Alive Inside (2014)


Critic Consensus: It's somewhat clumsily expressed, but Alive Inside offers such an uplifting message that it's ultimately hard to resist.


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Alive Inside is a joyous cinematic exploration of music's capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. His camera reveals the uniquely human connection we find in music and how its healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short. This stirring documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music's ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it. Rossato-Bennett visits family members who have witnessed the miraculous effects of personalized music on their loved ones, and offers illuminating interviews with experts including renowned neurologist and best-selling author Oliver Sacks (Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain) and musician Bobby McFerrin ("Don't Worry, Be Happy"). An uplifting cinematic exploration of music and the mind, Alive Inside's inspirational and emotional story left audiences humming, clapping and cheering at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award. (c) Bond/360

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Critic Reviews for Alive Inside

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (18)

Music here seems to have a miraculous power to lift up, to awaken, to reinvigorate.

Aug 21, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4

Equal parts heart-wrenching and heart-lifting ...

Aug 14, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

I would have preferred a documentary that did more presenting and less pushing. But...the music's vivifying effect on old souls made for some of the most moving scenes I've seen all year.

Aug 7, 2014 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

The movie effectively bullies you into feeling good; with its hard sell and superfluous CG imagery, it might as well be a superhero movie.

Aug 7, 2014 | Full Review…

The movie is at its best when documenting the reactions of various patients, which in some cases is nearly miraculous.

Aug 7, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Alive Inside is a small but vibrant miracle. The documentary finds hope and joy in one of our nation's bleakest settings, nursing homes.

Aug 1, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4

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