Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. 100
    If Young at Heart were merely a cheeky presentation of codgers belting out inappropriate tunes, it would be a curiosity and nothing more. But by getting inside the lives of a few of its members, the movie ultimately paints a moving portrait of senior citizens who believe it's better to burn out than fade away.
  2. They also make joyful music, communicated, both by the singers and their playful, sensitive documentarian, with an authority that quite knocks off socks.
  3. Reviewed by: Jessica Reaves
    88
    An exuberant, affectionate documentary.
  4. Vibrant and vivacious documentary.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    88
    A heartening and poignant affirmation of the transformative power of music.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    Sloppily made at times and it comes close to wearing out its welcome, but you can't blame Walker for not wanting to let his subjects go. And as the movie progresses, a viewer begins to understand why: These people are literally singing for their lives.
  7. British director Stephen Walker approached this project with wide-eyed good humor.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Mar 18, 2013
    8
    This movie is as inspiring as it is emotional as it is funny. It is a must watch music documentary. I did not like the background comments made by the director and following members of the group to the hospital was unnecessary and insensitive as well, but I looked past these flaws and thought it was incredible from start to finish. You have no reason not to watch this, seriously (and you don't even have to be a rock fan). Full Review »
  2. MelindaS.
    Jun 21, 2008
    8
    I hope Bob Cilman, the chorus director, has a long and successful career. What he does with - and for - these amazing performers (and they are all performers first, singers second) is inspirational. Rock music is a complex and compelling thing, and this documentary gives it yet another dimension. Full Review »
  3. ChadS.
    May 23, 2008
    6
    Avant-garde composer/musician John Zorn said this about the Langley School Music Project, "This is is beauty. This is truth. This is music that touches the heart in a way no other music ever has, or ever could." Unlike the field recordings of the seventies era-Canadian school children(led by music teacher Hans Fenger) who would go on to inspire Richard Linklater's "The School of Rock", there's a knowingness behind the retirement home chorus renditions of post-punk standards like "Life During Wartime"(David Byrne) and "Schizophrenia"(Thurston Moore), which has the subtle reek of exploitation. The manipulation is deliberative and a little too choreographed. The music director knows exactly how these fragile people, who quite literally throughout "Young at Heart", drop like flies, will impact an audience, when interpreting songs about their impending mortality(most astonishingly, we hear The Police's "Every Breath You Take", a song about romantic obsession, with new ears). So you have to negotiate a little calculation with your "up with old people" uplift. But there are exceptions; most notably, the guy in the wheelchair whose modest, plaintive voice finds the truth in Coldplay's "Fix You". I'm cynical, but not that cynical. Full Review »