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Surprisingly delightful
billntoumos26 July 2016
I didn't expect such a good movie to be honest. The plot sounded interesting but when you watch the movie you get hooked in about 10 minutes. The characters are incredible with their own personality ( i really liked main characters brother , his story was great). The soundtrack was...oh was incredible and a great addition to the movie.

I believe that this is in my top 3 movies of the year so far and that's why everyone should give it a watch. Trust me you will not be disappointed at all. Its an amazing movie for all ages.

Also the acting is great and the 80s of course give the movie a nostalgic and beautiful tone
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Against all odds, John Carney does it again
Jaymay16 March 2016
I'm a huge fan of the movie Once. When I arrived at South By Southwest, and saw that John Carney had directed another movie, I have to say I was a bit skeptical that he could capture the magic of that movie again without the amazing music and raw performances of Glen Hansard.

My fears were unfounded.

SING STREET is a heartfelt, funny and artful coming-of-age movie set in 1985 Dublin. I'm close to an ideal audience member for this film, because I grew up in the 80s myself, a child of the MTV Generation. I count John Hughes' films and the Cameron-Crowe scripted Fast Times At Ridgemont High among the most influential films of my childhood. They are the reason I became a screenwriter, and why I continue to write movies for a teen audience.

Sing Street truly hearkens back to those great teen movies of the 80s. The best stories about teenagers are rooted in pain and isolation, and this is no different - Connor "Cosmo" Lawler comes from an upper middle class family that has fallen on hard times. His parents have constant fights. His older brother Brendan is a college dropout and his sister, the 'smart one,' pretty much keeps to herself. In order for the family to save money, Connor is transferred to the local Catholic boys school, where he's quickly made an outcast and an example by the authoritarian headmaster.

You could say that this is a movie about forming a band. And this genre of story - of artistic awakening - seems to be replayed quite often in British and Irish films like The Commitments, Billy Elliott, The Full Monty, and others. But those movies each had a unique wrinkle, and Sing Street does too. It's the beautifully told story of the way that the inspiration and inception of the best art is rarely an individual act of genius, but rather, the result of a series of interconnected acts of human desire and emotion.

It's the parents who sentence you to a horrible school; the girl who you long for that won't give you the time of day; the other guys who join your band because they're outcasts too... the brother who loves you too much, and is too angry at his own cowardice, to let you settle for less than your best.

There's also a lot of great humor in Sing Street about the fact that you have to try on the styles of your heroes before you find your own confidence. 40-something audiences will definitely get another level of enjoyment out of all the allusions to great 80s bands. The art direction and costumes are done wonderfully in that respect. But I think this movie will work wonderful for today's teenagers as well.

The movie is by turns funny, heart-wrenching, soaring and surprising. And the musical numbers, while not necessarily Oscar winning, like Once, is great. I'm thrilled that a new generation of teenagers will get to experience the release of a movie that's on par with the films I love so much as a kid.
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My Favorite movie of 2016 so far.
The movie to beat this summer isn't a superhero movie.Its a movie about a teenager forming a band to try and impress a girl. What a wonderful and beautiful movie this. I was smiling and hugging myself throughout. So light and warm hearted and funny and yet deep and powerful. The Music is amazing even the original songs are fantastic. It is directed by the great John Carney who directed one of my favorite movies about music, Once. This is one of the best coming of age stories I've ever seen. It stands with Say Anything, Stand By ME, Perks of Being a wallflower, The fault in our stars. Please just go watch this movie. Please. I Loved it. ***** out of 5.
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The movie you've always wanted if you were a teen in the '80s!
VLHdelaParra16 July 2016
I'm happy to grade this movie a full blast 10. I was a teenager in 1985 in the last private Catholic Boarding School left in Mexico City. I relate to the strict uniform policy, the angry and imperfect young Catholic brothers still guessing their vocations, the old professors teaching materials for yester years, the canteen food, hiding Walkman radios and sunglasses, talking about bands across the ocean, the girls who wanted to be older and the fashion. This is a happy sad movie, that will keep you tapping and asking why aren't all movies like this. The script is very very smart, the casting couldn't be wiser. Lucy Boynton does an amazing job. The art direction is so precise you can imagine the smell of the flats. The awesome cars. What a great movie!!

Don't miss this!!!
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Sing Street is a delightful film that is almost impossible to watch without a smile on your face and tapping of your feet for its outstanding soundtrack.
shobanchittuprolu7 January 2017
Sing Street (2016): Films about people at school forming bands are well known for being 60% more lovable than any other sort, and this movie is no exception.Sing Street,directed by Irish Film maker John Carney,has already been nominated for 74th Golden Globe Awards but sadly it will lose it to La La Land.If not for La La Land,Sing Street has all the necessary emotions and qualities to win a best musical movie of 2016.Why am I boasting it up before the review?You will see..


SING STREET takes us back to 1980s Dublin seen through the eyes of a 14-year-old boy named Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) who is looking for a break from a home strained by his parents' relationship and money troubles, while trying to adjust to his new inner-city public school where the kids are rough and the teachers are rougher. He finds a glimmer of hope in the mysterious, über-cool and beautiful Raphina (Lucy Boynton), and with the aim of winning her heart he invites her to star in his band's music videos. There's only one problem: he's not part of a band...yet. She agrees, and now Conor must deliver what he's promised and immersing himself in the vibrant rock music trends of the decade, he forms a band with a few lads, and the group pours their heart into writing lyrics and shooting videos.In a sea of opportunities ahead of them, what does the future hold for a love like this?

