Rejoice & Shout - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Rejoice & Shout Reviews

Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 8, 2011
The challenge in creating a historical nonfiction music film is getting the right balance of information and song; McGlynn wisely stressed the music.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
June 23, 2011
If you don't know gospel music, really know it, you are missing out on a lot, but don't lose faith. "Rejoice and Shout," a vibrant and comprehensive new documentary will take you there in style.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Dan DeLuca
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 23, 2011
A relentlessly chronological, talking-head documentary that sets itself the impossible task of telling the whole rousing, spirit-lifting story of African American Christian music from slavery till now.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
June 17, 2011
As both musical and educational experience, Rejoice and Shout offers plenty of reason to do just that.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
David Malitz
Washington Post
June 17, 2011
Ends up being far from authoritative and misses some key opportunities to dig deep into intriguing characters and issues.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
June 16, 2011
A consistently entertaining documentary bringing together a remarkable variety of surviving performances on films and records, going back to circa 1900.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
June 11, 2011
There have been other terrific documentaries about gospel, but this is the first gospel film to draw on an incalculably rich archive of material going back more than 100 years.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Andrew Dansby
Houston Chronicle
June 9, 2011
Footage from that golden era still makes Rejoice & Shout worthwhile, from the groups that created variations on the barbershop quartets to competing ensembles from the South that were formed at schools for the blind. It is moving stuf.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
June 8, 2011
Don McGlynn's gospel documentary takes a gratifyingly comprehensive look at an ecstatic American art form.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
June 3, 2011
Ultimately, the movie's dry structure is irrelevant: after two hours in the company of singers like the Soul Stirrers, Rosetta Tharpe, and Mahalia Jackson, you'll leave feeling exalted no matter what.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
June 3, 2011
Archival footage of such acts as the Staple Singers and Mahalia Jackson is thrown together with largely trivial interviews with such talking heads as veteran singers and historians.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
June 2, 2011
Your religion or lack of one doesn't matter. At some point while watching the film, you may feel that music is God, or if not, a close approximation of divinity.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Noel Murray
AV Club
June 2, 2011
It's all loosely assembled, with less of an eye toward storytelling and more of a rambling "and then Mahalia Jackson came along" approach.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Sam Adams
Time Out
June 1, 2011
It's astonishing how little this time capsule adds to its phenomenal source material. You might even call it a miracle.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
May 31, 2011
The best bits -- the powerful instrument called Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, for example -- more than speak for themselves.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
May 27, 2011
A splendid if exhausting journey through the history of gospel music reaching back nearly two centuries.