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Beastie Boys Story

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Beastie Boys Story
Directed bySpike Jonze
Written by
Based onBeastie Boys Book
by Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz
Produced by
  • Spike Jonze
  • Jason Baum
  • Amanda Adelson
  • Michael Diamond
  • Adam Horovitz
  • Adam Yauch
CinematographyAutumn Durald
Edited by
  • Jeff Buchanan
  • Zoe Schack
Distributed byApple TV+
Release date
  • April 24, 2020 (2020-04-24) (United States)
Running time
120 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States

Beastie Boys Story is a 2020 American live documentary film, directed, produced, and written by Spike Jonze, alongside Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz. It was filmed at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York and adapted from Beastie Boys Book, a memoir of the Beastie Boys. Jonze reunited with Diamond and Horovitz for the project after directing several music videos including "Sabotage" in 1994.[2]

It was scheduled to be released in a limited cinema release on April 3, 2020, followed by digital streaming on April 24, 2020, by Apple TV+. The limited cinema release was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.





Beastie Boys Story was scheduled to have its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 16, 2020, but the festival was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[4][5] The film was also scheduled to be released in a limited cinema release on April 3, 2020 in selected IMAX cinemas, but it was pulled from the schedule due to cinema closures that started in mid March because of the pandemic restrictions.[6] Digital streaming was made available on Apple TV+ on April 24, 2020.[7]



Critical reception


On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 94% based on 84 reviews. The website's critical consensus, which is a reference to the 1986 Beastie Boys song "Paul Revere," reads, "Here's a Beastie Boys Story they had to tell, about three bad brothers you know so well. It started way back in history -- and for new or old fans, it's a must-see."[8] It has a score of 75 out of 100 on Metacritic, a site that aggregates a normalized rating, indicating "generally positive reviews".

Erik Adams of The A.V. Club gave the film a C+ and criticized it for poor pacing and lacking fun. His review concludes: "There's not a lot of new insights or Criterion Collection-worthy film-making on offer, but for fans, the documentary will be a reminder of why they got into Ad-Rock, MCA, and Mike D in the first place. It's all there in the outtakes: The Beastie Boys story is simply too big, too strange, too unwieldy for Beastie Boys Story to contain it."[9]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Hollywood Critics Association January 9, 2020 Best Documentary Film Beastie Boys Story Won [10]
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards September 14, 2020–September 17, 2020 Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special Jason Baum, Amanda Adelson, Spike Jonze, Mike Diamond, Adam Horovitz, Dechen Wangdu-Yauch and John Silva Nominated [11]
Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming Jeff Buchanan and Zoe Schack Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera) Martyn Zub, Paul Aulicino and Pernell Salinas Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera) William Tzouris, Jacob Feinberg and Martyn Zub Nominated
Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming Mike Diamond, Adam Horovitz and Spike Jonze Nominated
Online Film & Television Association September 27, 2020 Best Reality or Non-Fiction Program Beastie Boys Story Nominated [12]
Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards November 16, 2020 Best Music Documentary Beastie Boys Story Won [13]
Hawaii Film Critics Society January 12, 2021 Best Documentary Beastie Boys Story Won [14]
International Documentary Awards January 21, 2021 Best Music Documentary Beastie Boys Story Nominated [15]
Grammy Awards March 14, 2021 Best Music Film Beastie Boys Story Nominated [16]
Golden Reel Awards April 16, 2021 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Non-Theatrical Documentary Martyn Zub and Paul Aulicino Nominated [17]
American Cinema Editors Eddie Awards April 17, 2021 Best Edited Documentary (Non-Theatrical) Jeff Buchanan and Zoe Schack Nominated [18]
Cinema Audio Society Awards April 17, 2021 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing – Television Non-Fiction, Variety or Music Series or Specials Jacob Feinberg, William Tzouris and Martyn Zub Nominated [19]


  1. ^ "The Beastie Boys Story". South by Southwest. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  2. ^ "Beastie Boys Story review – Spike Jonze and the boys are back in town". the Guardian. 2020-04-20. Retrieved 2021-02-06.
  3. ^ "The Ending of 'Beastie Boys Story' Explained". 24 April 2020.
  4. ^ Ray-Ramos, Dino (January 15, 2020). "SXSW Sets Judd Apatow's 'The King Of Staten Island' As Opening-Night Film, Unveils Features And Episodics Lineups". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  5. ^ Spangler, Todd (March 4, 2020). "Apple Pulls Out of SXSW 2020 Over Coronavirus Concerns". Variety. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  6. ^ "THE 'BEASTIE BOYS STORY' IMAX® THEATRICAL RELEASE HAS BEEN POSTPONED". IMAX. March 17, 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  7. ^ Vlessing, Etan (January 15, 2020). "Spike Jonze's 'Beastie Boys Story' Lands at Apple TV+". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  8. ^ Beastie Boys Story (2020), retrieved 2020-05-09
  9. ^ Adams, Erik (April 24, 2020). "Beastie Boys Story Is No Sure Shot". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  10. ^ "The 3rd Annual Hollywood Critics Association Midseason Awards Winners – Hollywood Critics Association". Hollywood Critics Association. July 2, 2020. Archived from the original on 2020-08-07. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  11. ^ Greene, Steve (September 20, 2020). "Emmys 2020: All of This Year's Winners and Nominees". IndieWire. Archived from the original on 2020-09-19. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  12. ^ "24th Annual TV Awards (2019-20) - Online Film & Television Association". Online Film & Television Association. Archived from the original on 2020-09-25. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  13. ^ Moreau, Jordan (November 16, 2020). "'Dick Johnson Is Dead' Wins Best Feature at Critics Choice Documentary Awards". Variety. Archived from the original on 2020-11-16. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  14. ^ Mulholland, Paddy (January 14, 2021). "The Trial of the Chicago 7 wins Hawaii Film Critics Society Best Picture prize". Screen on Screen. Archived from the original on 2021-01-14. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  15. ^ Pedersen, Erik (November 24, 2020). "IDA Documentary Awards Reveals Nominations For Its First Virtual Ceremony; Four Pics Vie For Both Best Feature & Director". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 2020-11-24. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  16. ^ Phillips, Jevon (March 14, 2021). "Here's the full list of 2021 Grammy winners". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2021-03-14. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  17. ^ Pedersen, Erik (March 1, 2021). "Sound Editors Nominate 'Wonder Woman', 'Sound Of Metal', 'Tenet' & Others For Golden Reel Awards – Full List". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 2021-03-01. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  18. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (March 11, 2021). "'Minari,' 'Trial of the Chicago 7' Among American Cinema Editors' Eddie Awards Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2021-03-11. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  19. ^ Tangcay, Jazz (March 2, 2021). "'Greyhound,' 'Mank' and 'News of the World' Among Cinema Audio Society Nominations". Variety. Archived from the original on 2021-03-02. Retrieved March 30, 2021.