Miles Davis is a name in the music industry many are familiar with even if they don’t know his life story or the music he played. It’s a name that is thrown around as one of the greats, but today’s generation (myself included) probably couldn’t name a song by the Jazz great. Directed by and starring Don Cheadle as the musical man in the middle of the madness, Miles Ahead takes an unconventional look at the successful and troubled singer.
Set in the 1970s, the biopic has Davis living in a drug fueled haze after putting down his trumpet for an extended sabbatical. When a Rolling Stone reported played by Ewan McGregor comes knocking on his door looking for a story, Miles topsy-turvy life is put on display causing the singer to reflect back on his life and career.
Once again Don Cheadle shows why he’s one of the most underrated actors working in the business. Many films of the biopic variety candy coat our real life heroes, but Cheadle gives the audience the not so nice side of Miles Davis from jealous womanizer to an aged junkie who has squandered his talent and fortune. The music Davis created is present in the film, but it takes second chair to the personal demons Cheadle the director chooses to explore in an intense and paranoid performance.
The acting from Cheadle isn’t the problem with Miles Ahead. Unfortunately, Cheadle runs into issues in his role as director choosing a frenetic pace that prohibits the film from settling into a groove. Miles Ahead skips around too much and chooses to ignore the more exciting musical aspects of singers life in favor of the artists personal turmoil.
In turn this makes Miles Davis a hard guy to root for. If anything you feel sad or even worse, despise the abusive Jazz legend in Miles Ahead. Cheadle doesn’t sugar coat Davis’ shortcomings, but he also doesn’t give us clear vision as to how this gifted individual got to this point. Cheadle may stumble as a director, but luckily he has himself to thank for making Miles Ahead watchable due to his strong work as the erratic Miles Davis.
Overall, I give Miles Ahead 2.5 out of 4 stars.
Read all my reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell