Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: J. R. Jones
    The film is music from beginning to end, and nearly every note of it is magical.
  2. 75
    It's hard to focus on the travails when the music is so lively and good.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    The film is virtually wall-to-wall music with very little commentary -- it's obvious that, given the chance, these musicians would much rather play than talk.
  4. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    The spontaneity of the music itself is unquestionable and captivating. Like Saudade Do Futuro, Cuba Feliz is somewhat unsatisfying, leaving too many questions unanswered in its stream-of-consciousness wanderings. But it also preserves ephemeral art that might otherwise be lost.
  5. In painting an unabashedly romantic picture of a nation whose songs spring directly from the lives of the people, the movie exalts the Marxian dream of honest working folk, with little to show for their labor, living harmoniously, joined in song.
  6. Every trip requires patience, and this one brings plenty of rewards, in the ecstatic sounds of a country most of us haven't been able to visit firsthand.
  7. Reviewed by: Jonathan Perry
    Grittily beautiful film that looks, sounds, and feels more like an extended, open-ended poem than a traditionally structured story.
  8. 50
    While the performances are often engaging, this loose collection of largely improvised numbers would probably have worked better as a one-hour TV documentary.
  9. Reviewed by: Richard Gehr
    Frustratingly, Dridi tells us nothing about El Gallo other than what emerges through his music.
  10. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Not quite a documentary, it's more like a musical travelogue that doesn't quite sustain feature length and seems ideally suited to a shorter TV version for music webs.

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