ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"Beastie Boys Story" Movie Review

Updated on April 26, 2020
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life, he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Beastie Boys Story
Beastie Boys Story | Source

When I wrote my very first movie review (for Pixar’s Up) in May 2009, Beastie Boys were very much a thing, still two years from releasing Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. Streaming services were gaining some traction, but Blockbuster was still in business, and Apple was working out the kinks in their first-generation Apple TV player.

Now, as I write my 1000th review, the 8-year anniversary of the passing of Boys’ founder Adam “MCA” Yauch is just over a week away, and the rap trio’s Spike Jonze-directed documentary is one of the first full-length films to be offered on the new Apple TV+ service. Speaking of which, we’re just about due for the sixth-generation Apple TV player.

Times change, indeed.

Filmed a year ago in front of a live audience at Brooklyn’s Kings Theater, Beastie Boys Story gives remaining members Adam “Ad Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond one last chance to put a punctuation mark on their career—following 2018’s Beastie Boys Book and then its stellar, star-studded audio version a few months later. A fine treat for fans (and hopefully a long-overdue introduction for the as-yet uninitiated), Beastie Boys Story finds Adam and Mike (now clean-cut middle-aged men) telling their story in the manner of an Apple keynote—walking across the stage as a massive screen projects archival video clips and photos behind them. And though it’s great to see the fellas one last time, it’s hard to escape the feeling that something (and not just MCA) is missing.

Heavily scripted (Horovitz and Diamond trip over the teleprompter more than once), Story feels at times canned and at other times half-hearted, particularly on the part of Horovitz. While Diamond seems like a geeky kid in a candy store throughout, using hilarious impressions and high-fives to tell his story, Horovitz often seems embarrassed and/or jaded, eager to put a lot of his younger years even further behind him than they already are.

The lopsided script is also weighted heavily toward the group’s early years—after the first hour of the film, we’ve only chronologically gotten through the release of their first (of eight) albums. And their final three records (To the 5 Boroughs, The Mix-Up, and Hot Sauce) are never even mentioned.

Of course, the movie does eventually find its heart and its true purpose as Horovitz and Diamond pay tribute to Yauch. Horovitz, in fact, completely changes his tune and tears up remembering his lost friend; perhaps the whole film is just a build-up to that moment, as if he is saying, “Yeah, yeah. We made Licensed to Ill, we toured with Madonna, nobody liked Paul’s Boutique, yada yada yada. Now… MCA.”

It’s as moving (and often properly funny) a tribute as you may ever see, and well-deserved. The reverence that Diamond and Horovitz offer to their third amigo is the true heart of not only Beastie Boys Story but the entire Beastie Boys story.


4/5 stars

'Beastie Boys Story' trailer


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)