The Beatles: Get Back – what the critics are saying about the new Disney+ series

25 November 2021, 12:41 | Updated: 25 September 2023, 13:31

First trailer for Danny Boyle’s Beatles comedy-drama Yesterday

By Mayer Nissim

The Beatles: Get Back has landed, and the critics are (almost all) big fans.

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The Beatles: Get Back was originally going to get a 2020 cinema release, but once Lord of the Rings filmmaker Peter Jackson got his hands on the hundreds of hours of material, the plan changed.

It became a three-part series for Disney+, clocking in at a mighty 468 minutes.

Is the 7+ hour runtime a Beatles fan's dream come true, or is it too much of a good thing?

Most of the critics have given two thumbs up to the series, but there are definitely a few caveats about the LOTR-esque length of the project.

The Beatles: Get Back | Official Trailer | Disney+

The biggest naysayers are over at The Guardian, which gives the series a grudging three stars, hailing the "moments of inspiration and interest" but claiming they're lost in "acres of desultory chit-chat", ultimately calling the films "a real drag".

"Much opprobrium has been cast at Yoko Ono for her constant presence at Beatles’ recording sessions," it notes, "but, after this, you marvel at her fortitude for sitting through them." Ouch.

The most positive review comes from The Independent, which gives the series a full five stars, calling it "a seven-hour masterpiece" (what's 48 minutes between friends...) and an "enormous and revealing" monument to the band.

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

US movie magazines Variety and The Hollywood Reporter don't give a star rating, but both are very, very positive.

The former accepts that while the films are "to a large degree, of 1,000 moments you might have expected to be left on the cutting-room floor", that actually watching it all together makes it worth your while.

"The film’s accumulation of quirks and delights and boredom and exhilaration becomes more than fascinating," it says. "It becomes addictive."

And while THR similarly acknowledges that Get Back may be "too much of a good thing", it also hails its "cumulative power" that "parallels the triumphant and moving results of the band’s deceptively fitful rehearsals".

Elsewhere it's four stars all the way, with the series getting that score from movie mag Empire, as well as The Times and The Daily Telegraph newspapers.

The Times reviewer claimed to have watch the whole thing in one sitting, before "crashing out, punch-drunk from the vivacity of the Fab Four" and praising the "deeply moving flashback epic".

Meanwhile, The Telegraph calls the films "too long and winding", but that didn't stop them awarding a four-star review and giving it credit for restoring "some sweet harmony to the final act" of The Beatles.

I've Got a Feeling Clip | The Beatles: Get Back | Disney+

And (you're probably noticing a theme here), Empire also pointed out the "long and winding road" the series took, but says it "leaves tons of jewels along the way", calling it a celebration of not just The Beatles, but also "music, creativity and friendship."

Episode one of The Beatles: Get Back is available to watch now on Disney+. Episodes two and three follow on November 26 and November 27.