Owen Gleiberman
July 18, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Lou Reed's Berlin

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
81 minutes
Limited Release Date
07/18/08
director
Julian Schnabel
distributor
The Weinstein Company
genre
Documentary

We gave it an B-

In a performance filmed in Brooklyn in 2006, Lou Reed gives his 1973 drugs-and-suicide-and-domestic-breakdown album Berlin the classic-rock treatment (horns, teen choir, Antony on vocals). Yet this luminously shot concert movie, directed by Julian Schnabel (who does with film stocks and video images created by his daughter what he used to do with plates), reveals that Berlin is far from the lost masterpiece the movie wants it to be. Reed and the band get a momentum going in ”Men of Good Fortune” and the great girl-group bop ”Caroline Says I,” but as the relationship chronicled by the songs withers, so does the music’s majesty. B-

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