abuse.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 21 Nov 2014