Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    The result is a beguiling and often poignant pageant of outsider musicians, but the broken heart of this extraordinary film comes directly from Zobel's own personal experience.
  2. A terrific, small, funny, sad movie.
  3. 83
    Great World Of Sound is painfully specific about the music-scouting grind.
  4. 75
    Great World of Sound, a Sundance hit, is Zobel’s first film, a confident, sure-handed exercise focusing on the American Dream, turned nightmare.
  5. 75
    The laughs flow, but Zobel isn't content to rely solely on them. To his credit, he allows Martin and Clarence - and the film - to develop consciences.
  6. Once the story moves up north to Indianapolis, things become pat and predictable. But for its first 80 minutes, Great World of Sound hits all the right notes.
  7. 70
    Morally ambiguous, subtly crafted, resolutely free of cliché and made with almost no money, The Great World of Sound is under-the-radar independent filmmaking in the Jarmusch-Cassavetes mode, both noble and ruthless in spirit.
  8. Reviewed by: Tim Grierson
    A fitting 21st-century addition to the genre. The film's meager plotting and casual melancholy peg it as a modest indie, but these ingredients dovetail nicely with Zobel's bigger theme about the futility of the modern world.
  9. Enthusiastically received at Sundance, "Great World" is an intriguing look at our obsession with being successful and famous.
  10. 70
    I found Mr. Zobel’s film touching and amusing, but it also left me a bit queasy.
  11. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Blessed with a witty script (by Zobel and co-writer George Smith), a talented ensemble of little-known character actors and a Meredith Willson-like feel for just-plain-folks Americans, this is a low-key but enormously charming picture.
  12. The joke is that the salesmen believe they're actually trying to discover talent and - like the people they're encouraging - are victims.
  13. Difficult to watch, and the film is sabotaged by an impossibly naive lead character and the repetitive auditions that become gratuitously depressing.

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