The Punk Singer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Punk Singer Reviews

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Al Alexander
The Patriot Ledger
December 6, 2013
If 'riot grrl' founder Kathleen Hanna weren't married to Beastie Boy Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz, I doubt a fawning, unobjective documentary like 'The Punk Singer' would even exist.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Drew Hunt
Slant Magazine
November 26, 2013
The film may be another unimaginative fan letter, but at least Kathleen Hannah is worthy of such devotion.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Violet Lucca
Film Comment Magazine
December 9, 2013
The contradiction between status-quo film style and punk-rock subject never comes close to being resolved, but then Hanna herself is a bundle of contradictions.
Top Critic
Nicolas Rapold
New York Times
November 28, 2013
Ms. Hanna and her message of empowerment are disappointingly translated very nearly into a cult of personality in this film's idolizing portrayal.
Matt Pais
December 12, 2013
Limited assessment, unbridled voice.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
John Wirt
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
December 13, 2013
A more fawning than illuminating documentary about the Bikini Kill and riot grrrl movement co-founder.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jared Mobarak
The Film Stage
June 21, 2016
The Punk Singer is as much a document of Kathleen Hanna's career as it is a public explanation for the truth behind her early retirement.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Aine O'Connor
Sunday Independent (Ireland)
May 30, 2014
This blast from the past is strangely timely.
Top Critic
Kyle Ryan
AV Club
November 28, 2013
A little more distance could have been beneficial, but The Punk Singer is enlightening regardless.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Austin Trunick
Under the Radar
August 18, 2014
The Punk Singer works ... as an eye-witness account of an important movement in feminist art; it's a film as vibrant and as vital as [Hanna's] music.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Malcolm Jack
The List
March 19, 2014
Leaves you wishing there were more musicians of any sex who embrace rock's potency for smashing cultural boundaries with such power and personality as this one did in her fearless prime.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Meredith Borders
April 3, 2013
THE PUNK SINGER is unnegotiated truth, a frank and exhilarating portrayal of a legend.
Jon Lyus
May 22, 2014
The Punk Singer is the sort of film that makes you want to shriek with a hectic muddle of rage, adoration and passion! A must-see piece of cinema.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Inkoo Kang
Los Angeles Times
November 28, 2013
Fascinatingly traces the evolution of a woman who once sang, "I'm your worst nightmare come to life" in her youth, was hated at a formative age for all the wrong reasons and now has forged a quiet but committed existence as an ailing revolutionary.
Sophie Monks Kaufman
Little White Lies
May 22, 2014
A rousing celebration of the creative and political life of outspoken Riot grrrl icon, Kathleen Hanna.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Jeff Albertson
Seattle Times
December 5, 2013
"The Punk Singer" is a revealing look at Hanna's life, who throughout the film is willing to speak out about her struggles and triumphs in an open and honest way.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
David McGinty
The Skinny
March 6, 2014
The Punk Singer takes us back to the era when manifestos were spread in underground fanzines.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
June 6, 2014
This hagiographic ode to the quintessential 90s riot grrrl is by no means definitive, but there's a welcome rallying cry to all wannabe revolutionary rockers hidden within the bio-doc blather.
Lisa Williams
Electric Sheep
May 23, 2014
[An] affectionate, bordering on hagiographic, film.
Siobhan Synnot
May 19, 2014
A fascinating, affectionate profile with Hanna's husband and former Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz, singer Joan Jett and music writer Kim Gordon in the queue to pay tribute to the riotous grrrl.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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