The Good

If you are a Rolling Stones fan and you like Martin Scorsese, you will love this!

The Bad

I thought the Special Features could have been more interesting.While this is a concert DVD, Shine A Light is more than a concert film. Aside from this being one of the most seminal bands ever to play music, the Rolling Stones are bolstered here by the fact that lauded director Martin Scorsese has helmed this piece. Featuring the Stones playing a litany of hits, we also get to see them backstage in candid and not so candid moments. Coming on stage to play with Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie are such musical notables as Christina Aguilera, Jack White III and Buddy Guy.

What is always elevating this DVD is Martin Scorsese's surefire direction. One gets the feeling that this director really loves this band, and for him the challenge was finding the best way to capture them. Fans of Scorsese, fans of the Rolling Stones, fans of documentary filmmaking can all find something very entertaining about what this DVD has to offer.


Four Bonus Performances

The songs featured in this section of the DVD are Undercover of the Night, I'm Free, Little T & A and Paint it Black. The most interesting aspect of this was that I saw the Stones back in 1989. When they did Paint it Black, Mick seemed to sing the song through gritted teeth for some reason. Why this was I had no idea but I was curious if that was going to be case here. Thankfully it wasn't and it was actually heartening to see that what I saw live was a one time thing (I think!).

Behind the Scenes Featurette


Widescreen Version Enhanced for 16:9 TVs. This movie looked really good. Mark Fisher was the set designer for the concert portion of the film, while lensing the proceedings was Robert Richardson. The DVD transfer from the print of the movie looked really clean. There was richness to all the shots and everything played the way one would hope a concert video would.


Dolby Digital: English 5.1. Surround/English 2.0 Stereo. Subtitled in English, French and Spanish. As I often say when I review musicals or anything that is this centered around music, the audio for a release of this nature should be great. It is here. I watched this DVD on my crummy TV with one speaker. Sure I wasn't giving this release all it needed to shine, but on the whole everything sounded beyond solid.


The band is presented here in separate black and white shots against a red background. The back portion of this aramay case gives us a bunch of images from the show, a description of what Shine A Light is about, a Special Features listing, a cast list and technical specs.

Final Word

I remember hearing about this release when it came out in the theaters but not really caring if I saw it or not. I am actually quite surprised that I was that ambivalent toward Shine A Light because this is a Martin Scorsese film. That alone makes it interesting enough to watch. He really brings something to this movie. There is a clarity of presentation but at the same time I felt like he was experimenting. Some of the more behind the scenes moments reminded me of his early films like Who's That Knocking At My Door and Mean Streets. Never one to settle, it is Scorsese's ambitiousness that really keeps things moving with this release.

Shine A Light is definitely a film that is worth owning.

Shine a Light was released April 4, 2008.