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User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2

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  1. Jul 11, 2012
    10
    Disclaimer: I have a thing about prison movies - not sure why. This is perhaps gives the most airtime to inmates who discuss their lives - including their crimes - in a profoundly self-reflexive way. They discuss philosophy, spirituality, forgiveness, redemption with the ease of those who have searched their own souls deeply. In this case, at great length as well. These are all lifers who after imprisonment for their crimes have outgrown their youthful violent, impulsive behavior, and have now arrived at a place where they accept their fate with the equanimity of those of faith. And the music is great too! Collapse
  2. Jun 1, 2012
    10
    The birth of true blues does not come from the streets of Louisiana; real music comes from inside the walls of Angola Prison. Rita Chiarelli shows us the powerful music that has developed from these prisoners in the documentary â
Metascore
44

Mixed or average reviews - based on 5 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Jun 15, 2012
    50
    Even with a gripping subject like blues-singing convicts, the documentary Music from the Big House has a disconcerting emotional distance.
  2. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    Jun 6, 2012
    40
    The filmmakers hesitate at going deeper into the dark places of the prisoners' biographies and the storied prison itself. The one wouldn't exist without the other, and Ms. Chiarelli's rambling platitudes are no substitute.
  3. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Jun 4, 2012
    60
    The proceedings have a certain haunted quality, thanks to the dramatic setting and the stark black-and-white cinematography by Steve Cosens that fully conveys its bleakness.