They Came to Play

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 5


Audience Score

User Ratings: 871
User image

They Came to Play Photos

Movie Info

Every year, the Van Cliburn Association hosts an international piano contest specifically for amateurs. This documentary showcases some of the people who compete in the endeavor, many of whom face remarkable struggles in order to do so. There are AIDS patients, drug addicts, and political refugees who not only survive their circumstances, but use their experiences to breathe life into their music.

Watch it now


Critic Reviews for They Came to Play

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (2)

  • The proficiency they display at the keyboard is thrilling to see; whatever your own hobby is, you are likely to be awed by how much better these people are at theirs.

    Aug 13, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • A welcome twist on the now-ubiquitous kiddie competition doc.

    Aug 10, 2010 | Full Review…
  • The only thing amateur about the film are the players, though they are all winners. Meanwhile, They Came to Play inspires in the best documentary fashion.

    Jul 11, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Delightfully entertaining, heartfelt and inspirational. It will keep you at the edge of your seat while making you cheer, laugh and feel genuinely awestruck by the sheer beauty of each piano performance.

    Aug 13, 2010 | Rating: 7.96/10 | Full Review…
  • See this soulful doc about a piano competition and you'll never again think that "amateur" means "less than professional."

    Aug 5, 2010 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for They Came to Play

They Came to Play Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features