The Sapphires

2013

The Sapphires

Critics Consensus

While it's plenty predictable and sentimental, The Sapphires also has an irresistible feel-good vibe, winning music and charming performances to spare.

91%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 135

76%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,262

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

76%
Average Rating: 3.8/5

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Movie Info

Inspired by a true story, THE SAPPHIRES follows four vivacious, young and talented Australian Aboriginal girls from a remote mission as they learn about love, friendship and war when their all girl group The Sapphires entertains the U.S. troops in Vietnam in 1968. Cynthia (Tapsell), Gail (Mailman), Julie (Mauboy) and Kay (Sebbens) are discovered by Dave (O'Dowd), a good-humored talent scout with a kind heart, very little rhythm but a great knowledge of soul music. As their manager, Dave books the sisters their first true gig giving them their first taste of stardom, and travels them to Vietnam to sing for the American troops. (c) Weinstein

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Cast

Chris O'Dowd
as Dave Lovelace
Kylie Belling
as Geraldine
Lynette Narkle
as Nanny Theresa
Donald Battee
as Myron Ritchie
TJ Power
as Lt. Jensen
Miah Madden
as Young Julie
Nioka Brennan
as Young Kay
Koby Murray
as Baby Hartley
Hunter Page-Lochard
as Stevie Kayne
Meyne Wyatt
as Jimmy Middleton
Tom Whitechurch
as Young Tommy
Barry Southgate
as Singing Sailor
Rhys Muldoon
as Uncle Ed
A. Spencer Davis
as Singing Sailor
Rodney Todd
as Ed's Bass Player
Eric Rasmussen
as Ed's Guitarist
Julian Bel Bachir
as Ed's Drummer
Clarence Thane
as Bruce the Handyman
Merelyn Anderson
as Major Wicks
Kim Quyen
as Myron's Girl
Hai Thao
as Seamstress
Hoang Hiep
as Seamstress's Son
Stuart Christie
as Government Official
Quan Tran
as Vietcong Commander
Wayne McDaniel
as Lou McGarrick
Beau Brady
as Marine Sergeant
Sam North
as Young Marine
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News & Interviews for The Sapphires

Critic Reviews for The Sapphires

All Critics (135) | Top Critics (37)

  • This charming Australian import has a groove much like other low-key, let's-put-on-a-show indies such as Hear My Song and The Commitments, and never uses its social conscience as simply backbeat.

    Jan 1, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The harmonies they strike in this reality-inspired charmer are sweetly sublime.

    Apr 5, 2013 | Rating: 3/4
  • You could drive an Abrams tank through the film's plot holes, but you'll likely be too busy enjoying yourself to bother.

    Apr 5, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • "The Sapphires" feels like a movie you've already seen, but it's nonetheless thoroughly enjoyable, like a pop song that's no less infectious when you know every word.

    Apr 4, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Sapphires is hardly a cinematic diamond mine. But this Commitments-style mashup of music and melodrama manages to entertain without demanding too much of its audience.

    Apr 4, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It's pure joy.

    Apr 4, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Sapphires

½

Infectious "bio" about real life aboriginal girl band, popular with the soldiers in Vietnam while the U.S. was embroiled in that conflict there during the late 1960's. While it's nice to see an Aussie film that stretches the Aboriginal cliches, this is a generic treatment safe for the Lifetime cable network. "If we sing a song will that cure all our troubles?" The answer in this film is "yes!"

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Even those who are not easily moved by a fairly conventional and predictable movie like this one will have plenty to enjoy in such a poignant feel-good story full of great performances and beautiful singing voices about a group of Aboriginal women and their musical talent.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Really good, uplifting film, based on an actual female singing group. The story built around their trip to Vietnam is purely writer's prerogative, but very enjoyable all the same. If you grew up in the sixties, and occasionally still "groove" to the oldies, then you will enjoy this movie.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Despite the common trappings, there are definitely elements that make The Sapphires a unique take on a ordinary subject. It touches on the children of Aboriginal descent who were removed from their families by the Australian government from approximately 1909 to 1969. This underscores the girls' childhood when they were living in a remote mission together. Kay's extraction from their family and the subsequent trio's evaluation in a singing competition before a bigoted judge further references this theme. Equal rights informs the underlying politics of their early lives but it's not really the focus. The script does a nice job of juggling the various forces that threaten the success of the group. It intersperses two love stories with a lot of rousing 60s Motown hits that are beautifully sung. I thoroughly enjoyed their versions of soul classics that included "Land of a Thousand Dances" and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." If these characters appear a bit timeworn, the milieu is so uplifting and joyous, I didn't mind a bit. I cheered these girls on as if this was the first time I had ever seen someone take a chance in pursuit of a dream in showbiz. The Sapphires is a toe tapping, heart singing good time. fastfilmreviews.wordpress.com

Mark Hobin
Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer

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