Rising From Ashes, a film produced by Project Rwanda and funded by its donors, is little more than an 82-minute fundraising pitch.
| Original Score: 1/5
A film that lacks complex human dimension to fill out this likable if promotional tale of good will and achievement.
| Original Score: 2/5
Sports provide a path for redemption for both athletes and coaches in Rising From Ashes, a documentary whose power is diminished by uneven storytelling.
| Original Score: C+
Though the subject inspires, Johnstone's treatment lacks focus and edge, falling back on platitudes, sentiment, and generalities when clarity is what is needed.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Rising from Ashes is not just about a cycling team; it's a testament to what happens when human beings care for one another.
File it under the subgenre 'feel-good documentary.' Rising from Ashes is simple, direct and ultimately uplifting.
| Original Score: 3/5
The sincerity and simplicity of the film ... lift it somewhat above the ordinary run.
The movie crafts genuine drama from a nail-biter of an Olympic-qualifying race and authentic pathos from footage of Rwandans watching the Games' opening ceremony on television.
The race footage is everything a cycling addict, or even a casual admirer, could hope for.
An inspirational illustration of how the Olympics came to serve as a unifying step in terms of exorcising the demons ever haunting Rwanda's grisly killing fields.
| Original Score: 3/4
Ashes is joyous and uplifting, full of spirit, memorable athletes (including Olympian Adrien Niyonshuti) and remarkable achievements, both big and small.
A few gaps in the narrative do little to tarnish the impact of this stirring tale, which offers big heart and quick feet to those in the mood for a story that reinforces the power of the human spirit.
| Original Score: B
This team [Team Rwanda]...had something to prove and T.C. Johnstone does a solid job in chronicling their journey from the bottom to the top of their sport.
| Original Score: B-
...the story behind Rising from Ashes is so moving and compelling that the documentary's shortcomings seem inconsequential.
Its story line is as positive and affirmative as the title indicates, but it turns out there are dramas going on in this documentary that you wouldn't initially suspect.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
This feel-good sports doc brings a little-known story to compelling life.
Engaging personalities and lively, good-looking assembly make T.C. Johnstone's inspirational sports docu a crowdpleaser.
This is an inspiring tale of a nation, and a man, not wanting to be judged by past misdeeds.
Essentially a sports documentary with the look and feel of an ESPN program, "Rising from Ashes" nevertheless has broad, inspirational appeal on a human level.