Music of the Heart (1999)

Music of the Heart



Critic Consensus: Meryl Streep's depiction of an ordinary person doing extraordinary things transcends, inspires, and entertains.

Movie Info

When Roberta's husband left her for a family friend, she left the security of her small town and moved to East Harlem to give kids the hope, pride and power to make something of themselves with the most unlikely tool - fifty violins. After ten years of teaching, the school decided to cancel her funding. With the support of her friends and the community, she sets out to fight back.

Rating: PG (for brief mild language and sensuality)
Genre: Drama, Kids & Family
Directed By:
Written By: Pamela Gray
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 15, 2002
Miramax - Official Site


as Roberta

as Dorothea

as Lawrence

as DeSean

as Nick `Young'

as herself

as Lexi `Young'

as Lucy's Mother

as Supervisor

as Taxi Driver

as Dennis Rausch

as Manuelo Olivas

as Headlock Boy

as Painter No. 1

as Justin Brady

as Vanessa Klein

as Shandra Wilson

as Tanihsa

as Concepcion

as Leonard Hood

as Mrs. Lamb

as Mrs. Adisa

as Old Woman in Tenemen...

as Beverly Wilson

as Alice Crowley

as Ernie the Electricia...

as Toussaint

as Mr. Klein

as New Times Reporter

as herself

as Naeem Adisa `Teen'

as DeSean `Teen'

as Guadalupe `Teen'

as Lucy `Teen'

as himself

as Guadalupe's Grandmot...

as Carnegie Hall Staff ...

as himself

as Naval Officer

as Man No. 1 with Sheet...

as herself

as himself

as Teammate No. 1

as Teammate No. 2

as Hall Boy

as Flight Attendant

as Janet's Secretary

as Himself

as Woman at Opus Meetin...
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Music of the Heart

All Critics (98) | Top Critics (23)

Meryl dominates the proceedings. She simply disappears into the role, and the movie, for all its educational impulses, becomes about watching her do it.

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

There really is a Roberta Guaspari, but this dull, wanly repetitive teacher movie fails to bring her story to life.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

One of the year's most heartfelt movies.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

It may be premature to think Craven just doesn't spark outside the horror genre, but there's nothing here to suggest the opposite.

January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Another utterly bland lump of Hollywood crapola.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Music of the Heart is nothing if not a change of pace, and, unfortunately, Craven doesn't appear entirely comfortable in these new surroundings.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Music of the Heart

There is a lot of dramatic credibility attached to this film, which isn't warranted. Yes, Meryl Streep is the lead and she received an Oscar nomination for the role, but this film is less dramatic than much more soapy. This film falls into the sub-genre of "white woman saves inner city children" which also includes "Freedom Writers" and "Dangerous Minds," and overdone and quite manipulative genre that needs to be done away with. You will either find this true story enlightening and sweet hearted or overly dramatic, based on taste or being able to stomach racially motivated storylines. Though, in general, I find these kinds of films tedious and over the top, the last half hour did make me well up. Real life music teacher Roberta Guaspari is inspirational, and her story is at least treated with respect. It is also interesting to note this is the only film Wes Craven has directed that has nothing to do with horror or sci-fi, and for those unaware of his finesse, this is a great showcase of his talents. This is an entertaining film, if a little overdone in its execution.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer


Inspiring true story with good acting and a compelling narrative. A nice change of pace from Wes Craven.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


it wasn't bad, despite the fact how much i despise the cliched inner city kids can do sports/be intelligent/sing/spell/play an instrument despite GREAT ODDS and there's always a random kid dying or doing drugs or something. and meryl streep is great at playing angry women.

Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

Music of the Heart Quotes

– Submitted by Alyssa B (3 years ago)

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