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Joyful Noise Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Tinnitus Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

All noise, little joy. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Joyful Noise seems tailor-made for an audience of churchgoers and "Glee" devotees.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Todd Graff's would-be inspirational film lift their voices in song that makes you smile, and squander their voices on dialogue that makes you cringe (but also smile in oddly pleasurable disbelief).

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Staggeringly cornball and squeaky-clean even when flirting with such issues as interracial sexual rivalries.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The movie's musical numbers are catchy and rollicking and, in their bright sunshiny way, rather soulful.

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  • See all Joyful Noise reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

Uplifting but cliched film has great songs, bland story.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, overall, Joyful Noise is more wholesome than not, despite some swearing (including "s--t" and "bitch") and sexual content (kissing/making out; implied sex between adults). Set in a struggling Georgia town where the only thing giving residents hope is a church choir on the way to the regional sing-off, the movie also has some moderate conflict between choir members, a fist fight that leaves two teens bloody and bruised, and angry confrontations between a teenage girl yearning for independence and her mother, who wants to protect her. But the characters generally want the best for each other, and the movie's underlying uplifting messages are about faith and spirituality.

  • Families can talk about Joyful Noise's messages. What do you think filmmakers want audiences to take away? How can you tell?
  • Are the characters (particularly the teens) believable? Do you think their decisions are relatable?
  • Talk about the relationship between Olivia and her mother. Why are they fighting? Is it possible they're both right?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: A dying Georgia town has little to cheer except the church choir that's on the way to the regional sing-off championship, and even the people who are losing their jobs and struggling to keep their families together in tough times find joy in singing and their faith.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Just about everyone in this film is decent, trying to do the right thing. They may not always agree on what that is, and they sometimes get into heated arguments, but everyone basically wants only the best for everyone else.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Three teen boys get into a fight that leaves two of them bruised and bleeding. A mother and daughter get into a heated shouting match, and one of them slaps the other. All of the conflicts are later resolved amicably.

  • sex false2

    Sex: A young couple flirts with each other in the first half of the film and exchanges a few kisses by the end. Two adults are shown making out feverishly; they're next seen the following morning, with the implication being that they slept together. A woman earns, perhaps unfairly, a unique reputation after a man dies in her bed.

  • language false3

    Language: Occasional swearing includes ""s--t," "ass," "bitch," "damn," "hell," "oh my God," and "pissed off." A mother and daughter repeatedly say "bulls--t" during an argument.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: A few brands appear onscreen, including Sanyo televisions and Wyndham hotels. A wealthy character sometimes flaunts her money, including her indulgence in cosmetic surgery.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable