Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of – Film Review

Though it tells a familiar story of tension in a manufactured pop group, this doc goes beyond cliché

Stephen Kijak, the man behind this Backstreet Boys doc, also directed 2010 Rolling Stones film Stones In Exile. Kijak’s cameras started rolling in 2012, after original member Kevin Richardson rejoined the band, and his film tells a familiar story of tension in a manufactured pop group. There’s crime (manager Lou Pearlman was jailed in 2008 for money laundering) and substance abuse (AJ McLean entered rehab at the band’s peak), but Kijak’s film goes beyond cliché. The differing personalities in the band, completed by Brian Littrell, Nick Carter and Howie Dorough, are surprisingly engrossing. Kijak skilfully makes their interactions – particularly when the rest of the group confront Littrell about the deterioration of his voice – feel poignant.