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Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Riva is a small time operator who has just returned to his hometown of Kinshasa, Congo with a major score: a fortune in hijacked petrol. With wads of cash and all out for a good time, Riva is soon entranced by the beautiful nightclub siren Nora, the kept woman of a local gangster. Into the mix comes Riva's Angolan crime lord ex-boss relentlessly seeking the return of a certain stolen shipment of gasoline. Director Djo Tunda Wa Munga's Kinshasa is a seductively vibrant, lawless, fuel-starved sprawl of shantytowns, gated villas, bordellos and nightclubs and Riva is its perfect embodiment. (Music Box Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Aug 17, 2011
    88
    A slick, exciting, well-made crime thriller, dripping with atmosphere.
  2. Reviewed by: Maggie Lee
    Jun 6, 2011
    80
    Driven by its charismatic upstart gangster protagonist Riva, the film is one joyride that knows it will careen into a spectacular crash. Djo Tunda wa Munga captures the particular vibe released by this mixture of carpe diem and self-destructive instinct.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Jun 9, 2011
    80
    As gut-punch storytelling, Viva Riva! delivers much, not the least of which is the promise of an exciting new filmmaking talent.
  4. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Jun 9, 2011
    70
    Repackaging the revenge thriller in parakeet colors and distinctive African beats, the Congolese writer and director Djo Tunda Wa Munga gives Viva Riva! a playful sensuality that goes a long way toward disguising formula.
  5. Reviewed by: Philip Wilding
    Jun 20, 2011
    60
    On the basis of this expertly engineered crime thriller Djo Munga is a director going places.
  6. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Jun 23, 2011
    50
    A fast-moving Congolese crime thriller loaded with graphic sex and violence - basically an exploitation picture. But it's hard to surrender to the gritty flow because the story is stitched together from such crushingly familiar bits.
  7. Reviewed by: Ilya Tovbis
    Jun 9, 2011
    38
    The near-slapstick escapes sit uneasily with the raw bits of very adult sex and cringe-worthy close-ups of brutality that dominate the rest of the proceedings.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

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

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