Darnell Martin’s dramatisation of the rise of legendary blues label Chess Records steps back in time to the 1940s, when guitar man Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright) abandons the fields of Mississippi to chase his dreams of stardom.
Meanwhile, Polish emigre Leonard Chess (Adrien Brody) opens a bar on the south side of Chicago, where he can play music by upcoming blues combos. Leonard launches his own label and eagerly signs Muddy to the fold, along with Big Willie Dixon (Cedric The Entertainer), Howlin’ Wolf (Eamonn Walker) and Chuck Berry (Mos Def).
Fittingly for a film which sings the blues, Cadillac Records is a rather downbeat nostalgia trip full of woe, jealousy and betrayal.
Star Rating: 3/5