Urban Hymn - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Urban Hymn Reviews

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June 7, 2017
As a 20 year old woman, coming-of-age movies are important to me as I connect and relate to them very easily. One of the best coming-of-age films I've seen is Urban Hymn, which follows Kate, a social worker, who tries to help Jamie, a troubled teen, turn her life around. The reason I loved this movie so much is it explored all the different scenarios and emotions each character goes through in such an authentic way. Isabella Laughland's (Harry Potter, Black Mirror) performance as Leanne will exist as one of my favorite characters in history, even though it is so easy to hate her in this film. I recommend this if you want to watch an engaging and emotional movie.
June 7, 2017
Urban Hymn is a sensitive, yet emotionally gripping story about moving past obstacles to reach a better place. It follows a troubled teenager who is taken in by a social work to be mentored towards reaching her true talents in music. What follows is a lovely, small, yet powerful film about the goodwill of people, and how believing someone can truly make a remarkable difference. The success of the film should be credited to its actors, who embrace and give each scene a warm vibrancy with welcomed naturalistic acting. The director, Michael Caton-Jones, knows how to block a scene and let the actors do what they do best. It's a perfectly paced feel good movie that'll touch anyone's heart on a Tuesday night.
½ June 6, 2017
Music and film come together so delightfully in Urban Hymn. Director Michael Caton-Jones delicately weaves choir and soul music into a coming-of-age film that follows a troubled teenage girl in a group home. Jamie Harrison has yielded to a life of violence and theft, but social worker Kate Linton sees through her rough fašade and dedicates her time at the group home to helping Jamie. Through the power of music, Kate is able to show Jamie her own talents and leads her towards a path of success and acceptance. Jamie's inspiring transformation mirrors that of any teenager, which makes the film so relatable. Her actions throughout the film prove that she is just as flawed as anyone else, making her successes shine even more brightly. The film is a tear-jerker from start to finish and I loved every second of it.
½ June 5, 2017
Emboldened social worker nurtures a troubled teen's musical talent, changing her life and saving her from herself. Sounds familiar. Despite the fact that the basic premise for Urban Hymn is something that has been explored before, I found this film to be an entirely new and breathtaking experience. Director Michael Caton Jones navigates this film around the all too familiar pit falls of its predecessors, guided by its uncompromising script, stunning cinematography, and exceptional cast. Bitter and dry, yet populated with moments of freedom and vitality, Urban Hymn revolutionizes the coming of age tale, and Caton Jones handles the content with grace and vitality. The cast, compromised of Shirley Henderson (Bridget Jones' Diary,), Letitia Wright (Glasgow Girls) and Isabella Laughland (Harry Potter), each play with their roles with equal conviction and skill. Each nuanced performance from these three wildly talented actresses breathes new life and dimension into this unflinching gaze into the darkened underbelly of London society. The camera does not shy away from scenes of violence or aggression, instead it holds the image crystal clear, almost savoring it, dedicating itself to portraying the reality of these lives. Urban Hymn is a film for those who seek change -for themselves or for others - who seek inspiration to move forward in their lives, and I assure them that they will find it here.
June 5, 2017
Urban Hymn, directed by Michael Caton-Jones, is an exceptional coming of age narrative about a troubled teenage girl named Jamie, and the inspiring and uplifting journey she embarks on after meeting her new social worker, Kate Linton. Through her love of music, Jamie is able to form a friendship with Kate which allows her to finally open herself up to all the opportunities, that at one time, she could only dream of. My favorite aspect of the film was the realistic portrayal of the characters which made each scene seem that much more believable and grounded in truth. Overall, I was really inspired by this heartwarming and inspirational narrative and highly recommend this film for any and all film fans out there!
½ June 5, 2017
Urban Hymn could be described as a heart wrenching coming of age story; however, that wouldn't do it justice. Urban hymn is a story about decisions. Throughout this film, the circumstances of the troubled youth being focused on are not limited to being financial or familial circumstances, but include the circumstances of approaching life decisions. Whether to become another statistic, or to become something better than what we're given. Urban Hymn captures the struggle of finding one's path in life through the constant series of decisions that its main character: Jamie Harrison (Letitia Wright), is faced with. Most importantly, whether to pursue music and leave the streets behind, or continue her path and face a future comprised of drugs, jail, or worse. I'd recommend Urban Hymn to those in search of a coming of an independent coming of age film that does itself justice through contrasting its raw thematics with a beacon of hope manifested as a plot dynamic.
½ June 2, 2017
Coming-of-age and acceptance collide in Urban Hymn to illuminate dark lives in bleak inner-city London. Jamie Harrison (Letitia Wright) has spent most of her life in a group home, exposed to bad behavior and unstable relationships. A victim of circumstances and ignored potential, she is fated to continue down a rugged road. Kate Linton (Shirley Henderson) is a former sociology professor beginning a career in social work to help an unlikely demographic, troubled teens like the ones who murdered her son. Shirley Henderson's performance is strong and her role is distinct from other titles in her filmography. Kate volunteers to be Jamie's caseworker, and Jamie is a surrogate for the boys who murdered her son. In helping Jamie, Kate can prevent traumatized teens from becoming angry adults. I was immersed in Jamie and Kate's delicately developed relationship. Urban Hymn is uplifting yet realistic, giving Jamie a second chance without pushing a fake narrative that opportunity is always easy. Michael Caton-Jones designs a cohesive tone reflecting this juxtaposing of inopportune opportunity. The film's cool hue is sorrowful, but brightly lit moments also make the film hopeful; the music is sometimes light in sound, yet heavy in content; and there's no such thing as obvious judgements or decisions. In creating a complex and sometimes contradicting narrative, Caton-Jones paints a real story with real people. Urban Hymn is for those of you who, like myself, crave honesty in cinema.
½ June 2, 2017
Urban Hymn captures the soulful and triumphant story of Jamie Harrison, a mercurial teen with a challenging past who is led to her liberator and mentor Kate Linton, a hopeful and inspiring woman who is simultaneously coping with the loss of her own child. Through the power of music, Jamie explores the gratification of commitment to something that rescues her from the obstacles she has been faced with. The film redefines the customary story line of an erratic teen with a hidden talent rising above to escape her toxic lifestyle. I experienced a few chilling moments in the scenes particularly when Jamie was fearful of the consequences of choosing between her friendship Leanne, her raucous and violent best friend, and doing what would benefit her future despite all that her and Leanne have experienced together in their lives of poverty. The actors in Urban Hymn give a sincerely stunning and heartbreaking performance that blew me away. Director Michael Caton-Jones takes a coarse subject and illustrates a refreshing coming of age story. Urban Hymn is outstanding and worth the watch if you're like me and look for an honesty cinematic experience in a film.
½ May 12, 2017
High quality independent film-making here! I really enjoyed this film. Isabella Laughland, who plays main character's troubled friend, Leanne, is exceptional! I found myself loving and hating her at the same time. I hope to see her in more films! Shirley Henderson was also very convincing as the social worker with her own issues to work thru. Perhaps the story is one you've seen before but I was captivated and entertained the whole way thru! I liked how the writer weaved together the different story lines and ultimately served up a satisfying ending.
May 11, 2017
beautifully acted, surprising, absorbing.
July 24, 2016
it's a lovely film - excellently acted and poignant.
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