The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble

Critics Consensus

The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble offers a thrilling and too-rare glimpse of art's power to bridge personal and cultural divides.

84%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 55

84%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,272
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Movie Info

From the director of the Oscar (R)-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom and the critically acclaimed Best of Enemies, the new film The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble tells the extraordinary story of the renowned international musical collective created by legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The feature-length documentary follows this group of diverse instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers as they explore the power of music to preserve tradition, shape cultural evolution and inspire hope.

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Critic Reviews for The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (46) | Rotten (9)

  • There's an implicit tension between Ma's laid-back manner and the driven perfectionist we know he must be, but the film has limited scope to explore this, sticking as it does to a glossy, advertorial mode.

    Jan 11, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Earnest and occasionally engrossing.

    Nov 17, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • It's admirably high-minded, and internationalism and openness have never been needed more. But I must admit to finding this ... not complacent exactly, but perhaps too serenely self-regarding.

    Nov 17, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Neville never really convinces us that the beauty of the Silk Road's performances can change the world, but he does show that the music has changed the world of the performers themselves.

    Jul 8, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Commendable intentions be damned; one can't hear the music for the self-applauding.

    Jul 1, 2016 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • What drives the narrative is the musicians' mutual desire to forge meaningful connections across cultures, an affirmative answer to Leonard Bernstein's question of whether music can truly serve as a "universal language."

    Jun 29, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble

  • Oct 12, 2016
    It lacks enough music and a clear focus, as it tries to talk about too many things at the same time and only becomes scattered, but at least the musicians' personal stories make it worth it and the movie is always lifted when it focuses on them and their relationship with music.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2016
    An interesting look at an array of performers gathered by Yo Yo Ma in a grand experiment which could easily have gone off the rails but instead turns into something quite delightful.
    John B Super Reviewer

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