Box art for Marley


  • Rated NR
  • HD and SD formats available

independent, special interest

The definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary, legend, and the man, from his early days to his rise to international superstardom.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score
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    $5 SD & $8 HD


common sense

ON for kids age 13
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
2 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
4 out of 5
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Comprehensive docu on iconic reggae musician.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Marley is an excellent and comprehensive documentary on the iconic reggae musician. Unsurprising to those familiar with Marley, reggae music, and the Rastafarian religion, there are frequent pictures and videos where Marley and his band The Wailers are smoking marijuana, and there is discussion about marijuana and its role in Marley's life and Jamaican culture. There is also frank discussion of Marley's numerous affairs; he had 11 children with seven different women while married. To provide necessary context, viewers see news footage of the sometimes violent civil unrest in Jamaica in the 1970s. However, none of this overshadows the central message of the film: Bob Marley was a deeply spiritual man dedicated to making others happy with his music, and to using his music as an instrument to promote peace, unity, and love.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the power of art and music. What does this documentary say about music and its power to transcend cultures and politics? What role does art play in politics throughout history?
  • What challenges do you think the filmmakers faced in presenting Bob Marley's life and music, as well as Jamaican culture, religion, and politics?
  • What are the different cinematic tools the filmmakers use to tell Bob Marley's story? Which do you think are the most effective?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 20
    see all Marley reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Clocking in at nearly two and a half hours, it is gripping from the start, not just because of the quality of the music, but because of Marley's magnetic, challenging personality, as well.

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fresh: Marley is highly watchable, finely crafted legacy preservation - and it's either a white-washed sham or awesomely shaded.

- Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail, Friday, May 18, 2012

Fresh: Chronologically organized and voiceover-free, the movie is a 145-minute patchwork of old concert footage and talking-head interviews -- lots and lots of them -- from people who knew, loved, and worked with the reggae giant.

- Dana Stevens, Slate, Thursday, April 19, 2012

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Marley is an insightful, inspirational, and deeply moving documentary on the life of a legend. Though the runtime is a bit much, and the film starts to drag near the end, for the most part, Marly features electrifying concert footage, and great interviews. Hilarious, touching, disturbing, exhausting, fascinating and sad, Marley is a must see for any Bob Marley fan.

- fb701560354, Monday, September 24, 2012

4 stars

Marley is a must watch documentary about the musical icon that was and is Bob Marley. There isn't a person around who doesn't know the name, despite the fact that they may not be familiar with his music. For fans of his, this is a real treat. Marley's life is handled with such care. Every aspect of his life is given its due share. We see the life of Marley from his birth to a white man and black woman to his ultimate death at the age of 36. In between, there's a lot of emphasis put on his political and religious views. I couldn't think another documentary will ever touch this one on sheer information and entertainment value. There's some better musical figure documentaries out there, but not too many. This isn't only a must watch for his die hard fans, but for music lovers in general. Even if you don't like him, there's no denying that he is one of the biggest icons in music ever. You definitely have to have a taste for his music to enjoy it, but still, even if you don't like his music, watch this film. Marley is a informative, entertaining, and stunning piece of filmmaking. It's a long film, at about two and a half hours, but the runtime never drags. There's enough stuff that happened in Marley's life to warrant a runtime of this scale. There's some great footage and pictures that just add to the overall entertainment value the film already has. There's amazing interviews that range from Marley's lovers to his kids to his lawyer to his childhood friends to his bandmates. Each interview gives us another piece of Marley's life. I expected a great documentary and that is exactly what I got. I was glued to the movie the entire time and actually did end up learn some stuff I had never even heard about. It's a movie that knows exactly what it set out to achieve and it did, and then some.

- blkbomb, Friday, September 21, 2012

4 stars

Bob Marley is one of the most iconic musicians that ever lived. Director Kevin Macdonald crafts a solid documentary about the life of the legendary Reggae musician. Comprising of interviews with the people that knew him best, Marley is a near perfect film, one that definitely is a must see for fans of the artist. Brilliant in telling his story, Marley is among the best music documentaries that I've seen. Bob Marley's life is legendary and his contribution to the music world is unique. Even if you're not a fan of his music, you can't deny the impact that Bob Marley has had on music. This film covers all the aspects from his life. With terrific interviews and archival footage, Marley is a fine film that should definitely appeal to fans of his music. In terms of a documentary, Marley is definitely a well constructed film that tells important facts on its subject. This is a well put together film that should be seen by every music lover, even if you're not a fan of Marley's music, give this film a shot. Very insightful and it gives a history of the birth of Reggae music as well. I've seen plenty of documentaries on various genres of music as well as rock and metal bands, and Marley is among the best music documentaries that you can watch. Although Reggae is not my style of music, I certainly loved the film, and thought the interviews were well done, amusing, sad and thorough. Fans of Bob Marley's music will love this stunning film.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Friday, August 24, 2012