Shut Up & Sing Image
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 37 Ratings

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  • Summary: At a time when the United States is fighting for democracy and freedom in another country, this documentary raises questions about our own right to freedom of speech and the negative consequences it sometimes has. (The Weinstein Company)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Joel Selvin
    100
    Documentary filmmakers pray for something to happen to their subjects when the cameras are rolling, and two-time Academy Award-winning documentarian Kopple struck gold when Maines told a crowd on the opening night of the band's first European tour that she was "ashamed" that President Bush was from Texas.
  2. Reviewed by: Angel Cohn
    88
    While it's unlikely that her film will sway former fans who swore off the band for political reasons, that seems beside the point.
  3. 88
    For three years, the camera focuses on the Chicks as wives, mothers, entertainers and political flash points. Their fight to stay uncompromised is inspiring.
  4. 75
    Maines' big mouth and winning candor got her into trouble, but Shut Up & Sing suffers from filmmakers who are intent on playing it safe.
  5. 75
    The fact that you might emerge from the theater eager to give their albums a listen is a testament to how effective this lively and stirring movie about freedom of speech really is.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    While there is a vague hint of a vanity project in a few extraneous scenes, directors Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck have fashioned a compelling and rousing film that will not only appeal to Chicks fans, but make fans of those who weren't before.
  7. Reviewed by: Luke Y. Thompson
    50
    The movie's not quite the Bush bashfest its publicity might lead you to believe; it's closer to the Metallica doc "Some Kind of Monster" than to "Fahrenheit 9/11."

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Negative: 4 out of 19
  1. AprilR.
    Mar 9, 2007
    10
    I watched this film with a friend of mine who lacked much of an opinion on the Chicks one way or the other-once it was over she was talking about buying all their albums and wanting to see them in concert! This film is a testament to the ignorance and mob mentality that rules so much of our society. Ask most people who are "Anti-chicks" and they probably couldn't even tell you exactly why. I often hear "they don't support the troops", "they are unpatriotic"-none of which, of course, is true. I found this film to be very educational and emotional-making me laugh and even cry towards the end at the bond between these gals. In a world that lacks individual thought and thrives on conformity, I am reminded of why the founding father created the electoral college-they didn't believe in the ability of the general American public to make informed and intelligent voting decisions-this film shows many fine examples why. It tells a sad truth about our society while simultaneously giving us hope that not everyone will strive to conform at the cost of personal liberties; one of the most important of which is the freedom of speech; for which NO ONE deserves death threats and so much ignorantly inspired hate. All in all a brilliant piece of work! Expand
  2. DaveN.
    Feb 16, 2007
    10
    Good for you! You girls are American heroes! These girls have done something more important than even music. They stood up for what they believe in, and I think they should be very proud of that. It's this kind of message that shows the world that there are some truly great people in the US, and that some Americans actually do exercise their freedom to have their own opinion! It's kind of funny that when Natalie made her statement, it was sort of off the cuff, and didn't really bear that much weight. She probably didn't like the idea of her country invading another, but it didn't appear that she was really making a political statement, and even laughed it off after saying it. It really did appear that it was to get the crowd cheering. I'm certain that nothing later entrenched her opinion so deep as much as fellow Americans advocating the stagnation of freedom of expression. If I were her, I'd be pissed too! I'm not a country or western music fan, but I support these girls, and I'll definitely consider going to one of their shows! The Dixie Chicks should be very proud of themselves, and the rest of America should be proud of them too! Expand
  3. rob
    Nov 18, 2006
    10
    Perfectly enjoyable documentary in th manner of fact Kopple way.
  4. AnthonyP
    Feb 23, 2007
    10
    This is documentary film making at its best. Prior to the 2003
  5. ChadS.
    Dec 16, 2007
    8
    After frontwoman Natalie Maimes tells a sold-out audience that she's ashamed of President Bush being from Texas for the second time; you wonder what her Dixie cohorts are thinking, who can do nothing but smile. More importantly, what does their manager Simon Renshaw think? Even though The Dixie Chicks are more punk rock than 3 Doors Down(have you seen the "Citizen Soldier" music video for the National Guard?), "Shut Up and Sing" does have its p.r. moments to help restore the girls into the good graces of country radio. To prevent irreparable damage between the outspoken trio and Bush supporters, Emily Robison(the one who looks a little like Julia Roberts) is presented as a good ol' fashioned country girl. We see her on a farm with her husband and newly-born twins, and when interviewed, she expresses her concerns about making a rock record with music producer Rick Rubin and living in Los Angeles. Unlike Maines, who's a little bit country, and a little bit rock-and-roll, Robison declares herself as all country, all the time. "Shut Up and Sing" needs this dialectic because it clearly has a liberal agenda. In presenting the girls' detractors, the filmmaker uses footage of the most ignorant, least educated people possible. But The Dixie Chicks are going to need these "hicks" after President Bush leaves office, because their new fanbase may walk away, too. The jonny-come-latelys who only love this country act because they committed an act of civil disobedience against the machine. Expand
  6. MartinS.
    Mar 11, 2007
    7
    I'll give them a 10 for courage but a 5 for the actual music. Anybody that believes being an American means blindly following the leader just doesn't get it. If now isn't the time to speak out then there will never be a time. Expand
  7. DonR.
    Nov 6, 2006
    0
    The Dixie Chicks are the biggest con artists out there. All the success of their latest album, along with this movie is simply based on a political message. Obviously they plan to use the Natilie Maines comment to con the gullible public out of as much money as possible. The quality of thier work has completely bottumed out. I can't wait for them to shut up and GO AWAY! Expand

See all 19 User Reviews