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U2: Rattle and Hum (1988)

Documentary | 99 minutes
3,55 189 votes

Genre: Documentary / Music

Duration: 99 minuten

Country: United States

Directed by: Phil Joanou

Stars: Bono, The Edge and Larry Mullen Jr.

IMDb score: 7,6 (6.199)

Releasedate: 4 November 1988


This movie is not available on US streaming services.


U2: Rattle and Hum plot

A documentary about the Irish rock band U2, which follows the band during their 1987 tour across America in search of new influences. A journey that leads from Dublin to Graceland, from San Francisco to the streets of Harlem, from The Joshua Tree to Rattle And Hum...

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avatar van tommykonijn


  • 4985 messages
  • 2237 votes

I've been listening to U2 for about half a year now. I'm taking my time for it, because unfortunately I haven't got around to albums like Boy, The Joshua Tree and All That You Can't Leave Behind (although I'm of course familiar with the singles by now). The albums War and Achtung Baby were very good, but so far The Unforgettable Fire is the highlight for me. A great opportunity to take this documentary with me on my musical journey of discovery.

I might have expected a little more documentary than music beforehand, but you won't hear me complaining. It's nice to see how the band gains inspiration and incorporates the influences into their performances. The interviews are short, but at the same time interesting, not too heavy and focused. People don't beat around the bush in Rattle and Hum. Just a short reason and then straight back to the music. Delicious!

The documentary is beautifully shot, both the performances and the images in the US. The black and white editing matched perfectly with this. You can also enjoy the great performances of Bullet the Blue Sky, With or Without You, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Streets, MLK, Pride and Bad, among others. The collaboration with the recently deceased BB King and the performance of I Still Haven't Found .. with the choir are also absolutely worthwhile.

Rattle and Hum is an interesting document from start to finish. It actually doesn't sink in anywhere and it easily looks away from a documentary, because it is also a concert registration. In any case, this is an absolute must-see for the U2 enthusiast!


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avatar van Film Pegasus

Film Pegasus (moderator films)

  • 30615 messages
  • 5262 votes

I grew up with the music of U2 from the 80's as a child. With age, that image was somewhat modified as a 20'er by the live U2 at the beginning of this century with hits like Vertigo and Elevation. Personally not inviting to watch the band. Fortunately, I gradually got to know the better albums, including The Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree. That the love for U2 did bring something back.

In preparation for my first live performance of U2 soon, this musical documentary has been set up. If they had to capture one moment from U2, that was the moment. 8 years after their first album Boy, there is a band with the necessary experience. They just made 2 classics with The Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree. And yet they clearly still enjoy it and live mainly for the love of music. With their trip through America, they go in search of the roots of music. Still the American roots, not the Irish background.

By using black and white, the glitter disappears and the music takes center stage. It is not a glorification of musical icons, but musicians/music lovers at their peak. Big enough in terms of professionalism, experience and knowledge. Not TOO big to let the music become subservient to commerce, show content, pursuit of profit, creative repetition. It's wonderful how they handle BB King humbly and at the same time professionally. How they undress the song I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For into a gospel song and bring it wonderfully with The New Voices of Freedom.

It has not become a musical documentary or a pure concert film. But the music itself is central, not Bono or U2. It is not a promo tour, but a band that clearly lives for the music. This is also clearly captured on camera with the stage images. It was not the intention to film the show content, but to get to the music. And that worked out quite well.

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avatar van mjk87

mjk87 (moderator films)

  • 13458 messages
  • 3988 votes

I do like this documentary. Atmospheric in black and white (and somewhere towards the end the color pops out during a concert) and somewhere you have an idea of U2's quest, although they don't come to real answers. Perhaps that interview is typical in the beginning when the answer "I don't know" is given with a laugh. As a viewer you don't learn much about the band or their quest, but you do have time to soak up the atmosphere of the US and that is sometimes enough. And nice to see where their influences were in that period and especially to see that I still haven't found really is a gospel song. 3.5*.

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