Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of

Backstreet Boys Poster

Directed by
Stephen Kijak
Produced by
Mia Bays
Sam Sniderman
Jeff Kwatinetz
Jennifer Sousa
Music by
James Henry
Edited by
Ben Stark
Cinzia Baldessari
Production company
Pulse Films
Distributed by
Gravitas Ventures
BBC Worldwide
Release dates
January 30, 2015 (U.S.)
February 26, 2015 (U.K. & Europe)
March 28, 2015 (international)
Running time
109 minutes

This article is about the film. For the song, see Show 'Em (What You're Made Of).

Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of is a documentary movie about the career of the American vocal group Backstreet Boys, released on January 30, 2015 in the U.S., and set to be released on February 26, 2015 in the UK and Europe, and March 28, 2015 for the rest of the world. It was directed by Stephen Kijak.

The movie was filmed over the span of two years and chronicles their entire career journey up to the making of their 2013 album In A World Like This, and throughout the subsequent world tour supporting it.

Plot Edit

On April 29th 2012 The Backstreet Boys announced the return of Kevin Richardson. For the first time in 6 years the original lineup was formally back... and the filming began...

“What do you do when you’re a full grown man in a boy band?” This film is about a band, of course, but it’s more universal a story than that - it is about five friends, it is about sacrifice and redemption, it is about a reckoning with a past and a path forward into a new kind of freedom. It is about home and family, and how many different ways we define those things. Having lived exceptional lives in a glaring spotlight, having lost a youth to the demands of fame, home and family can be many things. We see that boys still struggle to become men, forging their paths both in private, in the public eye, and together, through their music.

A reunion in the recording studio; friendships renewed yet dynamic shifts reveal new tensions that need confronting and resolving, both creative and personal. An intimate and emotional journey home reveals personal truths, opens old wounds, brings them closer to each other (and their fans.) We travel with them through the landscape of their past, exploring the sights and sounds of weird American suburbia, the strange and lush dreamland of Orlando and the natural beauty of the Kentucky countryside. We see just how far down their roots go and what makes them who they are today.

In an attempt to find some form of closure on their biggest unanswered question, the band talk properly for the first time in such depth about the man who made it all happen 20 years ago: Lou Pearlman, now currently an inmate at a state penitentiary. Former mastermind behind the biggest boy band of all time, Lou is behind bars for running a massive Ponzi scheme and a catalogue of bad business. Having cheated the Boys and many others out of millions, they attempt to process the biggest and toughest question: why?

Cast Edit

Production Edit

In 2012, as they were gearing up to record a new album, the group was looking to make a documentary of the whole recording process. However the idea quickly grew to make a movie about their whole career instead. "We've been filming during the making of the record, the rehearsals for the tour, while we've been out on the road. It's kind of a making-of the record along with our story, how we got together and the ups and downs and the rollercoaster that we've been on," band member Kevin Richardson said.

The group started filming when they moved into a house together all by themselves in London in July 2012. Filming process continued as the entire group visited each member's hometown in September 2012 to learn more about one another's lives before joining the group in 1993.

On February 11, 2013 The Hollywood Reporter announced that Stephen Kijak would be directing a feature documentary about the Backstreet Boys, a film being produced by Mia Bays and Pulse Films. The banner also co-produced the Katy Perry/Paramount film Part of Me 3D and No Distance Left to Run, about seminal U.K. band Blur by director duo thirty-two.

Promotion Edit

During Backstreet Boys 2013 and 2014 consecutive world tour, they previewed the movie during the rest time. On January 27, 2015, Backstreet Boys promoted the documentary film on the Today Show.

Release Edit

The film was officially released on January 30, 2015 in the US, and will be released on February 26, 2015 in the UK and Europe, and March 28 in Latin America, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. The group will be present and perform at the UK premiere on February 26, 2015 in London. The performance will be broadcast live by satellite for UK and European countries, and will be recorded and played in the cinema for other countries where the release is not due until March 2015.

The US premiere was held on January 29, 2015 at Arclight Cinemas in Los Angeles. The band was present and some celebrities attended the event, such as Lance Bass from N'Sync, Erik-Michael Estrada from O-Town, and Jeff Timmons from 98 Degrees.

Box office and Commercial Performance Edit

On January 30, 2015, the first day of US release, the movie topped the documentary chart on US iTunes Store and Google Play Store, and held the position for a week. and No. 1 on iTunes Overall Movie Chart. The movie opened to a minor release in the United States on January 30, 2015, across 60 theaters and earned over $153,068 on its opening week, which only included three days' count. And numbered 23 at Music Concert Movies All time Chart.

Home release Edit

The band has plans of releasing a DVD/Blu-ray combo pack in Summer 2015. Band member A.J. McLean said that there will be deleted scenes and bonus footage in the DVD, along with an exclusive interview with the late John ‘Q’ Elgani, who was the head of their security. He had been with the group since 1996 and passed away in 2013.

Extended cut Edit

An extended version of the film, running 130 minutes, 20 minutes longer than the theatrical release, is being screened at the sneak peek events.

Critical response Edit

Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of has received mixed reviews prior to release, currently holding a 69% critics on Rotten Tomatoes based on 12 reviews, with average rate of 6.6 out of 10. and a 44/100 rating on Metacritic based on 5 reviews, signifying "mixed or average reviews".

Artistdirect gave it 5 out of 5 stars, noting that "One of the film’s most powerful aspects is its focus on the creation of the band’s latest offering of 2013’s In a World Like This. It’s the moment where A.J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, and Brian Littrell really shine the most. Watching them jamming in the studio also feels strangely poignant as the purported image has always been of the quintet on stage in front of thousands dancing with no instruments. These intimate moments make Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of a true gem as far as music documentaries go." Village Voice gave it an average score of 70, Amy Nicholson said "Show 'Em What You're Made Of convincingly argues that these boy-men have something to say about the fickleness of fate — something they knew more about as young men than any of the cynics who dismissed them for dancing in unison. The hardest part will be convincing people to listen."

The negative review came from The New York Times, Neil Genzlinger felt "It is insight-free and cliché-heavy, with the five sharing obvious reminiscences about the thrill of superstardom, visiting haunts from their youth, shooting baskets and occasionally rehearsing."