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Passing Strange Reviews

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Sean Axmaker

It's a joyous production; the music is alive and dynamic, the skits are clever and funny and self-effacing and the show crackles with energy...

Full Review Source:

January 13, 2010
Louis Proyect

Interesting that one of the best movies of the year is a filming of a play. That's a sad commentary on Hollywood but sufficient reason to see this uplifting and very witty movie.

Full Review Source:

December 7, 2009
Noel Murray
AV Club

Lee doesn't reinvent the wheel when it comes to filming live theater, but he moves the camera artfully and edits with an energy that matches the music. And he makes good use of close-ups, capturing the sweaty faces of a troupe of remarkable performers.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: A-

October 2, 2009
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics

Although more of a stage play than a film this performance has great acting and great music combined with a heart felt message.

Full Review Source: Monsters and Critics | Original Score: 7/10

September 10, 2009
Richard Knight
Windy City Times

A rousing, emotional roller coaster that's a must see not just for fans of rock musicals but those with an eye (and an ear) for something unusual - compellingly so.

Full Review Source: Windy City Times

September 8, 2009
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You'll probably have to resist the urge to stand up and cheer with the onscreen audience during the emotional curtain call.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

August 21, 2009
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Spike Lee's Passing Strange: The Movie is basically canned musical theater, but this is one Tony-winning Broadway show that's well worth preserving and seeing.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

August 21, 2009
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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The invigorating result, zestily edited by Lee's own inside iron man, Barry Brown, is in every way a knockout.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 21, 2009
Ethan Alter
Giant Magazine

If you passed up the opportunity to catch this Tony-award winning rock musical during its Broadway run, don't make the same mistake with Spike Lee's vibrant film adaptation.

Full Review Source: Giant Magazine | Original Score: 4/5

August 21, 2009
A.O. Scott
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Moving, thrilling and new.

| Original Score: 5/5

August 21, 2009
Clay Cane

Passing Strange adds to Spike Lee's visionary resume and his eye for fresh talent.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: B

August 21, 2009
Ray Greene
Boxoffice Magazine

Tender, sexy , funny, moving and profound, Passing Strange bears comparison not just to the great works of the American musical theatre but to literary landmarks like James Baldwin's Another Country and (especially) Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 5/5

August 21, 2009
Harvey S. Karten

There's much to admire, like the energy and Swiss-watch timing of the players, though this remains a photographed play and not a movie.

Full Review Source: Compuserve | Original Score: B-

August 20, 2009
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

Film version of a fresh and spunky Broadway musical about a young black man's quest for self-understanding and creative expression.

Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice | Original Score: 3/5

August 20, 2009
Jesse Hassenger

a cross between a PBS-style special and a concert movie.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3.5/5

August 20, 2009
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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I can't single out a performance. This is a superb ensemble, conveying that joy actors feel when hey know they're good in good material.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 4/4

August 20, 2009
Jeremiah Kipp
Slant Magazine

A worthy public record of a show most people nationwide didn't get the chance to see.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 3/4

August 20, 2009
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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Like Lee, the artist formerly known as Mark Stewart possesses a powerful and singular voice, one he uses to express vividly his own unique experience of growing up as a black man in America.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

August 19, 2009
Edward Douglas

If you didn't have a chance to see it on stage, Spike Lee's movie really is the next best thing to being there.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 9/10

August 19, 2009
Stephen Garrett
Time Out New York
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Rousing, devastating, invigorating, painful, joyful, soulful -- all those adjectives don't even begin to describe Passing Strange, but it's a start.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 5/6

August 19, 2009
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