The Secret Disco Revolution Reviews

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Dean Essner
Slant Magazine
June 24, 2013
It bows fully to hedonism in lieu of all the scholarly theories on disco's lasting impact-a tidy but gutless way of tying together so many disparate arguments by such disparate people.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
David DeWitt
New York Times
June 28, 2013
Faddish taste may be interesting for some, but for others it will devolve into the banal, as cultural history as well as entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Glenn Dunks
Glenn Dunks
September 5, 2013
While there is plenty of interest in Kastner's documentary, anybody with more than a passing knowledge of the disco era will know most of it already.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
July 4, 2013
Ripe subject, ridiculous movie.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
June 27, 2013
Mostly, it's content to let major figures chitchat for a bit without digging any deeper into what they're saying or connecting it to anything else.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
June 28, 2013
"The Secret Disco Revolution" laughably fails to turn Barry White and Donna Summer into the Che Guevara and Emma Goldman of the dance floor.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Time Out
June 25, 2013
Kastner's history is simplistic, his pacing is glacial and his film is laboriously constructed ...
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
June 27, 2013
Less talk, more shake your booty.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times
June 27, 2013
The movie feels like a flakey, off-the-cuff blog post that somehow transmogrified itself into a feature-length documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Todd Jorgenson
Cinemalogue.com
July 22, 2013
It's a thorough but strained attempt to be provocative.
David Noh
Film Journal International
June 27, 2013
Despite an impressive array of important interviewees...again and again, throughout the film, the narrator and unfortunate directorial choices produce a vapidity akin to that which disco was accused of by its detractors.
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 27, 2013
With the right group of friends and the right amount to drink it could be a rowdy good time. Without intoxicants, it's a gimmicky joke that drags on too long.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 26, 2012
As you shimmy through the world of disco, you start to believe in its subversive nature.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
June 27, 2013
There's silliness, too, but the facts turn the beat around.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Brian Orndorf
Blu-ray.com
June 27, 2013
Actually quite valuable as a document of the era, interviewing those who stood (and boogied) on the front line, amassing an eye-opening tale of greed, lust, and burgeoning confidence.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Kent Turner
Film-Forward.com
July 10, 2013
Much will be familiar, though this is the first time I've heard that the original discotheques came about in France under the Nazi Occupation.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Leba Hertz
San Francisco Chronicle
June 27, 2013
"The Secret Disco Revolution," claims that the steady "four on the floor" beat was the reason for the liberation of gays, African Americans and women. And oddly, in a blend of humorous and dead serious storytelling, director James Kastner makes his case.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ernest Hardy
Village Voice
June 25, 2013
The film isn't as smart on the issue of race as it needs to be, and its feminist read of the music and scene feels forced in places, but as an entry-level conversation starter, it gets the job done.
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
June 27, 2013
The veil is lifted on this secret movement, one that everyone else thought was just about dancing and doing coke.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Marc Mohan
Oregonian
June 28, 2013
Disco scholars convincingly analyze lyrics and fashions as presenting bold expressions of sexuality and democratic hedonism, while Kastner doesn't skimp on the vintage clips, which range from unintentionally hilarious to surprisingly impressive.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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