The Beatles: Get Back TV series review round-up – a masterpiece or too long and winding?

25 November 2021, 11:50

The Beatles Christmas Record

By Mayer Nissim

The Beatles: Get Back is finally here, but what are the critics saying about the long-awaited series?

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

After literally years of waiting, The Beatles: Get Back is finally here.

You can watch the first episode of Peter Jackson's highly anticipated Beatles docuseries right now on Disney+, with episodes two and three to follow in the next couple of days.

The critics have seen the whole 7 hour, 48 minutes of Get Back, and here's what they have to say.

The Beatles: Get Back | Official Trailer | Disney+

The Guardian: Eight hours of TV so aimless it threatens your sanity ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ☆ ☆

"The moments of inspiration and interest are marooned amid acres of desultory chit-chat (“aimless rambling”, as Lennon rightly puts it) and repetition... That is doubtless what recording an album is like, but for an onlooker it is – to use the language of 1969 – a real drag. Much opprobrium has been cast at Yoko Ono for her constant presence at Beatles’ recording sessions, but, after this, you marvel at her fortitude for sitting through them."

The Independent: Peter Jackson documentary is a seven-hour masterpiece ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

"It is a monument to The Beatles, enormous and revealing, which acts as a bulwark against the endless books and articles and chatter about them by simply showing them as they were. In part, it is a corrective, but it is also a fortification. Any future assessment of the band and its members will have to measure up against the people we see here."

"Get Back" Rooftop Performance | The Beatles: Get Back | Disney+

The Times: full of startling moments ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ☆

"This deeply moving flashback epic shows these charismatic young men (not yet in their thirties) in sweet and loving harmony."

The Daily Telegraph: Peter Jackson's epic edit is truly fab, but too long and winding ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ☆

"The Beatles are back, in living colour, captured in their creative prime writing songs, playing music, cracking jokes and making pop history. Five decades since they broke up in disarray, this much hyped documentary restores some sweet harmony to the final act of the world’s most beloved (if occasionally dysfunctional) band."

Watch The Beatles rehearsing “Don’t Let Me Down” in "The Beatles: Get Back"

Empire: Get Back is a tribute to the musicianship of the band and a potent reminder of the power of the songs ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ☆

"It takes a long and winding road, but The Beatles: Get Back leaves tons of jewels along the way, a celebration of not only one band but also music, creativity and friendship. You can feel Jackson’s love and care in every perfectly restored frame."

The Hollywood Reporter: Peter Jackson has made an immersive, in-the-moment chronicle of a generation-defining band

"For the casual fan, and even for some ardent admirers, the series’ trio of lengthy installments — none less than two hours, and one clocking in at nearly three — might perhaps be too much of a good thing, in a way that only a completist could love.... Whether you’re enrapt or merely patient, the series has a cumulative power, building in a way that parallels the triumphant and moving results of the band’s deceptively fitful rehearsals"

Variety: Peter Jackson’s Documentary Epic Is an Addictive Look at Who the Beatles Were

"What’s startling about Get Back is that as you watch it, drinking in the moment-to-moment reality of what it was like for the Beatles as they toiled away on their second-to-last studio album, the film’s accumulation of quirks and delights and boredom and exhilaration becomes more than fascinating; it becomes addictive."