A new documentary about the life of Bob Marley is an "exemplary music documentary in almost every way," writes Dana Stevens at Slate: It's "thoughtful and leisurely paced," it's positive without fawning, and it gives an in-depth look at Marley the youth, Marley the father, and Marley the musician. Stevens views it "as an oral history": It's "a 145-minute patchwork of old concert footage and talking-head interviews from people who knew, loved, and worked with the reggae giant."
Given that it's produced by Marley's son Ziggy, Marley is at risk of being "pious, respectful, and dull." But the sections about Marley's family life actually offer the film's "harshest" critiques. Ziggy calls his father "rough," while a daughter remembers his competitiveness. Stevens' biggest problem with the film from Kevin Macdonald: It doesn't have enough music. The songs it includes come in "frustratingly brief bursts," and it's not until the credits that we have a chance to "really experience the lasting power of Marley’s music." Click through for Stevens' full review.