Music from the Big House - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Music from the Big House Reviews

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August 22, 2017
I've rarely seen a prison film with so little anger, bitterness, and resentment on display.
September 27, 2014
The philosophical and therapeutic value of Chiarelli's mission remains intact, but the moment Music from the Big House reveals its manipulation, it immediately deflates.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
September 12, 2012
How do we reconcile the horror of their crimes with the humanity of their music? "Big House" could have gone much deeper in tackling this question, but it does open the door.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
July 11, 2012
Music from the Big House middles along as a formless, touristy showcase for Chiarelli.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
June 15, 2012
Even with a gripping subject like blues-singing convicts, the documentary "Music from the Big House" has a disconcerting emotional distance.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
June 5, 2012
Don't look for Elvis in this stark musical doc set in a maximum security prison.
June 3, 2012
[It] gets across a general notion of music as universal solace. But the filmmakers hesitate at going deeper into the dark places of the prisoners' biographies and the storied prison itself.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
May 29, 2012
It finally feels too cautious, as if digging a little deeper might compromise the prevailing tone of tentative uplift.
April 5, 2012
McDonald's film ultimately boils down to being just another competent but slightly dull prison doc, albeit a toe-tapping one.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
April 4, 2011
The performances are fun, if musically only adequate -- there are no evident virtuosi languishing within Angola's walls -- and Chiarelli's attempts to frame matters philosophically fall a little flat.
March 25, 2011
This is utterly sincere, and there is lasting value in getting violent men to turn their energies to peaceful expression: "When you're singing, you're not angry," Chiarelli says.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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