The first public viewing of Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck took place Saturday night, Jan. 24 at the Sundance Film Festival, and while many were perturbed by the film's lack of Dave Grohl, director Brett Morgen also received some decent reviews, however mixed.
We have collected a handful of critical responses below:
Rolling Stone: "Brett Morgen's documentary is more than just a must-see for Nirvana fans. It's an eight-years-in-the-making collective labor of love that offers a private peek into the artist's mind, from the first creative stirrings to the spiral downward. And by the time you get to the final shot of Kurt thanking the audience at the band's MTV Unplugged show, you don't just feel as if you've gotten to know the man better. You're left completely emotionally spent."
The Hollywood Reporter: "Too repetitive for all but the biggest fans, HBO and Universal Pictures International will have to do some serious marketing -- and perhaps some pruning -- to turn this into a wider breakout."
Collider: "Some of the animatic sequences go on too long, and you can really feel the film's two hour and 15 minute runtime as it does really drag in parts, but it's never uninteresting."
HitFix: "An often spectacular piece of multi-media assemblage, takes viewers on a journey at least somewhat into Kurt Cobain's brain and into his life and if that leaves you wanting more ... Well, of course it does."
A lack of Grohl's voice is a surprise, mainly because he has dominated every rock doc of the past 10 years. But it also puts more emphasis on a pre-Foo Fighters era that can only be defined by Cobain and his songs.
Montage focuses on Cobain's early life through his major Nirvana stardom. It is certainly not the first documentary on the rock singer, but it has the rare approval of widow Courtney Love.
Here is a throwback to get you in the early '90s mood: