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Joyful Noise (2012)



Average Rating: 4.6/10
Reviews Counted: 120
Fresh: 40 | Rotten: 80

Joyful Noise's musical numbers are solidly entertaining, and it benefits from Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton's sizable chemistry; unfortunately, they aren't enough to make up for the rest of the film.


Average Rating: 4.9/10
Critic Reviews: 40
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 26

Joyful Noise's musical numbers are solidly entertaining, and it benefits from Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton's sizable chemistry; unfortunately, they aren't enough to make up for the rest of the film.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 28,297

My Rating

Movie Info

The small town of Pacashau, Georgia, has fallen on hard times, but the people are counting on the Divinity Church Choir to lift their spirits by winning the National Joyful Noise Competition. The choir has always known how to sing in harmony, but the discord between its two leading ladies now threatens to tear them apart. Their newly appointed director, Vi Rose Hill (Latifah), stubbornly wants to stick with their tried-and-true traditional style, while the fiery G.G. Sparrow (Parton) thinks



Todd Graff

May 1, 2012


Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (121) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (80) | DVD (3)

[A] mostly sweet-natured rehash of 'Sister Act 2' by way of 'Glee'...

June 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Joyful Noise" is a sort of Wal-Mart movie, not exactly trendsetting but a decent enough offering for the heartland.

January 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You'll find yourself rolling your eyes, but you'll have more fun if you try to roll them in time with the rollicking numbers.

January 15, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Has the good fortune of being acted with enthusiasm by a very appealing cast, or else it would be completely unbearable instead of just mundane.

January 15, 2012 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This movie is a cloying, over-the-top, cheesy sing-a-long that makes "Glee" seem subtle.

January 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Richard | Comments (6)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[It] bears almost all the liabilities one gets from current studio product, including bloating.

January 13, 2012 Full Review Source: MSN Movies
MSN Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Noise it is, joyful it is not.

August 9, 2013 Full Review Source:

In what ends up as a nightmarish fusion of Glee and Sister Act 2, a mixed-race church choir makes a bid for glory by painfully "Christianising" scraps of once perfectly acceptable pop songs.

March 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Star
Daily Star

If you've the slightest aversion to camp, you should obviously steer clear. But then this film was never for you. It's for the spiritual year-round inhabitants of Dollywood.

March 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4

If you've the slightest aversion to camp, you should obviously steer a million miles clear. But then this film was never for you.

July 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Film4

Disarmingly heart-warming in its musical prowess and lazy in its storytelling development, hoping that the former - plus the big names - will attract a large enough crowd to keep it buoyant at the box office.

June 29, 2012 Full Review Source:

Even numbers by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson take on a religious note. Not much of a God-given screenplay, however.

June 29, 2012 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Corny and contrived, this provides both leading ladies with sweet ballads and tart one-liners and at least they resisted the temptation to set it all at Christmas.

June 29, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Larger than life and twice as loud, Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton trade snappy one-liners and spirited musical numbers in Joyful Noise, an enjoyably corny musical comedy about a gospel choir seeking to uplift a depressed Southern town.

June 29, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

In the end, it's impossible to resist the film's exuberant high spirits.

June 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

Todd Graff's film sags badly in the middle and is clunky with social context (recession, Asperger's), but there's enough good heart to see you through.

June 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian

Actor-turned-director Todd Graff actually knows what he's doing.

June 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

As manufactured, saccharine and unsubtle as Parton, but who's to mess with a winning formula?

June 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

It's let down by a meandering, unfocussed script, some poor direction and a handful of missed opportunities.

June 27, 2012 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Only when the script takes a back seat to song does the the film live up to its title.

June 26, 2012 Full Review Source:

Overlong and mind-numbingly generic, Joyful Noise promises home-cooked charm but leaves a taste worse than day-old grits.

June 26, 2012 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

Hard as it tries to be harmless feel-good fodder, its notion that one character's Asperger's can be cured by a hearty sing-song makes it a more offensive musical than Team America ever dared.

June 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

If only writer-director Graff had injected the film with half as much earthy energy as he puts into the terrific musical numbers. And let the cast out of the box.

June 21, 2012 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

A movie about a gospel music competition should be fun and inspiring; Joyful Noise is lumbering and dull.

April 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

...painfully clichéd, its humor almost nonexistent, its sentimental 'ahhh' moments forced. Its music is the only thing to keep it afloat, and I didn't find it enough.

April 29, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for Joyful Noise

"Joyful Noise was indeed joyful. I liked it. I thought it had an essence of Glee and Sister Act going for it. The movie had a lot of emotions going on in it. You had mourning, joy, silliness, humor, and a lot of the times, heartfelt scenes. I thought everyone did a great job. I couldn't believe the Queen put Ms. Dolly in a headlock. That was pretty funny. It's something to watch with the kids. I enjoyed the singing and the ribbing Dolly and the Queen gave each other. I would probably see this again."
November 27, 2012

Super Reviewer

Corny, sappy and predictable, but I expected that. Big payoff at the end, which I expected and enjoyed. The rest of the movie was average at best. Dolly Parton's face is quite comical....
October 14, 2012

Super Reviewer

I'd like to say the premise is something new, but I feel I've somehow seen it before. Not much about it seems original, and maybe that's because it's a bit of a concert behind-the-scenes movie, with gospel music. It's a loose analogy, I'm aware, but you could easily call it This Is Gospel Tap. Of course, the religion-oriented twist would allow the story only mild ridicule and would be more targeted at those who much prefer visiting churches than rock concerts. G.G. Sparrow (Dolly Parton) is a sassy, sprightly, southern woman, the grandmother of a teenager named Randy (Jeremy Jordan). At church, she participates in a competitive choir and rivals massively with the director, Vi Rose Hill (Queen Latifah), the underappreciated mother of perky teen Olivia (Keke Palmer)-also a participant in her mother's choir-and Asperger's-suffering Walter (Dexter Darden)-who blames his disability on God and thus refuses to listen to gospel music or participate in church. During that competition, Olivia finds herself hopelessly falling in love with Randy, as he befriends Walter and teaches him the piano.

reeeaaad iiiit aaaall aaaat
July 21, 2012

Super Reviewer

Who would have ever said "man I wish Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah made a movie together"? Well, someone did and they did. This is a dramedy/musical. Story of a church choice trying to get their act together after a death in their church, while trying to win a choir competition. Parton and Larifah are obviously opposites and their characters reflect their real life persona's and they clash. While they glass Parton's grandson and Latifah's son start a romance, adding a good dynamic to the story. However the movie is filled with chiche's, a mix of good and odd musical choices, and cheesy performances. Definitely a chick flick, guys skip this one.
June 6, 2012
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

    1. G.G. Sparrow: Bernie, you old son of a baptist.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. G.G. Sparrow: Get your butt off my table, I eat there.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. G.G. Sparrow: Well, I am who I am.
    2. Vi Rose Hill: Well, maybe you were... five procedures ago!
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. G.G. Sparrow: Who cares if I've had a few little nips and tucks? God didn't make plastic surgeons so they could starve!
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. Vi Rose Hill: We are gonna go out there and we are gonna win this thing!
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (12 months ago)
    1. Vi Rose Hill: You better treat my snorin' like a Marvin Gaye song.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (12 months ago)
View all quotes (21)

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