'Joyful Noise' Critic Reviews

72%
MovieWeb:   3 reviews
34%
Rotten Tomatoes:   124 reviews
  • Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    59
    The movie's musical numbers are catchy and rollicking and, in their bright sunshiny way, rather soulful.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Stephen Holden New York Times (Top Critic)
    40
    A lower echelon of musical comedy hell (or heaven, if you love the hoariest musical comedy cliches).
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Catherine Shoard Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    60
    Todd Graff's film sags badly in the middle and is clunky with social context (recession, Asperger's), but there's enough good heart to see you through.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Claudia Puig USA Today (Top Critic)
    50
    If it weren't for those musical numbers, Joyful Noise would be a slog. More singing and less talking would have made it better still.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Stephanie Merry Washington Post (Top Critic)
    50
    Despite some mawkish dialogue, there's something to be said for leaving the theater with a smile. Can I get an amen?
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Ty Burr Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    50
    A pew-pounding musical drama starring Queen Latifah, Keke Palmer, and the skeletal remains of Dolly Parton.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Melissa Anderson Village Voice (Top Critic)
    A holy hot mess of the sacred and the inane.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    40
    Queen Latifah radiates such effortless charisma that she can elevate the lousiest film. Unfortunately, that effort seems to have become her norm.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal (Top Critic)
    Suspense plays second fiddle to the music, which is a good thing, since the music is pretty great, though also to the two leading ladies' store of folk wisdom.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Mario Tarradell Dallas Morning News (Top Critic)
    50
    Joyful Noise works best when the screen is filled with music, or when stars Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah are slinging spirited one-liners at each other.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Lisa Kennedy Denver Post (Top Critic)
    63
    Much worse things could happen to a movie than to have these two full-figured gals hold forth. Parton's willing and able to despense the Southernisms. Latifah's fierce when she needs to be.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Glenn Kenny MSN Movies (Top Critic)
    50
    [It] bears almost all the liabilities one gets from current studio product, including bloating.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • David Edelstein New York Magazine (Top Critic)
    You'll find yourself rolling your eyes, but you'll have more fun if you try to roll them in time with the rollicking numbers.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    38
    The strange thing is that it makes no particular effort to please its target audience, which would seem to be lovers of gospel choirs.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    50
    The movie's all right, if you can take its rampant artificiality - and I'm not even talking about Parton's face yet.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Ben Sachs Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    It's hard to enjoy the movie's charms when writer-director Todd Graff keeps trying to shove them down your throat.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Carrie Rickey Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    63
    Though one wishes Graff's eye were as developed as his keen ear, he elicits rafter-raising musical performances from Latifah, Palmer, and Jordan that are irresistible fun.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    75
    "Joyful Noise" is a sort of Wal-Mart movie, not exactly trendsetting but a decent enough offering for the heartland.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Adam Graham Detroit News (Top Critic)
    34
    It wants to be a charming, down-home good time, but it struggles to hit the right notes.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Randy Cordova Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    40
    The cornpone wisdom overflows from the screen during "Joyful Noise," like maple syrup on your grandmama's flapjacks.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Rex Reed New York Observer (Top Critic)
    63
    Don't expect high art, and you will leave Joyful Noise smiling to the beat.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Peter Debruge Variety (Top Critic)
    Despite the sheer volume of music on offer, very little of it feels authentic -- or especially inspiring.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Lou Lumenick New York Post (Top Critic)
    38
    Latifah, a formidable actress who's almost always better than her movies, easily dominates this...
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Linda Barnard Toronto Star (Top Critic)
    38
    Joyful Noise subscribes to the Tyler Perry school of filmmaking - broad laughs beget life lessons and wisdom about the power of family and the joys of doing the right thing.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Eric D. Snider Film.com (Top Critic)
    34
    Has the good fortune of being acted with enthusiasm by a very appealing cast, or else it would be completely unbearable instead of just mundane.
    Full Review » 3 years ago