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Michael Jackson: Life of a Superstar

  NR Closed Captioning

Sonia Anderson

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About the Movie

So much has been said about the turbulent life and phenomenal career of Michael Jackson that it has become almost impossible to disentangle the man from the myth. Featuring candid contributions from Janet Jackson, Brooke Shields, Gladys Knight and from the King of Pop himself.


Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 179
  • Fresh: 145
  • Rotten: 34
  • Average Rating: 7.1/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Michael Jackson's perfectionism fails him in This Is It, and we're all the better for it. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, Feb 3, 2011

Fresh: In This Is It, Michael Jackson is once again The Thriller, the biggest pop star the world has ever known. – Glenn Gamboa, Newsday, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: It's an expertly packaged -- brilliantly packaged, considering how quickly the job was done -- phantasmagoria that emphasizes, quite convincingly, the energy that Michael could still draw from whatever was fueling his wraith-thin body. – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal, Jun 24, 2010

Rotten: A bizarre and opportunist piece of film-making. – Rebecca Nicholson, Times (UK), Jul 7, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Save your money..

I typically don't write reviews for anything I purchase online. In fact, this is only the second review I've written in over 10 years. That's how bad this 'movie' is (slideshow of pictures with commentary would be a more appropriate term). I'm not one to obsess about story lines that may not make the most sense or plot holes in blockbusters and/or action movies. But this goes way beyond that. It's missing any conceivable structure. Or purpose. It's like they took whatever pictures and video clips they could find, added some effects in iMovie, paid for someone to provide a commentary and called it a day.

Actually, to be fair, they did include chapter titles. Don't expect these to make any sense or relate to the content shown though. The first chapter is called "Man from Myth". Other than the commentator mentioning that there's been a lot of rumors and that they are going to separate the man from the myth, no further attention is paid to the point. Instead, it jumps right to the beginnings of the Jackson Fives, their signing with Motown and the start of Michael's solo career. It feels like someone is reading off of Wikipedia and there is no new information being told. It's also the last time the movie bothered with the whole 'structure' thing, too much work and too restricting. In subsequent chapters they are jumping from video clip to video clip to some slideshow, skipping years or events and themes.

It's 1988 (or so) and MJ is taking a hiatus between albums. Then it's 1986/1987 and it talks about the Neverland Ranch and his work with children. Then all of the sudden they include a clip of a press conference with Liz Taylor talking about his drug addiction. Don't try to make any sense of it, because now it's back the numerous awards he received. So numerous in fact, that the movie had to break them up and go over his awards at multiple points in the movie. We also learn that Michael Jackson was truly special, for on at least two or three occasions in the movie he was at the height of his career. But if you have no structure or timeline in your movie, that can happen. It's just nice to see that the producers are as confused by the incoherence of their movie as is the listener (no typo).

Oh and don't expect any music whatsoever either. There is literally not a single music clip (at least until 20 minutes in, when I stopped watching). It's quite apparent that someone wanted to cash in on current events but then realized there are annoying things like royalty and licensing fees. And all of those cost money unfortunately. So instead you go for publicly available images and footage, bookmark and find a voice actor to figure out the rest. Kaching.

1 star is still 2 too many and at $9.99 this is a steal. Literally.

OK, but poorly done .... save your money.

I ignored the other negative reviews and bought this anyway because I wanted to see for myself. Quickly discovered that it's true what some of the others have said ... it's a poorly produced 'documentary' (not a movie at all), with just a bunch of video clips and slides thrown together with about 45 minutes of narration. One of the reasons I bought it anyway was because as a devoted MJ fan, I was hoping to find something in this movie that I hadn't seen before ... and as you know, GOOD clips of him ... especially of him speaking publicly, are hard to find. I'm a female about Michael's age (46), and I was hoping to discover a really good documentary that captures & portrays ACCURATELY, the life & career of this true musical genius! So that my kids can see & appreciate who he really was and not just what he contributed to the music industry, but also the personal, human side of him - the quiet, shy, kind & gentle, caring man that he was (before the media destroyed him with their insatiable desire to make money by publishing all the trash rumors they could come up with about him). The BIGGEST disappointment to me about this video is the fact that the narration doesn't even match the video clips in many places ... especially during the first half. The narration talks about his legendary 1983 Motown 25 performance, yet the video slide shown during this part of the narration is from a different era (one of his live performances around 1989-1992). MANY of the clips & slides do not match the narration and they are not chronologically accurate either. And YES, many of them are repeated ... some even 3-4 times, as if the producer was just trying to fill space.
So, all I can say is that it's just OK, but definitely not worth purchasing.


An MJ documentary! It's a beautiful one, but it's kind of the same as all of the millions of others out there. But now you can own it on your iPod!! I think it's a really great doc, perfect for any fan of The King of Pop!!!