Alive Inside


Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    Jan 27, 2014
    A gloriously inspirational film documenting music’s healing power in Alzheimer patients.
  2. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jul 31, 2014
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Jul 15, 2014
    Practically guaranteed to elicit tears within its first five minutes, Alive Inside... is nonetheless more than just a tearjerker.
  4. Reviewed by: Nikola Grozdanovic
    Jul 24, 2014
    Alive Inside contains a tiny revolution within its message, and will likely end up being one of the most important documentaries of the year.
  5. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Aug 7, 2014
    Questions of politics and policy, even urgent ones, seem pretty dry after watching Henry and the other elderly patients come to life. Those scenes are a revelation.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Jul 24, 2014
    As the movie makes clear, none of these conditions are reversible. Music isn’t a cure for anything. But it does seem to be a key to unlocking long-closed doors and establishing connections with people who have become, through age or infirmity, imprisoned inside themselves.
  7. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Aug 14, 2014
    The film is less effective, and less focused, when it switches into activism mode. Not that its heart isn't in the right place — we all know about the appalling state of institutionalized elder care. Which is the problem with those segments: We all know this already, and the filmmaking feels like perfunctory, necessary padding.
  8. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Jan 28, 2014
    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.
  9. Reviewed by: Steve Greene
    Jan 27, 2014
    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.
  10. Reviewed by: Nick McCarthy
    Jul 17, 2014
    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.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jan 27, 2015
    Though it amounts to little more than an amalgamation of sequences involving the power of music overcoming the degenerative effects ofThough it amounts to little more than an amalgamation of sequences involving the power of music overcoming the degenerative effects of senility, these scenes do have an undeniably uplifting, human quality to them. Witnessing actual people, once nothing more than a dormant husk of their once vibrant selves, burst into moments of stunning clarity is truly heartwarming. Alive Inside fails to truly delve into the sciences of neural decay and how music plays a direct role in mending these gaps. It only provides a surface-level examination into the actual reason WHY this method of auditory stimulation seems to cause such an abrupt mental awakening. It is also regrettably brief, clocking in at less than 80-minutes, hindering the film's scope and making it's subject feel less urgent than it actually is. However, I would still say that Alive Inside makes a good name for it's cause and, at the very least, informs and educates about an issue that is tragically left neglected in most public arenas. Along with other 2014 Alzheimer's related dramas (Such as Still Alice, Wrinkles, among others) Alive Inside makes the case that a human being, regardless of how withered their mental capacity, still exists behind the veneer of a horrible disease that is out of their control. The proof lies in these few, bittersweet moments on display, and, I must say, I can't deny that their joy of cognitive recovery touched me deeply. Full Review »