It Might Get Loud is a documentary about a musical instrument: the electric guitar. It's a film about how electric guitars are made, how they are used to make sound, and how their users interpret them philosophically. But really it's a film about electric guitarists—those artists who paint jagged, reverb-laden sonic landscapes with their 6-string brushes, pedals and amps. It's a film about how we use tools like guitars to make beautiful and unexpected things like music, and how sometimes that music brings us together as a culture and launches us in the direction of the transcendent.

Directed by Davis Guggenheim (who won an Academy Award in 2006 for An Inconvenient Truth), It Might Get Loud follows a trio of iconic electric guitarists who, though probably not the best three guitarists in the world, are certainly three worthy ambassadors for the craft: Jimmy Page (of Led Zeppelin), The Edge (U2), and Jack White (The White Stripes and The Raconteurs). The film weaves a lyrical, artsy web of vignette, history, interview, and archival footage as we explore the meaning and beauty of the electric guitar through the lives of three of its most prolific practitioners.

The three men are also brought together in the film to meet for a discussion and jam session, segments of which are sprinkled at random moments throughout the documentary. Ironically, these scenes ring the most false of anything in the film. Set in some Hollywood soundstage with lights and cameras honed in on a set of couches where Page, Edge, and White trade stories and pluck away at an awkward acoustic rendition of "The Weight" (I pulled in to Nazareth, I was feelin' half past dead), this cosmic explosion of rockstar greatness feels disappointingly forced and phony. ...

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It Might Get Loud
Our Rating
2½ Stars - Fair
Average Rating
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Mpaa Rating
PG (for mild thematic elements, brief language and smoking)
Directed By
Davis Guggenheim
Run Time
1 hour 38 minutes
Jimmy Page, The Edge, Jack White
Theatre Release
August 27, 2009 by Sony Pictures Classics
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