Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa in Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You, premiering Oct. 23 on Apple TV+.

APPLE TV+

  • Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You
  • Directed by Thom Zimny
  • Written by Bruce Springsteen
  • Starring Bruce Springsteen, Nils Lofgren, Patti Scialfa, Stevie Van Zandt, Max Weinberg
  • Classification NA; 91 minutes

rating

2.5 out of 4 stars


For years we’ve been hearing that Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards would outlive everybody and the cockroaches. But the smart money should be on 71-year-old Bruce Springsteen, who in a new documentary about the making of his latest album is shown to be fit, tan and Marlboro Man handsome, with the skin tone of a god. The album is Letter to You, a record that addresses mortality and what bandleader Springsteen – not for nothing is he known as the Boss – calls the “confederacy” of bandmates.

The rock star reminisces about being the sole surviving member of a pre-fame group, the Castiles. He wrote a song about it: Last Man Standing. The film, shot handsomely in black and white by collaborator Thom Zimny, explains the themes of the album. It has the look of fly-on-the-wall documentation, but that’s a façade. There is no tension, no drama; this was shot with a predetermined narrative. “We’re having fun, damn it!” Springsteen implores his troops at one point.

Story continues below advertisement

I use the word “troops” intentionally, because there’s a war-buddy-reunion vibe to the making of the album, Springsteen’s first with the E Street Band in six years. The film is strikingly earnest. Springsteen’s overwritten narration and his whisky-glass toasts to his band are indistinguishable. With too much salutation and not enough action, this is a (fine) companion to the album but not a freestanding film.

Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You is available to stream on Apple TV+ starting Oct. 23

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies