Searching for Tony Joe

"Excellent"

Searching for Tony Joe Review


Move over, Blair Witch.

Documentary films are often so fraught with stuffy self-importance they forget the first rule of filmmaking: Entertain the audience.

Searching for Tony Joe is an unabashed crowd-pleaser because it follows that rule to the letter. What's it about? Four guys go on a quest to find MIA "swamp rocker" Tony Joe White, a popular crooner in the 60s who had a couple of hits, plus wrote songs for Elvis Presley and other big names.

But this isn't really a movie about Tony Joe. It's a movie about the four guys and their often-clueless, always-hilarious road trip from Austin to Nashville, interviewing people along the way, a few of whom actually know who White is, but all of whom are curious or bizarre in their own way. By the time we actually meet Tony Joe himself, the audience is as thrilled as the crew is to meet this genuinely American character.

If you can catch Tony Joe at a festival near you, do so. It's barely over 60 minutes long, but it's hysterical the entire time and ranks as one of the funniest filmgoing experiences I've had this year. (The film is not in distribution partially due to copyright issues over Tony Joe's songs, included in the current version of the movie, so you can't buy a tape -- yet.)

Unlike the vapid and clueless Anthem, which had a couple of people on a road trip searching for "the real America" or some such nonsense, these guys are the real America.

Recommended.

[Full disclosure: Three of the four crew members are friends of mine, and I have a mention in the credits.]



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.