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The Punk Singer Reviews

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Malcolm Jack
The List

Leaves you wishing there were more musicians of any sex who embrace rock's potency for smashing cultural boundaries with such power and personality as this one did in her fearless prime.

Full Review Source: The List | Original Score: 4/5

March 19, 2014
David McGinty
The Skinny

The Punk Singer takes us back to the era when manifestos were spread in underground fanzines.

Full Review Source: The Skinny | Original Score: 4/5

March 6, 2014
Jonathan Kiefer
SF Weekly

Anderson's movie, like Hanna's music, is raw and propulsive, anti-indifferent.

Full Review Source: SF Weekly

February 4, 2014
Kevin Jagernauth
The Playlist

Finally giving Hanna the proper due she deserves, the solid, well-calibrated, leanly composed...and highly enjoyable The Punk Singer brings dimension & real shape to a band, era and scene that is often compartmentalized into one or two categories.

Full Review Source: The Playlist | Original Score: B+

December 13, 2013
Bruce Ingram
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's the music, though, including a wealth of galvanic performance footage from the Bikinis, particularly, that really makes this worth seeing. It's killer stuff indeed.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

December 13, 2013
John Wirt
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)

A more fawning than illuminating documentary about the Bikini Kill and riot grrrl movement co-founder.

Full Review Source: Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA) | Original Score: 2/4

December 13, 2013
Marsha McCreadie

It is not the most subtly layered documentary I've ever seen, but these days it's no longer verboten to take a stance in docs. And there is so much to be admired about Hanna.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 13, 2013
Stephanie Merry
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The way Hanna burst onto the scene is just as interesting as how she faded from it.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3/4

December 12, 2013
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie succeeds as a punk chronicle by focusing on a true believer who was lionized by many but who turned out to be only human.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

December 12, 2013
Matt Pais

Limited assessment, unbridled voice.

Full Review Source: RedEye | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 12, 2013
Violet Lucca
Film Comment Magazine

The contradiction between status-quo film style and punk-rock subject never comes close to being resolved, but then Hanna herself is a bundle of contradictions.

Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine

December 9, 2013
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

...tracks the trajectory of Kathleen Hanna, the All-American Riot Grrrl who, after fronting the feminist punk band Bikini Kill and the feminist pop band Le Tigre, seemingly dropped out of sight in 2005

Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Original Score: 88/100

December 7, 2013
Al Alexander
The Patriot Ledger

If 'riot grrl' founder Kathleen Hanna weren't married to Beastie Boy Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz, I doubt a fawning, unobjective documentary like 'The Punk Singer' would even exist.

Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger | Original Score: C-

December 6, 2013
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle

The Punk Singer (and the formation of the Julie Ruin) offers a welcome return to, if not the fray, then certainly the front - where, as every rebel girl worth her combat boots knows, girls belong.

Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle | Original Score: 3.5/5

December 6, 2013
Jeff Albertson
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"The Punk Singer" is a revealing look at Hanna's life, who throughout the film is willing to speak out about her struggles and triumphs in an open and honest way.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 5, 2013
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Where are the riot-grrrls of today? Take your daughters to the movie, then ask them.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

December 5, 2013
Joe Gross
Austin American-Statesman

The Punk Singer shows you that even the toughest, most heroic artists sometimes need a break, but the battle is always worth getting up and fighting again.

Full Review Source: Austin American-Statesman | Original Score: A-

December 5, 2013
Marc Mohan

Director Sini Anderson compiles interviews with Hanna and her husband, Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz, as well as archival footage, into an admiring portrait of a sometimes combative figure.

Full Review Source: Oregonian | Original Score: B

December 3, 2013
Noel Murray
The Dissolve

The Punk Singer is assembled well, moving efficiently through the most important pieces of Hanna's biography...while Hanna and her friends explain the significance.

Full Review Source: The Dissolve | Original Score: 3.5/5

December 2, 2013
Laura Clifford
Reeling Reviews

Even if you don't enjoy the music, it will be hard not to come away from this celebratory work without admiration for a woman who keeps climbing back, a creative force to be reckoned with.

Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews | Original Score: B+

November 30, 2013
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