Michael Jackson didn't live long enough to take the final bow he had planned in London, but critics agree This Is It is a fitting swan song, proof that the King of Pop really did have a comeback in him:
- "This Is It is quite extraordinary. If there was any doubt that Michael was in control of the shows or his decisions, those fears are allayed here," writes Roger Friedman for the Hollywood Reporter. "It is truly amazing, considering the last 16 years of total lunacy, to see him so capable."
- "Differing greatly from the rough, casual mood of many behind-the-scenes pop docs, this one is instead of a piece with Jackson's body of work: dazzling and strange, blurring the line between fantasy and reality," writes Ann Powers for the Los Angeles Times.
- "Had Michael Jackson’s series of concerts at London’s O2 Arena gone off as planned earlier this summer, it would have almost certainly signaled one of the most dramatic comebacks in pop music history," writes Andrew Barker in Variety. "The rehearsal footage on display in Michael Jackson’s This Is It is evidence enough to draw that conclusion."
- "There is a clear lack of any kind of illumination to who Jackson really was," writes Scott Mendelson on the Huffington Post. "Even during private rehearsals, he still seems 'on', so don't expect any kind of unguarded moments or epiphanies about this deeply private man."