Viva Riva! Reviews

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Chris Chang
Film Comment Magazine
November 7, 2013

Meet Riva (the spectacular Patsha Bay), a man who thrives on scarcity: he smuggles gas, and has recently come upon a mother lode-which becomes, of course, a powder keg.

Dominic Corry
January 5, 2012

The alien environment makes Viva Riva! a fascinating watch.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Simon Foster
October 17, 2011

The film looks and feels like another Pulp Fiction clone at times, but what emerges is a far more thoughtful work that makes important (and surprisingly) salient points about the humanistic struggles of developing countries.

Andrew L. Urban
Urban Cinefile
October 1, 2011

Both exotic and engaging, with an earthy edge. But it also has a sophisticated side

Kam Williams
September 24, 2011

Worth checking out just based on the rarity of a movie with an empathetic black protagonist even being made about the Congo. The un-Tarzan!

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
August 18, 2011

A slick, exciting, well-made crime thriller, dripping with atmosphere.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Liz Braun
Jam! Movies
August 5, 2011

What Munga has to say in this feature directorial debut is delivered via a quick-paced, gritty crime story that is both entertaining and enlightening.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Radheyan Simonpillai
NOW Toronto
August 5, 2011

A wild and seductive crime thriller, Viva Riva! is a promising early step for Congolese pulp cinema.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
Top Critic
August 4, 2011

It feels so raw and urgent and real.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Sarah Boslaugh
July 22, 2011

Antoine Roch's digital photography is one of the film's strong points-it takes you right into the action from the opening scene...

Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic
July 21, 2011

Pulsing with polyglot music and outlaw vigor, "Viva Riva!" is a raucous reply to the new world order.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
July 8, 2011

Patsha Bay plays the macho title character, but the film belongs to sultry Manie Malone as the dancehall diva he aims to steal from the top mob boss. She makes even the act of applying lipstick spark with erotic electricity.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
July 8, 2011

There's a ton of stuff going on in "Viva Riva!" but it's always willing to pause for a steamy sex scene.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic
July 7, 2011

"Viva Riva!" has its cake and eats it, too. Shoots it to pieces, actually.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Tom Meek
Boston Phoenix
July 6, 2011

Riva's a gritty get-down that'll hit you in the gut.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Anthony Quinn
July 1, 2011

Writer-director Djo Munga brings Kinshasa to rumbustious life, and should he devote the same attention to character and dialogue he may be a talent to reckon with.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Marty Mapes
Movie Habit
June 30, 2011

Congolese gangster film goes in too many directions at once

Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
June 29, 2011

The only thing this talented young filmmaker can be accused of is being too ambitious with a multi-threaded story that starts at a fever pitch and keeps it up for 98 minutes.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Laura Clifford
Reeling Reviews
June 29, 2011

...despite the bloody fates awaiting most of his cast, Munga's film has an oddly upbeat vibe.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics
June 28, 2011

New cinema from the new Congo. Suspend disbelief a bit for this one.

Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
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