American Harmony (2009)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This quirky documentary follows four quartets as they prepare for and participate in the International Championships of Barbershop Singing, a major event for the hopefuls who compete for the title with old timey harmonies and style.
Documentary , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
In Theaters:


Critic Reviews for American Harmony

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (3)

if you can get past the cutesy mugging and preening onstage, you may find the true creative talent refreshing.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

American Harmony is a successful greatest hits compilation of top-level performances of recent years; but that makes you want it to be so much more.

Full Review… | November 19, 2009
Detroit News
Top Critic

The documentary gives too brief an introduction to the basics of barbershop and doesn't tell us how most of the singers got hooked. It does capture the intensity and the personalities of the competition -- and it makes us care who wins.

Full Review… | June 17, 2009
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

American Harmony is the Pumping Iron of barbershop quartet singing.

Full Review… | June 19, 2009

Audience Reviews for American Harmony

I love this sort of documentary. When I read a review comparing it to "King Of Kong" I had to see it. From the beginning, I was swept up in a world completely unfamiliar to me. I found my favorites and rooted for them, enjoyed the background stories on competitors and watching the big competitions. At one point, I even teared a bit - something I didn't expect at all. The story of the international barbershop competition is well-crafted, providing great insight into the personal and creative lives of the competitors without getting bogged down by detail. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the music and appreciated the balance between watching performances and spending time backstage or at home with the characters. I'm glad I took a chance on "American Harmony" and liked it enough to watch it again.

Movie Maven
Movie Maven

OK, confession time: I sing in a chorus (not in a quartet presently), so I love barbershop harmony. Aengus James and his cameras cleverly caught the spirit of this American art form on this DVD documentary. Particularly enjoyed the overall high quality for this "budget" movie. Reproducing an a cappella performance electronically requires some pretty decent equipment, and Aengus did us justice. Enjoyed the movie so much I watched it back-to-back -- second time with director's commentary, and all the way to the end of the credits! Proud to be a barbershopper.

Dennis Brannon
Dennis Brannon

Exciting! The recreation of the competitions had all of the excitement of the actual competitions. (I was at two of them.) It made me want to see the movie continue on to subsequent competitions. I hope that they can continue this project. The 2009 competition was even more exciting than the previous ones, judging by both the crowd reaction and the scoring.

Shelley Herman
Shelley Herman

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