The Fighting Temptations


Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 32
  2. Negative: 3 out of 32

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Critic Reviews

  1. Makes shameless use of tried-and-true elements -- but it's hardly the same old song.
  2. 80
    The plot's a trifle, but so what. Director Lynn (My Cousin Vinny) stages a series of seamless, ebullient show-stoppers that encompass every musical style from gospel and soul to contemporary R&B and hip-hop, and the choreography ranks with anything you'll find on Broadway.
  3. A rousing, warmhearted comedy, as infectious as the gospel music it celebrates.
  4. 75
    Not brilliant and it has some clunky moments where we see the plot wheels grinding, but it has its heart and its grin in the right places.
  5. A raucous gospel comedy that's as broad as co-star Beyonce Knowles' vowels and chockablock with foot-stomping, up-with-the-choir music that will have even atheists praising the Lord.
  6. A warm comic story that's fairly engaging even when no one is singing.
  7. Breaks through as a delightful, surprisingly fresh comedy.
  8. 70
    Formulaic but infectiously happy comedy.
  9. This culture-clash romantic comedy, scripted by Elizabeth Hunter and Saladin K. Patterson, goes exactly where you'd expect, but helmer Lynn, a comedy vet, gets it there with such infectious energy that you don't much mind the story's predictability.
  10. 70
    May not be great cinema, but it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
  11. 63
    The movie's musical sequences, which primarily feature popularized versions of gospel standards, are exhilarating and energetic. Unfortunately, that's only half the story, because the so-called dramatic material, which links together all the musical numbers, is mind-numbingly bad.
  12. 63
    Despite the increasingly annoying presence of the mugging, fatuous Cuba Gooding Jr., The Fighting Temptations pulls off what feels like a major feat: Its musical sequences could make the most hardened atheist want to go to church.
  13. 63
    Diva du jour Beyoncé Knowles may be the draw, but the real star of The Fighting Temptations is the sensational gospel soundtrack.
  14. Gospel music not only saves Darrin's plastic yuppie soul -- Praise the Lord -- it also gives an otherwise wasted hour and a half some warmth and buoyancy.
  15. Reviewed by: Laine Ewen
    The film, directed by "My Cousin Vinny's" Jonathan Lynn, is a fun movie which proves to be worth a look and a listen.
  16. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Paper-thin plot serves as a pretext for rousing gospel numbers in The Fighting Temptations, which straddles styles and eras to get everybody's toes tapping.
  17. Reviewed by: Liz Beardsworth
    The romance between Knowles and her leading man doesn't quite spark, and cutting 30 minutes wouldn't have hurt, but Saturday night disposable fluff is rarely as warm-hearted or exuberant as this.
  18. The movie is bursting with minor characters who upstage the main story with their comic routines and musical interludes.
  19. 50
    The camera loves Beyoncé, but her acting coach may harbor more ambivalence; if she could convert the imperious urgency of her best singing to screen presence, we might stop wishing Whitney would come back from her own private netherlands.
  20. Could there really have been a black evangelical church in rural Georgia where half the congregation consisted of whites who stomped, flung their hands in the air and rocked along with their brethren of color 15 years after forced integration? Just asking.
  21. A woefully thin and pointless musical comedy boasting the no-chemistry coupling of Cuba Gooding Jr. and Beyonc?
  22. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    You have an overstuffed story line, sloppy filmmaking, a general thinness of conception (if you've seen "Sister Act," you've pretty much seen The Fighting Temptations), and a lead performance that starts out obnoxious and becomes actively grating.
  23. What the film needs is more heart, humor and maybe some honest-to-goodness humility, not energy. And unfortunately, that's about all Gooding seems able to bring to it.
  24. This shopworn premise allows for a series of improbable plot developments, resulting in a story that's about as geniune as Gooding's character.
  25. 42
    Plot, comedy and characterization? It's absolutely anemic.
  26. This movie feels phony and slick, as if it were cooked up by Darrin's cynical ad agency, rather than at his aunt's stove down in Montecarlo.
  27. Can someone dial down Cuba Gooding Jr. a few notches? He's so hyperactive during this MTV Films production - which is comedically indistinguishable from "Sister Act," but with more marketable music - that his Vegas-showgirl drag act in the dreadful "Boat Trip" looks like Bressonian minimalism by contrast.
  28. 40
    The filmmakers seem to have meant to offer up a spiritual message about community and faith, but it's muddled and hard to find with romance, comedy and phenomenal gospel performances all fighting for the spotlight.
  29. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    To enjoy what's enjoyable in The Fighting Temptations, you've got to take in the music and shut out the words -- not the lyrics of the wonderful songs, but the dialogue stuffed into actors' mouths.
  30. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    If Gooding can't get another "Boyz N the Hood" or "Jerry Maguire" soon, his career will need its own cork.
  31. 30
    The energetic musical sequences help make it feel warmer and more ingratiating than it otherwise would, which is fortunate, since this rickety vehicle needs all the help it can get.
  32. A soundtrack buried inside a sitcom.

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