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Ratings & Reviews

  1. Will Thede's rating of the film Music from the Big House

    Nice to see something so hopeful spring from something so dark. Although it became a bit preachy at times, the message to find something to hang onto - for these men: religion - was uplifting.

  2. Shawn Spitler's rating of the film Music from the Big House

    A true spiritual journey I wasn’t expecting to find. But it does lack in connecting me with the characters on a deeper level.

  3. David R Williams's rating of the film Music from the Big House

    Gorgeous black and white cinematography particularly in the opening shots. The music soars. I do wish McDonald had dug just bit more below the surface as I never really felt I got to know any of these people, not even Rita Chiarelli or her motivation for being there or doing this. One reviewer at the time wrote "It finally feels too cautious"...I have to agree.

  4. Slappy McGee's rating of the film Music from the Big House

    Quite full of heartache and misery, both in music and story... but through this music we do get to see the light of redemption. Pretty much shows you what the power of music can foster. Sad, yet hopeful. I like that although the movie focuses on the criminals and their long walk through remorse through the guidance of music, the victims are not forgotten.

  5. David Richards's rating of the film Music from the Big House

    Pretty good doc. Most of the music is great. Chiarelli sounds a bit too much like Janis Joplin, but the prisoners bring a lot of energy and authenticity. Looking at their faces as they talk and sing is an education in itself. Apparently, second degree murder is punished with a life sentence in Louisiana. And in Louisiana... "life is life."

  6. Stefan Drees's rating of the film Music from the Big House

    It starts so promising with great b&w photography and camera, also with an interesting staging of rehearsal situation and dialogues. But the second half gets more and more unbearable: like a bad sermon on Bible TV - and also using the same means like static camera and underscoring with cheap piano and synthesized string sounds.