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

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

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.