Filmage: The Story of Descendents/All

Imagine if a bunch of coffee-guzzling punk rock nerds decided to change music forever.

That’s “Filmage,” the documentary that’s more refreshing than a triple espresso after a sleepless night.

Thanks to one of my favorite musicologist storytellers Nick Balaban for the rec.

Trailer for “Filmage: Descendents”

Watch “Filmage: Descendents”

Stream Filmage for Free

You can stream “Filmage” for free on YouTube at (the audio is in English though the captions are in French as default (you can hit the “cc” on YouTube to get English or other language)

You can also watch “Filmage” for free here (with ads):

Stream Filmage: Descendents for $$

The DVD/Blu-Ray has sometimes been available at the Descendents’ web site here: (though all I are t-shirts and other non-digital gear there right now).

Filmage was also on Torrent for awhile but I don’t see it there right now.

Check here for a full list of the latest streaming options:


  • My Rating: 96/100
  • IMDB Rating: 8.1/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: 95/100 (Users); 100/100 (Critics)

My Review of “Filmage”

“Filmage” is a gem if you love the legendary punk outfit the Descendents or the bands they influenced (Green Day, Nirvana, Foo-Fighters, Blink-182, Weezer, and Fall Out Boy.

I loved it too.

And punk doesn’t make my top 5 favorite music genres (though the Ramones was my first concert, baby!).

In a just world, the Descendents would be in the Hall of Fame of Punk alongside the Ramones and Sex Pistols.

Directors Deedle LaCour and Matt Riggle clearly have a ton of affection for their subject.

But this 90-minute doc from 2013 isn’t just a gushing puff piece.

That becomes apparent during about the fifth time drummer Bill Stevenson is shown picking his nose (extensively) on camera.

Trough interviews, archival footage, and even some charming animation, they paint a vivid warts-and-all portrait of the caffeine-fueled misfits behind anthems like “Myage,” “Suburban Home,” and “I’m the One.”

We get the highs, like the buzz around their early albums and the triumphant return of singer Milo Aukerman in 1996.

But Filmage gives you the lows like Aukerman’s struggles to juggle his passions for biochemistry and punk rock.

Not to mention bassist Karl Alvarez’s harrowing health scare in 2009.

Founding drummer Bill emerges as the intense, driven heart of the group,

He pushes his bandmates to “go for greatness” but sometimes alienates them in the process.

Interviews with Aukerman are a hoot.

The bespectacled frontman gleefully geeks out about how punk changed his life.

You get a sense of just how much these guys mean to each other, even when they’re driving each other nuts.

Of course, you can’t really tell the Descendents story without delving into their musical impact, and Filmage has that covered too.

Punk luminaries like Dave Grohl and legendary bassist/songwriter Mike Watt weigh in.

They discuss how Descendents classics like 1982’s Milo Goes to College influenced countless bands in their wake.

It’s wild to see how these snotty, hopped-up kids from the L.A. ‘burbs helped shape the sound of what we’d eventually call pop punk and emo (emo is a style of rock music with an emphasis on EMOtional/confessional lyrics).

You know what really makes Filmage sing like Milo belting out “Suburban Home”? The music, baby!

This doc is wall-to-wall with Descendents bangers that’ll have punk die-hards air drumming along and newbies wondering why they’ve slept on these catchy riffs for so long.

The “Filmage” soundtrack includes:

  • “Myage” – From the 1982 album Milo Goes to College, this song is noted as appearing in the documentary.
  • “I’m the One” – Also from Milo Goes to College, this song is referenced as being included in Filmage.
  • “Suburban Home” – Another track from Milo Goes to College that’s mentioned as appearing in the film.
  • “Silly Girl” – This song from the band’s 1985 album I Don’t Want to Grow Up is cited as being featured in Filmage.
  • “Clean Sheets” – Appearing on the band’s 1987 album All, “Clean Sheets” is noted as part of the documentary’s soundtrack.
  • “Everything Sux” – The title track from the Descendents’ 1996 comeback album is mentioned as appearing in the film.
  • “Descendents” – This song, from the band’s 1996 album Everything Sux, shares its name with the band and is listed as being featured in Filmage.

But it’s not just the tunes that make Filmage a slam dunk.

The editing is tighter than Bill Stevenson’s drumming on “Myage.”

The whole thing zips along with the kind of manic energy that the Descendents bring to their live shows. Blink and you might miss a killer anecdote or rare piece of archival footage.

That’s the beauty of this film – it’s not just a nostalgia trip for the old school punks. It’s a gateway drug for anyone who digs a good rock doc.

Is Filmage the most objective doc ever made?

Nah, probably not – it definitely skews toward a heroic depiction of the band and their importance.

But I’d argue that’s OK, because it never feels dishonest.

The love that went into telling this story is all over the screen. And c’mon, the Descendents deserve to have their praises sung a bit!

More than 40 years after their formation, they’re still out there rocking and putting out killer tunes.

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly, Chief Maniac, Daily Doc