Kyle Anderson
September 12, 2014 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Take Me to the River

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG
runtime
95 minutes
Limited Release Date
09/12/14
performer
Snoop Dogg, Terrence Howard, Mavis Staples
director
Martin Shore
distributor
Abramorama
genre
Documentary

We gave it a C

Stax Records — the recording home to Otis Redding, the Staple Singers, and Isaac Hayes — is an American institution, and River attempts to bridge the gap between the legends of yesteryear and their spiritual protégés by documenting the creation of a new compilation album in Memphis. Seeing octogenarian blues crooner Bobby ”Blue” Bland jawing with 8-year-old rapper Lil P-Nut makes for fascinatingly odd footage, but River never quite distills Stax’s game-changing singularity. Rookie director Martin Shore’s celebration of great music is an oddly alienating, context-lite backslapping session. C

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