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20,000 Days On Earth

HD   Unrated Closed Captioning

Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard

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About the Movie

20,000 Days On Earth is an inventive, lyrical ode to creativity and an intimate examination of the artistic process of musician and cultural icon Nick Cave. In their debut feature directors Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard fuse drama and documentary, weaving a staged day in Cave's life with never-before-seen verité observation of his creative cycle. It features those who have affected his life, including wry tales from the road shared with his regular collaborator, the multi-instrumentalist Warren Ellis; actor and friend Ray Winstone; and Kylie Minogue, who shared a duet with Cave in the breakout hit "Where the Wild Roses Grow." These voices from the past revisit Cave in daydream-like scenes as he sits behind the wheel driving through his adopted hometown of Brighton, England. Neither a music documentary nor a concert film, 20,000 Days On Earth still contains electrifying performances. Audiences see a song grow from the tiniest of ideas to an epic performance at Sydney Opera House. Cave also opens up to a psychoanalyst as he discusses how his early years continue to inform his work, and journeys through his memories via mementos from his personal archive. This category-defying film pushes the form into new territory, exploring universal themes about artistry, and celebrating the transformative power of the creative spirit.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 83
  • Fresh: 79
  • Rotten: 4
  • Average Rating: 7.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: An intelligent and revealing look at one of rock's last true iconoclasts. – Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly, Jan 5, 2015

Fresh: "Something happens onstage," Cave says, "where you forget who you are and become someone else." As much as any documentary can, 20,000 Days on Earth allows us to bear witness to what goes on in that process. – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, Jan 5, 2015

Fresh: I'm not sure it can be considered a documentary at all, at least not all the way through. But "20,000 Days" offers an exceptionally intimate portrait of an artist who has sometimes sought to resist explication. – Andrew O'Hehir,, Sep 19, 2014

Fresh: [Nina Simone] put a spell on him, and now Nick Cave, with his lugubrious sleights of hand, does much the same to us. – Anthony Lane, New Yorker, Sep 22, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


In real life Nick Cave is an exceptionally small man - in many ways this film is about his struggle to overcome his substantial height restriction by attempting to use ego and camera angle as misdirection. Does he succeed? The jury is still out - he certainly remains bafflingly tiny and doubtless ineligible for many fairground rides, yet somehow he has crafted a mysteriously LARGE ego? This film will certainly leave you thinking.


Spent the better part of an hour downloading this film on my iPhone 5s only to be thwarted by a play button that apparently has no function. Every other button on the page functions just fine, but hit "Play," and nothing. Absolutely ridiculous.

Who is Nick Cave?

Upon searching, Nickelback was a suggested result before Nick Cave. Warning sign. Why is there no option to preview? Garbage. Go look in a pond, Cave.

20,000 Days On Earth
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2014

Customer Ratings