The Commitments (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Commitments (1991)

The Commitments



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Commitments Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

"The Irish are the blacks of Europe, Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland, and the North Siders are the blacks of Dublin ... so say it loud -- I'm black and I'm proud!" Or so Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins) tells his slightly puzzled friends as he tries to assemble a rhythm & blues show band in a working class community in Dublin in Alan Parker's film The Commitments. Jimmy is a would-be music business wheeler and dealer, and he's decided what Dublin needs is a top-shelf soul band. However, top-shelf soul musicians are hard to find in Dublin, so he has to make do with what he can find. However, after a long round of auditions, Jimmy makes two inspired discoveries: Deco (Andrew Strong), an abrasive and alcoholic streetcar conductor who nevertheless has a voice like the risen ghost of Otis Redding, and Joey "The Lips" Fagan (Johnny Murphy), a horn player who knows soul music backwards and forwards and claims to have played with everyone from Wilson Pickett to Elvis Presley. Before long, the band -- called the Commitments -- is packing them in at local clubs. But do they have what it takes to make the big time? Based on the novel by Roddy Doyle, who also co-wrote the screenplay, The Commitments is sparked by fine performances by its young cast and enthusiastic performances of a number of '60s soul classics; the cast, who play their own instruments, reassembled the band for a concert tour after the film became a hit.more
Rating: R (for language)
Genre: Drama, Musical & Performing Arts, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Roddy Doyle, Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 2, 1999
20th Century Fox Film Corporation


Robert Arkins
as Jimmy Rabbitte
Michael Aherne
as Steven Clifford
Glen Hansard
as Outspan
Dick Massey
as Billy Mooney
Johnny Murphy
as Joey `The Lips' Faga...
Kenneth McCluskey
as Derek Scully
Andrew Strong
as Deco Cuffe
Colm Meaney
as Mr. Rabbitte
Anne Kent
as Mrs. Rabbitte
Andrea Corr
as Sharon Rabbitte
Gerard Cassoni
as Darren Rabbitte
Ruth Fairclough
as Linda Rabbitte
Lindsay Fairclough
as Tracey Rabbitte
Ger Ryan
as The Pawnbroker
Mark O'Regan
as Father Molloy
Phelim Drew
as Roddy the Reporter
Sean Hughes
as Dave from Eejit Reco...
Aoife Lawless
as Imelda's Sister
Lance Daly
as Kid with Harmonica
Conor Malone
as Protest Song Singer
Jezz Bell
as Heavy Metal Singer
Colm Mac Con Iomaire
as Fiddler Auditioner
Emily Dawson
as Punk Girl Singer
Dave Kane
as Coconuts Trio Member
Kristel Harris
as Coconuts Trio Member
Maria Place
as Coconuts Trio Member
Brian Mac Aodha
as Uileann Pipe Player
Tricia Smith
as Les Miserables Singe...
Canice William
as Smiths' Song Singer
Patrick Foy
as Cajun Trio Member
Alan Murray
as Cajun Trio Member
Jody Campbell
as Cajun Trio Member
Eanna MacLiam
as Failed Drug Buyer
Philomena Kavanagh
as Rabbitte's Neighbor
Peter Rowen
as Shy Skateboard Audit...
Eamon O'Connor
as Only De Lonely Singe...
Maura O'Malley
as Joey's Mother
Blaise Smith
as Pool Hall Manager
Derek Herbert
as Duffy's Sidekick
Owen O'Gorman
as Duffy's Sidekick
Pat Leavy
as Unemployment Officia...
John Cronin
as Kid with Horse
Rynagh O'Grady
as Bernie's Mother
Sheila Flitton
as Church Cleaner
John Michael Bolger
as Community Centre Kid
Mick Nolan
as Imelda's Father
Eileen Reid
as Imelda's Mother
Bob Navan
as Regency Pub Barman
Derek Duggan
as Photographer
Paddy O'Connor
as Rock Salmon Man
Paul Bushnell
as Avante-Garde-A-Clue ...
Jim Corr
as Avante-Garde-A-Clue ...
Larry Hogan
as Avante-Garde-A-Clue ...
Bernard Keelan
as Avante-Garde-A-Clue ...
Ronan Hardiman
as Dance Hall Manager
Mikel Murfi
as Music Journalist
Josylen Lyons
as Deco's Fan
Winston Dennis
as Man in Limousine
Alan Parker
as Eejit Record Produce...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Commitments

Critic Reviews for The Commitments

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (11)

The film offers no message, no solutions, only a great time at the movies.

Full Review… | August 20, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Director Alan Parker's story of a band of young Dubliners playing American '60s soul is fresh, well-executed and original.

Full Review… | March 10, 2008
Top Critic

This is probably Alan Parker's best film, in part because it's one of his most modest.

Full Review… | March 10, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Foul-mouthed, fast-talking and very funny, this is Parker's best to date.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Mr. Parker is capable of whipping a series of quick, well-edited snippets into a happy collage of musical high spirits.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

It's a relaxed, colorful creation, remaining true to rascally human behaviors while respecting the unifying power of music. Downright irresistible.

Full Review… | August 16, 2011

Audience Reviews for The Commitments

"We skipped the light fandango turned cartwheels 'cross the floor. I was feeling kinda seasick but the crowd called out for more" I'm still in awe by how clever was the use of that enigmatic line, it not only comes from one of my favourite songs, but works as a dignified compendium of a short-lived but magical trainwreck that the characters, and the public, can only watch passing by with a smile.
Quotable dialogue, riotous moments and genuine musical passion throughout. A gem once voted, deservedly, as the best irish film of all time.

Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer


A story documenting the rise and fall of the band The Commitments. With enjoyable vocals and those well known songs, this film makes for an easy watching tongue in cheek piece.

In a seperate issue, I can't help thinking this discredits the film ONCE ever so slightly I had thought their performances were really good, I hadn't known Glen Hansard had already appeared in this film.

Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer

In the tradition of Waking Ned Devine and The Full Monty, this is a delightful, optimistic ensemble piece from across the pond. While there are few conflicts in between the characters, the main conflict that drives the film forward is understated - people wanting to succeed in an world that doesn't assent.
There is little in the way of comedy, "littler" in the way of drama, and too many musical sequences for my taste, but it's hard to fault the movie for any of these things. Suffice to say that I mildly enjoyed the experience of watching this film, and there's little to complain about.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

The Commitments Quotes

Failed Drug Buyer: I saw the queue down the street, I thought you was selling drugs...
– Submitted by Patrick M (3 years ago)
Jimmy Rabbitte: The Irish are the blacks of Europe, Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland, and the North Siders are the blacks of Dublin ... so say it loud -- I'm black and I'm proud!
– Submitted by Shannon W (4 years ago)
Jimmy Rabbitte: He says God sent him
Mr. Rabbitte: On a fucking Suzuki?
– Submitted by D H (4 years ago)

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