Benda Bilili! - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Benda Bilili! Reviews

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October 14, 2011
Benda Bilili! is one of those overpoweringly redemptive stories that would be dismissed as sentimental wish-dream fiction if it weren't real.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 14, 2011
Staff Benda Bilili's unlikely triumph is an epic feat, with or without anyone's help.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 14, 2011
From out of the gloom comes the hypnotic grooves of a band called Staff Benda Bilili. The name means "look beyond appearances," and the members of this remarkable musical collective do just that.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
October 14, 2011
The music speaks volumes about who they are and where they come from.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
October 14, 2011
Benda Belili! reminds us that we need to look beyond The X Factor to discover musical talent that strikes a deeper chord.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 6, 2011
"Benda Bilili!" earns its exclamation point. It's a feel-good movie that actually makes you feel good, a story that will have you shaking your head in astonishment and moving your feet to some unstoppable rhythms.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 3, 2011
The tenacity of the homeless musicians in bringing their music to life, with the filmmakers' help, is an inspiration.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
September 29, 2011
"Benda Bilili!" is brutally real, a document of willpower that shows not only the magic of transcendence - which may be fleeting - but also the transformation of aspiring to it, every struggling step of the way.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
September 29, 2011
This unsentimental, smartly assembled film is equally attentive to the cacophony of African poverty and the balm of harmony provided by these pied pipers of hope.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
September 27, 2011
See the film to glimpse something of the band's awesome stage show.
September 27, 2011
Given how manipulatively constructed this music doc is, even in its rawest moments, you still leave feeling like you've been played.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
September 27, 2011
...engrossing, often funny and always danceable. If you think you've got problems, watch what this extremely disadvantaged group of people are able to make of their lives and be humbled.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
September 25, 2011
Renaud Barret and Florent de La Tullaye's documentary falters by adopting too much of a celebratory tone.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 23, 2011
An intimate, shocking but ultimately exhilarating portrait of suffering and dignity.
March 22, 2011
[A] heartwarming, rough-and-ready Franco-Belgian documentary...
March 21, 2011
The film is a little short of information and details at times, but it's a compelling and inspiring story all the same.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
March 18, 2011
[A] genuinely uplifting documentary...
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
March 18, 2011
Bearing more than a passing resemblance to Slumdog Millionaire, it's every bit as heartwarming.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
March 18, 2011
The term "life-affirming" has lost its significance through overuse; this documentary restores us to its real meaning.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
March 17, 2011
If the journey feels a little stage-managed at times, the film's exuberant side-notes more than make amends, as the music itself plays out as an exuberant blend of blues and African rumba.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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