User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
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  1. Jan 27, 2015
    6
    Though 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 toThough 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. Expand
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Aug 14, 2014
    70
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Aug 7, 2014
    75
    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.
  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.