Unremarkable rockumentary tells a few interesting anecdotes, but it never really rises above the usual 'Behind the Music'-style conventions. Too long and lacking energy, it plods through the usual ups and downs and backstage bickering without delving deeper into the personalities of the band members than some pretty basic interviews. Interesting to die-hard fans of the Ramones, but falls short as a film.
In dismantling the myth of a monolithic Ramones & re-mythologizing the band, Beatles-style, as 4 icons -- nerd, hedonist, drill sergeant, & guy who knew how to do normal things such as buy groceries -- EOTC simulates the natural trajectory of casual fan to #1 fan; but it also deflates the utopian punk ideal ("Take everything bad & make it good. Celebrate it.") & makes it seem quaint. #1 fans will be too punk to mind.
I watch this several times a year, despite the fact that it is unbelievably sad. Each of the members of the band carried pain, some personal and some arising from the socioeconomic situation, and that sociological element raises this movie above mere psychodrama. Rather than a traditional rise and fall narrative, the Ramones were fallen from the beginning. I find the movie to be humane, rather than voyeuristic.
"I Wanna Be Sedated" is the punk equivalent of "Stairway to Heaven"—great songs that have gotten way too much airplay. Fortunately, the movie is dominated by other tracks (though I would've liked to know how they felt about that song becoming their only bonafide hit). I'm not a huge fan of their music, but I was mesmerized from start to finish. They're too fascinating for EOTC not to be wildly entertaining.