Chadwick Boseman gives a startling and galvanic performance.
In Boseman's hands - and his feet, and his entire body, for that matter - he demands and earns our attention.
Somewhat sanitized and over-directed biopic saved by Boseman's electric performance.
Though "Get On Up" never congeals into a satisfactory whole, its fragmentary portrait of the singer at the height of his fame - intercut with his troubled single-parent childhood - effectively shows his invasive power in popular culture.
More often, the film skates along the surface of Brown's contradictory character. Now if it skated like Brown's dance moves glided onstage, that really would have been something.
The storytelling is mostly linear, with some confusing back-and-forth in the chronology, and it's a long slog. The Brown who emerges from this film has a monstrous ego to go with his monster talent.
It just wants to play some of the big hits you love while ticking off a checklist of standard biopic milestones.
Tate Taylor's film cares less about narrative clarity and more about portraying a life lived between the extremes of sin and grace, between the abject and the sublime. It's lively, stylized, and genuinely surprising.
Thrives on a thrilling soundtrack, a doozy of a yarn and Chadwick Boseman's dynamite-powered portrayal of Brown.