Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13

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Critic Reviews

  1. 75
    This documentary by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi could have used more music for my taste, and fewer talking heads. But it’s absorbing all the same.
  2. 70
    Best when exploring the nitty gritty of N'Dour's life as a musician, favorite son and cultural ambassador.
  3. N’dour’s concert numbers and family visits are captivating, but Vasarhelyi is so uncritical toward the singer that she inadvertently makes him look as though he’s running for sainthood.
  4. 70
    But by far the most powerful element is N'Dour's lone voice, a thing of high, pure beauty that feels at once ancient and new. When he sings, an otherwise earnestly conventional film becomes a vehicle of incantatory power.
  5. 67
    Love looks and sounds great, but in depicting N’Dour as a lofty symbol for music’s power to bridge worlds and inspire, it sometimes loses sight of the man.
  6. Although his movie often resembles the kind of promotional video one might find as an extra on a concert DVD, N'Dour in full throttle is a sight, and sound, to behold.
  7. 60
    For all the singer's sincere intentions to build secular-religious bridges, a straight-up concert film might have been a better approach, especially given viewer fatigue with those musicians and their causes.
  8. Though we see the same man throughout the bumpy tour captured here -- always calm, steady, faithful -- it's bound to prove an enlightening portrait for those who know him only as the guy who once worked with Peter Gabriel.
  9. 50
    Perhaps because the music is so good, with its purity of tone and dazzling rhythmic precision, the flaws of the surrounding movie become all the more obvious.
  10. 50
    The film works best when we see N'Dour onstage. He has a great set of pipes and is nothing if not charismatic.
  11. Part concert film, part narrative, it isn't fully successful on either level, coming across more like an overlong DVD extra than a fully stand-alone work.
  12. When the film sticks to biographical and career background, it is on steady ground, but when it argues the case for one particular album, it becomes promotional rather than documentary material.

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