Hava Nagila: The Movie - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hava Nagila: The Movie Reviews

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Top Critic
Farran Smith Nehme
New York Post
March 1, 2013
What you get is an awful lot of filler, including every performer who ever sang "Hava Nagila," from Harry Belafonte to Glen Campbell using it as the flip side to "True Grit."
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Kalvin Henely
Slant Magazine
February 26, 2013
The doc can at times feel like you're wasting your time on a subject you might wish you had only accidentally crossed paths with briefly on Wikipedia.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
February 26, 2013
Patronizing from toe to chin, the film opts continually for self-congratulation and cheesy aphorism, and could've-should've been comfortable slotted into a half hour of airtime on TJC.
Jamie S. Rich
July 25, 2013
The film is alternately fascinating and entertaining, though you'll likely be sick of hearing the familiar melody by the time it's through.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
May 3, 2013
Thankfully there are enough eloquent talking heads to keep this watchable.
Roger Moore
Movie Nation
February 21, 2013
A playful and fun history of the Hebrew "Hokey Pokey."
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
February 28, 2013
Grossman finds lively, often passionate and funny interpreters - among them rabbis, historians, musicologists and klezmer musicians - to guide us through the song's many transformations.
Nell Minow
April 25, 2013
It is annoying, frustrating, embarrassing, and irresistible, which makes it a perfect Rorschach test and intriguing metaphor for contemporary Jewish identity.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Fr. Chris Carpenter
Movie Dearest
March 5, 2013
Fun and illuminating...The movie as well as the song serve as fitting, entertaining testaments to the resilience of the Jewish people.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Nora Lee Mandel
March 2, 2013
Entertainingly traces the origins of the ubiquitous song and how it became worldwide kitsch [but] gets wearyingly redundant like a party that has gone on too long.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Avi Offer
NYC Movie Guru
February 28, 2013
One of those rare, crowd-pleasing documentaries that compels you to tap your toes and leaves you with a great big smile on your face from ear to ear upon exiting the theater.
Full Review | Original Score: 8.0/10
Kam Williams
February 28, 2013
Everything you ever wanted to know about Hava Nagila but were afraid to ask, except:: 'What's the deal with the ritual of raising a chair in the air like you don't care?'
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Stephen Silver
May 20, 2013
The film isn't slick and doesn't have the greatest production values I've ever seen, but it's still an enjoyable romp through the history of a great song.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Mark R. Leeper
Mark Leeper's Reviews
March 11, 2013
As one interviewee says the song "is a melody that evokes new life, hope, and joy." The song does that and so does HAVA NAGILA (THE MOVIE).
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Top Critic
Rachel Saltz
New York Times
February 28, 2013
The filmmakers mix the playful and serious, with only occasional lapses.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
March 1, 2013
Even the occasional bad jokes feel like part of this story.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
March 7, 2013
The attitude is so much fun and the story so involving that a little naches is forgivable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times
March 14, 2013
It's a fun, nostalgic, informative journey.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Phil Hall
Film Threat
February 26, 2013
Grossman deserves kudos for this unique nonfiction celebration of a timeless musical favorite. And as I never get to say in my Episcopalian church services: Mazel Tov!
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics
March 22, 2013
What does it mean? Do we really care? We should.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
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