Twentieth Century Fox | Release Date: September 13, 1991 CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
Generally favorable reviews based on 23 Critics
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Cross Fame and Spinal Tap, color it Irish, and you've got The Commitments, the summer's most irresistible movie. [30 Aug 1991, p.79]
The Commitments is a noisy, gritty, foul-mouthed movie with strong Irish sentiments and accents as pungent as stout. [13 Sep 1991, p.20]
It's modest - but within its own framework, tough to beat. [14 Aug 1991, p.4D]
There are so many terrific small moments to discover in The Commitments that there's no danger of ever growing bored. [14 Sep 1991, p.E1]
Thanks in great part to a couple of dozen wonderful soul songs from the 1960s, and a very engaging and talented group of young Dubliners, The Commitments is a thorough delight - warm, funny and deeply human. [13 Sep 1991, p.3F]
Partly a scintillating performance documentary, partly a comic romp through a rough-and-tumble culture, The Commitments has the charismatic energy of the music it salutes - this is blues that cheers you up, soul with a whole lot of heart. [16 Aug 1991]
Mr. Parker immerses his audience in a world in which popular art amounts to a communal high, a means of achieving identity and a great escape from the abundant problems of everyday life. As in Fame, he does this with a mixture of annoying glibness and undeniable high-voltage style. [14 Aug 1991, p.C11]
Whenever The Commitments threatens to get bogged down in its own problems, Parker is savvy enough to pull it back with more of that invigorating music on the soundtrack. When that band starts to sing, the screen fills with genuine life, and that is too rare a commodity for anyone to second-guess for long. [14 Aug 1991, p.F1]
Little rings true in The Commitments. The music, which is never lip-synched, is very good -- especially when Strong, only 16 at the time, belts Otis Redding's Try a Little Tenderness. But the characters are shrill and two-dimensional, and the performers, most of whom had little or no prior acting experience, are made to look like pro-wrestling buffoons. [16 Aug 1991, p.F1]
The Seattle TimesMichael Upchurch
Parker uses such broad strokes that he can't tease the necessary charm out of his actor. The band's backstage spats are too extreme to be convincing and as a joke they get old fast. [13 Sep 1991, p.24]