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Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Alive Inside investigates the power music has to awaken deeply locked memories. The film follows Dan Cohen, a social worker, who decides on a whim to bring iPods to a nursing home. To his and the staff's surprise many residents suffering from memory loss and Alzheimer's Disease seem to "awaken" when they are able to listen to music from their past. With great excitement, Dan turns to renowned neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks, and we follow them both as we investigate the mysterious way music functions inside our brains and our lives. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    Jan 27, 2014
    100
    A gloriously inspirational film documenting music’s healing power in Alzheimer patients.
  2. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Jul 15, 2014
    90
    Practically guaranteed to elicit tears within its first five minutes, Alive Inside... is nonetheless more than just a tearjerker.
  3. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jul 31, 2014
    90
    As much a plea to change the system as it is an examination of how music helps individuals, Alive Inside is not the most sophisticated documentary, but its power is indisputable, and it does end on a hopeful note.
  4. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Jan 28, 2014
    70
    Rossato-Bennett’s over-the-top narration often sounds cloying and banal... But the filmmaker succeeds in providing context, medical and historical, in between awakenings.
  5. Reviewed by: Steve Greene
    Jan 27, 2014
    67
    Whether it's purely through the use of music or through the individual, attentive care given by some of the featured nursing home workers, the proof of positive changes presented in "Alive Inside" provide a sense of idealism amid bleak situations.
  6. Reviewed by: Nick McCarthy
    Jul 17, 2014
    63
    The doc is heartwarming, but it doesn't delve deeply into the backstories that inform the ailing patients' connection to the music that stirs their memories.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Jul 31, 2014
    38
    Unfortunately, though, Rossato-Bennett and Cohen seem to think that the technique is a panacea. In fact, it is not even original, as music therapy in nursing homes has been around for some time.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

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