Thunder Soul (2011)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Presented by Jamie Foxx, Thunder Soul follows the extraordinary alumni from Houston's storied Kashmere High School Stage Band, who return home after 35 years to play a tribute concert for the 92-year-old "Prof," their beloved band leader who broke the color barrier and transformed the school's struggling jazz band into a world-class funk powerhouse in the early 1970s. -- (C) Official Site
PG (for brief language and momentary historical smoking)
Documentary , Musical & Performing Arts , Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:


Conrad O. Johnson
as Conrad O. Johnson
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Critic Reviews for Thunder Soul

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (14)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 22, 2012
Top Critic

There's a purity -- sense of righteousness and reunion and optimism -- that makes Thunder Soul galvanizing. Also, the music is smoking hot, which is pretty amazing, considering it comes from a high school band. And a bunch of oldsters.

Full Review… | October 7, 2011
Detroit News
Top Critic

All of the agreeable ingredients are there, but director Mark Landsman doesn't coast on the built-in feel-good factor.

Full Review… | October 7, 2011
Top Critic

Arguably, the current generation of funk and soul revivalists owes a debt to musicians who forged their astonishing sound in between Algebra study sessions.

Full Review… | October 7, 2011
Washington Post
Top Critic

Though it sometimes overplays the sentimentality, "Thunder Soul" gets not just the music but also the sense of possibility for this post-civil-rights generation.

Full Review… | October 6, 2011
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

A precious scrap of American history.

Full Review… | October 6, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Thunder Soul


This heartfelt doc is available on Netflix. This is the story of a real life Mr. Holland's Opus. With lots of archival footage and recordings and present day interviews this film illustrates the impact one music teacher had over 35 years. "Prof" turned a high school jazz band in the mid to late 70s into an award winning, touring, album making funk band. Great music throughout! Now, alumni from the band reunite to honor "Prof" at a Kashmere High School tribute concert. You probably lack a soul if you don't shed at least a few tears.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

I skipped school to go see a movie and nothing good was playing so i saw this and had no idea what it was and i have to say, i walked out with a smile on my face and even some tears too.

DeAndre West
DeAndre West

One of the most powerful documentaries I've ever seen, this film beautifully illustrates the extraordinary power of a true teacher who changed his students' world through music. The level of performance is mind-boggling (forget that these are high school students, then 30+ year alumni - many of whom hadn't played since the mid '70s). The devotion and love they feel for their teacher and for each other is as moving as the music is amazing. As a film it leaves some questions unanswered-- you want it to be longer, to go further behind the scenes of the band's history and people's lives. But it's an unforgettable experience.

Amanda Pratt
Amanda Pratt

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