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Miles Ahead (2015)

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An exploration of the life and music of Miles Davis.

Director:

Don Cheadle

Writers:

Steven Baigelman (screenplay), Don Cheadle (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
2 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Cheadle ... Miles Davis
Ewan McGregor ... Dave Braden
Emayatzy Corinealdi ... Frances Taylor
LaKeith Stanfield ... Junior (as Lakeith Lee Stanfield)
Brian Bowman ... Walter
Michael Stuhlbarg ... Harper
Christina Marie Karis ... Janice (as Christina Karis)
Brent Vimtrup Brent Vimtrup ... Dieter
Michael Bath Michael Bath ... Bartender
Reginald Willis Reginald Willis ... Manager
Montez Jenkins Montez Jenkins ... Busboy
Morgan Wolk ... Erica
Austin Lyon ... Justin
Nina Smilow Nina Smilow ... Tami
Chris Grays Chris Grays ... Buddy
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Storyline

An exploration of the life and music of Miles Davis.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fight | party | key | sunglasses | recluse | See All (55) »

Taglines:

If you gonna tell a story, come with some attitude See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language throughout, drug use, some sexuality/nudity and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Miles Ahead See more »

Filming Locations:

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$114,530, 3 April 2016

Gross USA:

$2,610,896

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,473,958
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Miles really called up Phil Schaap on the air and told him he talked too much. See more »

Goofs

Miles Davis's blazer is spotless when cops beat and arrest him outside the nightclub for "loitering". His blazer is suddenly full of blood stain in the next shot when he is in the cop car. See more »

Quotes

Doorman: Do you have a pass?
Miles Davis: [points to his face] Your Looking At It
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Chase Australia: Episode #2.100 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Miles Ahead
Performed by Miles Davis
Written by Miles Davis (as Miles Davis Jr)
Published by Kobalt, A Side Music, and Prestige Music
Courtesy of Prestige Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a trippy trip of cool Miles
14 April 2016 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. What would rate as the bigger challenge: defining jazz or describing the life of Miles Davis? In true "passion project" mode, Don Cheadle not only portrays the iconic trumpeter, but also directs, co-writes and co-produces. Cheadle's tribute to The Prince of Darkness is as open to interpretation as the hundreds of songs from Davis' recordings over thirty plus years.

Having stated in numerous interviews that he had no interest in the usual "cradle-to-grave" biopic, Cheadle's odd blend of fact, fiction and hallucination are meant to capture the essence of Miles Davis, rather than the life and times of the man. Guns, drugs, music, girls, and art are all present throughout this trippy trip of a movie that plays like an impressionistic painting, and not a portrait.

The bulk of the film is spent on Miles Davis during his self-imposed six year drug-fueled hiatus in the 1970's when he secluded himself in Howard Hughes fashion. There is an odd and ill-fitting plot involving the "secret" master tapes that Davis has recorded while waiting for his manager (Michael Stuhlbarg as Harper Hamilton) to pay him the money he is owed. Mixed in is a "Rolling Stone" writer named Dave Brill (Ewan McGregor) desperately trying to get an interview with Miles and listen to the tapes. This mad caper-ish core benefits greatly from the quick cuts to the past … especially those featuring Frances Taylor (Emayatzy Corinealdi) as Miles' beautiful, talented and supportive wife.

Of course, we shouldn't expect linear story-telling from a man whose life was anything but linear. After all, we are focused on the man who claimed his music was not "jazz", but rather "Social Music" … and that "it takes a long time to play like yourself". The car chases and gunfights might seem out of place, but do capture the essence of a man fueled by drugs and a possible (temporary) loss of his creative genius. Perhaps, as the movie suggests, Miles was remorseful for how he treated Frances. Or maybe it was simply the pressure of being Miles Davis …. The coolest of Cool Jazz.

Mr. Cheadle does a nice job in portraying Davis, and is spot on in the trademark raspy whisper which Miles was known for (the after-effects of a larynx operation in the 1950's). Ms. Corinealdi (to appear in the new "Roots" project later this year) is outstanding as Frances Taylor, and is the one character we latch on to in hopes of maintaining our bearings throughout.

Taking its title from a 1957 Miles Davis album, the movie offers a glimpse into the mind of a musical genius who didn't always fit into "proper" society, and would be the perfect pairing for a head-scratching trumpeter double-bill with the recent "Born to be Blue", a look at Chet Baker.


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