Critic Reviews



Based on 22 critic reviews provided by
James D. Cooper’s rollicking film is a heady return to Swinging Sixties England at the height of the Mod explosion that’s packed with primo archival material and killer tunes. It’s also a vigorous testament to the rewards of creative collaboration, shining a spotlight on two highly unorthodox, self-invented rock entrepreneurs.
As much as the movie rocks, Lambert & Stamp drops the needle to reveal the deep pain barely hidden in the grooves.
Village Voice
Cooper's interest is in the collaboration between the talent and its managers, in the way the duo urged their charges to begin to conceive of their sound, look, marketing, and live performances as all expressive of a singular vision.
Never lacks for extravagance — the film looks as striking as it sounds — and some of the tales certainly seem outlandish. Yet they’re part of a truly remarkable origin story that the film and its subjects explore with uncommon thoughtfulness and depth of feeling.
Time Out
Blessed with a wealth of golden b&w footage (Lambert and Stamp always planned to document their managerial brilliance), James D. Cooper’s poundingly fun, scrappy profile has an unusually satisfying nuts-and-bolts perspective on the ’60s fame machine.
Many great docs have been made about The Who (including the ecstatic “The Kids Are All Right”), but Lambert & Stamp gets closest to the band’s fragility and unlikely story. It captures the real-life mania that surrounded a group whose music came to embody it.
Under their all-encompassing tutelage the band originally billed as the High Numbers would go on to international renown as the Who, and the extent to which Lambert & Stamp can take credit for that transformation is thoughtfully weighed in this revealing film.
It’s the choice to put the voices of the main players front and center that saves Lambert & Stamp from taking the rise-and-fall shape so familiar from Behind The Music and similar projects.
Packed with rare footage from the band’s early years, and narrated through present-day sit-down interviews, it’s pop oral history at its most formless and fannish: fixated on juicy tidbits, points of influences, and historical cameos, and sorely lacking a point of view.
Shot through with ’60s London energy, illuminating on several fronts and featuring bits of many great Who tracks, the film is nevertheless a mess that should be taught in film schools to illustrate how not to edit a documentary.

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