Cameron Crowe

1989
Say Anything 97
[ review ]

1992
Singles 91
[ review ]

1996
Jerry Maguire 84
[ review ]

2000
Almost Famous 100
[ review ] / [ review 2.0 ]

2001
Vanilla Sky 93
[ review ]

2005
Elizabethtown 90
[ review ]

2011
Pearl Jam Twenty 91
[ Music has always been intrinsically linked to the films of former Rolling Stone scribe Cameron Crowe, who notably set his “Singles” (1992) in Seattle and cast members of various grunge bands in it, including Pearl Jam. To celebrate the latter’s 20th anniversary, Crowe has now assembled an electrifying, kaleidoscopic documentary, the result of years of digging through over 1,200 hours of archival footage (including some of the band’s earliest performances) and condensing it into a breathless cavalcade of images and sounds. It starts by establishing the Seattle of the late 1980s, home to “a whole scene of musicians that really worked together to create their own world of influences and bands and community.” “Pearl Jam Twenty” depicts it all: the Mother Love Bone days with Andrew Wood, who OD’d in 1990, leaving bandmates Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard to hook up with Eddie Vedder and eventually form Pearl Jam; the quasi-overnight success that came along with the media frenzy surrounding grunge and almost caused the group to be “swallowed up by the mainstream”; the inevitable backlash, the subsequent left turns taken such as hooking up with Neil Young and going on a crusade against Ticketmaster; the unavoidable internal tensions; the lean years during which they sailed under the radar; the tragedy at Roskilde Festival 2000 which left nine audience members dead; and finally the realization that they had reached a certain state of maturity, via everlasting integrity, loyalty to their fans and vice versa. Here is a true music geek’s rockumentary with a wonderfully intimate scrapbook quality, in which you can feel Cameron Crowe’s love of the music in every frame. A must-see, even if you’re not into Pearl Jam – chance are you’ll be by film’s end. ]

We Bought a Zoo 92
[ review ]

2015
Aloha 89
[ review ]

2016
Roadies S1E1 – “Life is a Carnival”
[ I love every Cameron Crowe movie. Yes, *every* one of them. Yet I’m aware that most people believe he peaked with “Almost Famous”, which is indeed his best film, but… Anyway, obviously, the move to cable television to do a series based in the world of rock tours is very clever. While not quite on the level of “Almost Famous”, in part because it’s not set in the 70s, “Roadies” still instantly hooked me in with its insightful attention to detail, great Crowe dialogue, awesome music and likable cast of characters played by the likes of Luke Wilson, Carla Gugino, Imogen Poots, Ron White and Luis Guzman. Plus it’s all about music and people who love it and live it, versus those who wish to ruin rock and roll and strangle everything we love about it, and it’s such a fascinating world to me, I can’t get enough. ]