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Viva Riva! Reviews

Page 1 of 3
Chris Chang
Film Comment Magazine

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.

Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine

November 7, 2013
Dominic Corry

The alien environment makes Viva Riva! a fascinating watch.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3/5

January 5, 2012
Simon Foster

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.

Full Review Source:

October 17, 2011
Andrew L. Urban
Urban Cinefile

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

Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile

October 1, 2011
Kam Williams

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 Source: NewsBlaze | Original Score: 3/4

September 24, 2011
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 18, 2011
Liz Braun
Jam! Movies

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 Source: Jam! Movies | Original Score: 3.5/5

August 5, 2011
Radheyan Simonpillai
NOW Toronto

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

Full Review Source: NOW Toronto | Original Score: 3/5

August 5, 2011
Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It feels so raw and urgent and real.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

August 4, 2011
Sarah Boslaugh

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 Source: Playback:stl | Original Score: 7/10

July 22, 2011
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 3/4

July 21, 2011
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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 Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

July 8, 2011
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

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 Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 3/4

July 8, 2011
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 7, 2011
Tom Meek
Boston Phoenix

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

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

July 6, 2011
Anthony Quinn

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 Source: Independent | Original Score: 2/5

July 1, 2011
Marty Mapes
Movie Habit

Congolese gangster film goes in too many directions at once

Full Review Source: Movie Habit

June 30, 2011
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews

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 Source: Reeling Reviews | Original Score: B

June 29, 2011
Laura Clifford
Reeling Reviews

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

Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews | Original Score: B

June 29, 2011
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics

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

Full Review Source: Monsters and Critics | Original Score: 7/10

June 28, 2011
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