Life, Above All - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Life, Above All Reviews

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Roger Moore
Tribune News Service
January 11, 2013
A gripping African drama about a child who has to grow up too fast, who has to keep her family together and alive, and has come to terms with the AIDS stigma that her neighbors place on them.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
James Plath
Movie Metropolis
January 5, 2012
Art with heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
October 14, 2011
"Life, Above All" is an incredibly sad movie that never relies on sentimentality, and is as clear-eyed about the story as its forthright young heroine.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Kimberley Jones
Austin Chronicle
September 23, 2011
What makes it bearable but also beautiful and stirring is the central performance by the preteen, first-time actor Khomotso Manyaka.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Tony Macklin
September 9, 2011
Life, Above All is 100 minutes of grief and courage. The film shows how South Africans failed to accept and deal with the reality of AIDS. It's a provocative and depressing plot.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Josh Bell
Las Vegas Weekly
September 7, 2011
Manyaka brings grace and empathy to everything Chanda does, eliciting sympathy and understanding in spite of the movie's own awkwardness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Matt Pais
September 1, 2011
There are a lot of tears in Life, Above All, and they're all earned.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 1, 2011
"Life, Above All" earns the tears it inspires. The film is about deep human emotions, evoked with sympathy and love.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic
August 25, 2011
Perseverance is the theme of "Life, Above All," a drama that is deeply affecting, if also overwhelmingly bleak.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
August 19, 2011
There is less in-your-face grit in Cape Town-born director Oliver Schmitz's vision for this film than there is a careful pacing of somber revelations.
| Original Score: 3/4
Justin Strout
Orlando Weekly
August 17, 2011
Manyaka's performance is jaw dropping, entirely earning the neat little bow that the movie seems determined to put on top of her mission.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 12, 2011
In such a bleak story, the redemptive ending seems rushed and unconvincing, but director Oliver Schmitz has sent us a timely dispatch from a forgotten corner of the world that is honest above all.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Sarah Boslaugh
August 11, 2011
There are so many things I like about Life, Above All that I'm willing to forgive its minor flaws...
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 5, 2011
This is a heartening story of resilience told without false uplift. It is hopeful without being mawkish, realistic but not oppressive.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
August 5, 2011
This is most definitely a femme film but is also world class filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
August 5, 2011
"Life, Above All," a deeply moving South African drama about AIDS and ostracism, manages to be, paradoxically, both austere and uplifting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
August 5, 2011
It feels like a peek into another world.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
August 4, 2011
If [its] allegorical underpinnings blur the film's edges, the performances bring it back into focus.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Alexandra Cavallo
Boston Phoenix
August 3, 2011
A grave, quietly moving coming-of-age tale of a young girl raised in a village where many (her infant sister, in this case) are robbed of the opportunity to come of age at all...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Laura Clifford
Reeling Reviews
July 31, 2011
...the film should be a Mother's Day standard...
Full Review | Original Score: B
Elise Nakhnikian
House Next Door
June 18, 2011
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