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Sounds Like Teen Spirit (2009)

Sounds Like Teen Spirit


Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

No Score Yet...
Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 226


Movie Info

The hopes and dreams of aspiring musicians competing in the junior version of the Eurovision Song Contest serve as the emotional core of this behind the scenes look at one of Europe's hottest television contests. The rules are just the same as the Eurovision Song Contest with one key difference - the songs performed by the junior entrants must be entirely original compositions, not cover tunes. As the competition heats up, eager musicians and groups descend upon Rotterdam to compete in the … More

Musical & Performing Arts , Documentary
Directed By:
In Theaters:


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Critic Reviews for Sounds Like Teen Spirit

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (3)

Johnson serves the story well and strikes a welcome tone by taking his subjects just seriously enough. Very enjoyable - but no more than an extended 'Pop Idol' for cinema.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

Johnson's film is meant to be a heartwarming and funny look at young dreamers and the realities of their lives. But there's something distasteful in portraying these kids as lovable losers.

Full Review… | May 13, 2009
Sunday Times (UK)

This is another moderately interesting documentary following some obscure competition in which there will be grieving losers, exultant winners and little widespread acclaim.

Full Review… | May 13, 2009
Observer [UK]

Johnson never hits on a story that's worth telling, and his arch interjections about the contest marking the end of war in Europe hit all the wrong notes. Where's Terry Wogan when you need him?

Full Review… | May 13, 2009
Independent on Sunday

This is a warm and very funny film that completely wins us over as it progresses.

Full Review… | May 13, 2009
Shadows on the Wall

A cast of cute kids and quirky teens make for an unorthodox but endearing documentary.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009
Empire Magazine

It is physically impossible to emerge from this film wearing anything other than a smile as big as an upside-down rainbow. Congratulations - and jubilations!

Full Review… | May 8, 2009

The documentary Sounds Like Teen Spirit has a thoroughly dismal premise but it is a remarkable and deeply affecting watch.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009
Times [UK]

An entertaining, if slight, documentary about the Junior Eurovision song contest, which has the same trappings of wholesome glitz and polite nationalism that distinguishes the grown-up version.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009

Director Jamie Jay Johnson has hit gold with his subjects, and it's heartening how much he focuses on the ones with actual talent.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009
Daily Telegraph

An exquisitely poignant, hilarious and uplifting reminder of the power of music, and cinema, to enrich your life.

May 8, 2009
Little White Lies

The world could do with some feelgood fun at the moment, and this is utterly infectious - a total joy.

May 8, 2009
Heat Magazine

The feeling of unity and pride pierces even the hardest heart, particularly as many of these kids have experienced devastating conflicts in their homeland.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009
Sky Movies

Gooey tunes and rampant primary colours can't scupper the slick yet guileless crowdpleasing of Jamie J Johnson's debut doc. We might giggle and gag on the garish Euro-pop, but Johnson gets us on-side with winning, grinning empathy.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009
Total Film

The children dominate the film, and their openness and enthusiasm overwhelm any latent cynicism.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009
Uncut Magazine [UK]

Filled with backstage tears and onstage triumph, the film neatly captures the sheer awkwardness of being a youngster. Go see.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009
Daily Mirror [UK]

This toe-tappingly energetic documentary is a real delight as it traces the talent and traumas of Euro kids as they strive for musical success. It is affectionate, amusing and thoroughly charming - the kids are genuinely thoughtful and engaging.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009
Sunday Mirror [UK]

Director Jamie Jay Johnson tries to lend his project some gravitas by contrasting this friendly competition with Europe's warring past. But that smells like b******* because, essentially, this is like watching X Factor highlights.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009
Sun Online

Sounds Like Teen Spirit has its share of emotional manipulation but this documentary on the Junior Eurovision leaves one saddened by so much hope, enthusiasm, ambition and energy expended on such a tacky concept.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009
Financial Times

is the humanity of the youngsters and the hopes of their families that win your heart rather than Johnson's attempts to say anything meaningful about Eurovision's contribution to peace between nations in modern Europe. Good fun.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009
Daily Express

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