‘Justin Bieber’s Believe:’ Here’s What Critics Are Saying

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Did you happen to come down with a debilitating case of “Bieber Fever” this holiday season? Justin Bieber’s Believe, the documentary follow-up to the 2011 concert film Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, limped out of theaters on Christmas day in 14th place finishing with an estimated $1.25 million in sales. If you’re still on the fence about seeing the on-again off-again superstar’s new movie, we assembled a few reviews to help make your decision a little easier.

If you’re still experiencing symptoms of “Bieber Fever” after four days, watch two of these and call us in the morning.

1. “Films like this work best when exalting is the task, and when it comes to displaying Mr. Bieber in his milieu — onstage — it shines. The footage is arresting and crisp, and Mr. Bieber is in his element: He’s not the most outgoing pop star, but he has the requisite attitude, and his mild cool comes through clearly.”  — Jon Caramanica, New York Times

2. “While in Amsterdam in April, the 19-year-old singer signed the guest book at the Anne Frank House, adding, “Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.” That incident and the ensuing fallout didn’t make it into “Justin Bieber’s Believe,” a documentary that supposedly chronicles the 2012-2013 tour but stays so relentlessly on message, it offers no insights and few anecdotes about the real Justin Bieber.” — Stephanie Merry, The Washington Post

3. “One moment sums up the public-image propaganda contained in Justin Bieber’s Believe: In a pre-recorded video transition used in his stage show, Bieber runs through a warehouse pursued by paparazzi in military garb, suggesting the violence with which he’s pursued by photographers. But then he stops for a moment to check himself in a full-length mirror and adjust his hair. Still, Believe doesn’t have as much of the eye-roll-inducing underdog hagiography of Bieber’s first documentary, Never Say Never.”  — Kevin McFarland, The A.V. Club

4. “At one point, footage of Bieber’s screaming fans is dramatically intercut with vintage clips of young girls responding similarly to the Beatles. It’s too bad that the star and his acolytes didn’t take a lesson from the Fab Four’s A Hard Day’s Night and replaced a little of the ponderous self-importance on display with some healthy, self-deprecating humor.” — Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

5. “I took not just my daughter but two of her friends to Believe, and they all moaned nearly as loudly as the girls onscreen. My daughter wants you to know that the movie is great and that you shouldn’t listen to a hater like me. I envy her belief.” — David EdelsteinVulture

6. “It’s every bit as enthusiastically admiring and image-enhancing as you’d expect a documentary co-produced by its title subject to be. Still, “Justin Bieber’s Believe” is a slickly entertaining piece of work that will doubtless delight the young pop star’s fan base, and possibly engage curiosity-seekers who have heretofore remained immune or indifferent to Bieber Fever.” — Joe Leydon, Variety 

Are you planning to watch Justin Bieber’s Believe?

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