User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 42
  2. Negative: 2 out of 42
Watch On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. MarkB.
    Feb 1, 2005
    5
    Gerard Jugnot, as a somewhat reluctant, fish-out-of-water supervisor hired at a corruptly run boys' school/reformatory shortly after World War II, is kind of a Gallic Bob Hoskins. He's a lot of fun to watch; his hangdog facial expressions and resigned responses to the students' misbehavior and the headmaster's ironfisted control over them comprise the most original and Gerard Jugnot, as a somewhat reluctant, fish-out-of-water supervisor hired at a corruptly run boys' school/reformatory shortly after World War II, is kind of a Gallic Bob Hoskins. He's a lot of fun to watch; his hangdog facial expressions and resigned responses to the students' misbehavior and the headmaster's ironfisted control over them comprise the most original and entertaining element of this trite addition to the century-old Inspirational Teacher movie genre. His eyes and jowls frequently seem to be asking, "How did I get into this?" or "What the hell am I doing here?"...questions that some filmgoers may well find themselves asking during this lackluster, sometimes achingly predictable warm bath. It's not at all a spoiler to relate that I almost instinctively knew that one of the most recalcitrant students would turn out to have the loveliest, most angelic singing voice in the chorus that Jugnot puts together, or that in a film like this in which only two women have speaking parts, at least one of them is going to turn out to be an unrequited love interest. What the equally by-the-book but surprisingly rousing Coach Carter has that this lacks is conviction and enthusiasm; if any classroom film desperately needed a big, pull-out-the-stops Mr. Holland's Opus finale, this does: instead we get a wispy bit of attempted poignancy that did nothing more than cause me to notice that many of these adolescents' writing skills are no better developed than those of Cliff Robertson's Charlie Gordon before he underwent his operation. (In all fairness to cowriter/director Christophe Barratier, maybe that's his point.) It's ironic that the same day I saw this I later watched a DVD of another film about how adults can influence teenagers for good or bad: the James Cagney/PatO'Brien/Humphrey Bogart golden oldie Angels With Dirty Faces, which director Michael Curtiz punched across with far more vitality and energy than The Chorus can dream of--and that one was released in 1938, for Pete's sake! Maybe I'm being unduly hard on The Chorus because, having sat through it, I can't believe that France picked it as its official Best Foreign Film Oscar nominee over Jean-Pierre Jeunet's A Very Long Engagement; I certainly have issues with Jeunet's fussily overelaborate structure, but at least his film was original and ambitious and really about something. If a full moon hits, and/or the religious fundamentalists have their way, and this beats The Sea Inside for the Best Foreign Film Oscar, it'll be the most utterly forgettable winner in that category since 1980's Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears. What? You say you've never heard of Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears? My point entirely! Collapse
  2. ChadShiira
    Oct 24, 2006
    4
    "The Chorus" is for pseudo-sophisticates, who share the wrongheaded notion that a picture like this French import is the antidote to mainstream domestic-studio fare; when in fact, they're actually watching a film that's equally unchallenging, equally banal. Faced with a true rebuke to contemporary Hollywood filmmaking such as Michael Haneke's "Cache"(the film that "The Chorus" is for pseudo-sophisticates, who share the wrongheaded notion that a picture like this French import is the antidote to mainstream domestic-studio fare; when in fact, they're actually watching a film that's equally unchallenging, equally banal. Faced with a true rebuke to contemporary Hollywood filmmaking such as Michael Haneke's "Cache"(the film that should've been France's entry in the 2005 Academy Awards), or Catherine Breillaut's uncompromising experiments in freeing explicit sex from the domain of porn-dom (that would be her entire oeuvre); they fidget, they sigh, they eventually leave their seats, unaware of their own dilettantism. "The Chorus" is about as challenging as a croissandwich from Jack (Jacques)-in-the-Box. The "Lord of the Flies"-like situation that greets Clement Mathieu (Gerard Jugnot) when he first steps into his classroom is too easily dispelled in too short a period of time. These troubled youths are transformed into choirboys with only the most rudimentary hitches along the way. It would've made for better drama if Clement Mathieu had rehabilitated the pyromaniac with song, instead of Morhange(Jean-Baptiste Maunier), who looks way too good-looking to be of any interest to us. With all that fresh meat running around, Fond de L'Etang is made conspicuous by being an orphanage lacking in any religious training. As a villian, Rachin(Francois Berleand), the belligerent school principal, is no match for a randy priest. Ultimately, "The Chorus" is hopelessly irrelevant. We need another "Magdalene Sisters", not "Mr. Holland's Opus". Expand
  3. Jul 30, 2014
    6
    "Les Choristes" is the proof of the fact that French cinema is much more than arthouse nonsense. A charming story accompanied by beautiful music and singing, that is easily comprehensive and delightful.
Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. A runaway hit in France last year and the country's official Oscar entry, is a well-nigh irresistible film celebrating the redemptive power of music.
  2. An appealing lead performance from its leading man and a wonderfully sentimental, if overly familiar, story line are the chief virtues of this French drama, a huge success in its native country.
  3. Reviewed by: Lisa Nesselson
    50
    No stereotype is left unheralded and no heartstring left untugged in this freely adapted remake of Jean Dreville's mostly forgotten "La cage aux rossignols"