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Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Rejoice and Shout traces the evolution of Gospel through its many musical styles – the spirituals and early hymns, the four-part harmony-based quartets, the integration of blues and swing into Gospel, the emergence of Soul, and the blending of Rap and Hip Hop elements. Gospel music also walked in step with the story of African-American culture - slavery, hardscrabble rural existence and plantation work, the exodus to major cities, the Depression, World War II, civil rights and empowerment. Rejoice and Shout connects the history of African-American culture with Gospel as it first impacted popular culture at large. Years in the making, Rejoice and Shout captures so much of what is special about this music and African-American Christianity – the sermonizing, the heartfelt testimonials, getting slain in the spirit, the hard hollering, and of course the inspiring music. (Magnolia Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jun 23, 2011
    100
    Rejoice provides both a melodic education and a once-in-a-lifetime concert in one soul-stirring package.
  2. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Jun 8, 2011
    91
    The film is a bit too chronological, but its historical reverence is true to gospel's joyful insistence on locating the spiritual in the everyday.
  3. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    May 29, 2011
    80
    An overview of African-American gospel sounds whose dazzling talent-display should exhilarate viewers regardless of religious leanings.
  4. Reviewed by: Kirk Honeycutt
    May 29, 2011
    70
    For anyone with a keen interest in this unique American musical form, Rejoice and Shout is a must-see and see-again.
  5. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jun 23, 2011
    70
    This documentary on the history of gospel music can't measure up to George T. Nierenberg's colorful "Say Amen, Somebody" (1982), but it's so jammed with great archival performances, most of them included in their entirety, that it's worth seeing.
  6. Reviewed by: Tim Cogshell
    May 29, 2011
    60
    Some of the performances in the film (from Mahalia Jackson to The Clara Ward Singers) are deeply affecting and the historical context the film provides is as impressive as the music itself.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jun 3, 2011
    38
    Only rarely does the film present a genuine insight, such as the observation that many black people loved to dress up in their finest for church because, during the week, they were so often dressed as servants and manual laborers.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

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

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