Crossfire Hurricane

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Crossfire Hurricane
Crossfire Hurricane.jpg
Directed byBrett Morgen
Produced byMick Jagger
Victoria Pearman
Keith Richards
Charlie Watts
Edited byStuart Levy
Conor O'Neill
Milkwood Films
Tremolo Productions
Distributed byHBO
Release date
  • 18 October 2012 (2012-10-18)
Running time
111 minutes
CountryUnited States

Crossfire Hurricane is a 2012 documentary film about the Rolling Stones written and directed by Brett Morgen. The film chronicles the early years of the band through to 1981. The film is a series of interviews conducted without cameras, while showing various points of interest that the band is discussing as archival footage. The title of the film comes from the first line of the band's 1968 hit "Jumpin' Jack Flash".[1]


On their 50th anniversary, the Rolling Stones, with the support of archive footage and interviewed by director Brett Morgen, retrace the first 20 years of their career. The film discusses their early success in the 1960s; the way the media characterised the difference between them and the Beatles; the exceptional musical talent of Brian Jones; their first song-writing; the difference between the boy fans' aggressiveness that resulted in fights with the police and the girl fans' screaming hysteria; Mick Jagger and Keith Richards drug use and their arrest; the musical contribution of Jones that was waning due to excessive use of drugs, and his death a few weeks after the separation from the band; Mick Taylor's debut concert in Hyde Park in memory of Jones and the return to world tours; the awful organization of the Altamont Free Concert; their flight to tax exile in 1971; the recording of Exile on Main St. in a villa on the south of France; Taylor's departure and the arrival of Ronnie Wood; and the arrest of Richards in Canada for possession of heroin and his decision to detox, to safeguard the future of the band.

Critical reception[edit]

The film received mostly positive reviews. Review aggregator website Metacritic, which assigns normalized scores, gave the film a 77 out of 100, based on 17 critics.[2]

John Anderson of The Wall Street Journal:

[T]his kind of thing elevates Mr. Morgen's artfully crafted collage, which has a free-associative attitude but a very precise tone of voice. Constructed out of archival materials that include newsreel footage and some never-before-seen outtakes from the better films on this much-documented band (including the Maysles brothers' 1970 Gimme Shelter and Robert Frank's 1972 documentary with the unmentionable title), the movie is full of ripe moments, as well as a sense of being under someone's thumb.[3]

From James Poniewozik of Time magazine:

It's not a movie for music geeks, in the sense of unpacking the band's influences or closely analyzing how their songs worked. Instead it links the music to the members' stories, trying to capture how the electricity of the group's personalities created art. It's not a revelation, but it's an intimate story of the band, with performance sequences that show how five guys—in different lineups—came together and made an entity of pure fire and sex.[4]

From David Hinckley of New York Daily News:

The Stones have been better showcased and explained than they are in Crossfire Hurricane. Still, as personalities and musicians, they never fail to provide a good measure of satisfaction.[5]

The film won a Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing: Long Form Documentary.[6]


Chart (2013/2014) Peak
Australian Music DVDs Chart[7] 2
Austrian Music DVDs Chart[8] 4
Danish Music DVDs Chart[9] 8
Irish Music DVDs Chart[10] 9
Italian Music DVDs Chart[11] 6
Swedish Music DVDs Chart[12] 3
Swiss Music DVDs Chart[13] 2
UK Music Videos Chart[14] 1
US Music Videos Chart[15] 1


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[16] Gold 7,500^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "Jumping Jack Flash Lyrics – Rolling Stones". Keno's Rolling Stones Web Site. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Critic Reviews for Crossfire Hurricane Season 1". Metacritic. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  3. ^ Anderson, John (8 November 2012). "Crossfire Hurricane | Rolling Stones | Brett Morgen | HBO | Family Guy | Catfish: The TV Show | When the Stones Were on a Roll | By John Anderson –". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  4. ^ Poniewozik, James (15 November 2012). "TV Tonight: Crossfire Hurricane". Time. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  5. ^ "TV Review: HBO's 'Crossfire Hurricane'". New York Daily News. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  6. ^ "2013 Golden Reel Award Winners & Nominees: Television". Motion Picture Sound Editors. Archived from the original on March 28, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
  7. ^ "ARIA Top 40 Music DVDs" (PDF). The ARIA Report (1194): 24. 14 January 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-01-03. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Austria Top 40 – Musik-DVDs Top 10 18 January 2013". (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Musik DVD Top 10". Hitlisten.NU. IFPI Denmark. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  10. ^ "Irish Charts". IRMA. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  11. ^ "DVD Musicali – Classifica settimanale WK 31 (dal 28-07-2014 al 03-08-2014)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  12. ^ "Sveriges Officiella Toppista". Sverigetopplistan. Archived from the original on December 26, 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2013. Search for Crossfire Hurricane and click Sök.
  13. ^ "Swiss Charts – Music DVD Top 10 20 January 2013". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  14. ^ "2013-01-19 Top 40 Music Video Archive". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  15. ^ "2013-05-30 Top 40 Music Video Archive". Billboard. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  16. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2013 DVDs" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 13 December 2021.

External links[edit]