Plus Points:

1)Music: Sing Street is brilliant mostly because of its music.Much of the original music by the band "Sing Street" was composed by 80s veteran composer Gary Clark,which really gives us some nostalgic 80's rocking music with meaningful lyrics.For every 5 minutes a song always plays and it played a brilliant part in the movie."The Riddle of the Model" is one of the best track from this movie.I loved the other tracks too.

2)Performances: Newcomer Ferdia Walsh-Peelo is outstanding in his role and he surely has a bright future ahead.He surely is a Futurist:)When Conor gives an early Sing Street song called The Riddle of the Model to Raphina, he assures her: "It's not about you. It's about another model I know." Walsh-Peelo delivers the line with just the right mixture of shyness and teenage petulance.The other one I liked in this movie is Mark McKenna who played the role Eamon who has talent to play any kind of instrument.Lucy Boynton is lovely.Especially during the shoot of The Riddle of the Model,her expressions are marvelous.Jack Reynor as Brendon is very good in his role.

3)Screenplay and Direction: Sing Street has the most familiar plot for a musical drama but John Carney successfully made such a beautiful engaging drama with a perfect script.Sing Street is, in fact, a delightful coming-of-age tale that both celebrates young love and laments how quickly the fire of youth can be snuffed out. Director John Carney knows exactly how to mesh storytelling and music into his films.He is the next best after Damien Chazelle in directing a perfect musical picture.A great applause for Carney.

So,Sing Street is a delightful film that is almost impossible to watch without a smile on your face and tapping of your feet for its outstanding soundtrack.One of the best musicals in recent times.

My rating 8/10
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Dream big, and listen to your older brother
SanFranciscoCinephile13 April 2016
I'm a sucker for movies about musicians, and John Carney has already given us Once (2007) and Begin Again (2013). Now he delights once more with Sing Street, a tale told with humor, drama, and some pretty catchy songs, all set in the backdrop of 1980's Dublin.

Yes, Sing Street is set in the 80's so it undeniably lends itself to comic relief as these schoolboys are forced to navigate through hair, makeup, clothing and music video choices along their artistic journey. We get plenty of laughs as we watch them try to forge an identity and look like bona-fide rock stars in this crazy MTV generation. And for good measure, they insert the obligatory Phil Collins joke in the mix.

There is quite a deal of drama as well. We see bullying in an all-boys school, dysfunctional families, the economic hardships of Ireland in the 80's and young people's wish to break out of societal malaise and seek their fortunes elsewhere. I haven't lived in Ireland but the desire to pack your bags and start over in another place is a universal one. Audiences in every continent can relate to that.

The cast is solid and I was very impressed with the leads, especially Ferdia Walsh-Peelo who plays Connor. He can be charming, kind, insecure but out-of-nowhere gutsy which is an accurate depiction of a blossoming musician. After the first hour I began to be doubtful of the character of Connor's brother Brendan for seeming to be too wise for his age, but by the end of the film it all made sense, and Jack Reynor was a fine choice for that role. Lucy Boynton (Raphine) is great as the love interest and mysterious but troubled muse; she packs an emotional performance and probably looks the most natural in 80's fashion, although she didn't quite convince me as a 16 year-old and it wasn't because of all the excess hair and makeup. On the other hand Mr. Walsh-Peelo (Connor) was only 15 when the movie was shot and he's got that boyish appearance. Finally Mark McKenna (Eamon) has such an uncanny resemblance to Julian Lennon it's scary! But a good actor too.

As far as concerns I had only a few major ones but they didn't detract from the enjoyment of the film. First is that the story moves very quickly in the first 30 minutes or so, then takes the foot off the pedal for the remainder. And second, it's a little unrealistic that these kids can write quality songs right out of the blocks. It would have been fun to hear a real stinker when they're starting out. I'm a musician and believe me, our first attempts are pretty bad. That's true even for the all-time best.

There were a few other minor things but they're not worth mentioning. This is a great story, it got all the laughs, cheers and tears in the right places and I would recommend it to everyone, especially those who want to express themselves through art and aspire to greatness. Dream big, all you adolescents. A big thanks to John Carney et al for reminding us of that and making a quality film.
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Irresistibly Charming
bkrauser-81-31106416 May 2016
There's nothing quite like the creative process. We've all had that feeling; unfolding with all its frenzied excitement, malleable thoughts and brainstorms and inventive problem-solving. Yet creativity isn't just limited to what music you make, what stories you write, what paintings you paint. Flexing the limits of your creativity is almost like a window into your identity. Do you look for the easy fix, do you power through despite mental blocks, do you try the unexpected or bend towards an originality or an universality. So it goes with Sing Street, a movie that expands the notion of creativity itself, making an unabashedly and irresistibly charming film.

Conor Lalor (Walsh-Peelo) and his family live in a charmed dwelling overlooking the urban sprawl of South side Dublin. Due to financial strain, Conor is informed that he's being taken out of his private Jesuit high school and being transferred to a public school nearby. At first, things go miserably. He's hassled by bullies, called names openly in class and harangued by the school's principal Father Baxter (Wycherley). His only solace is watching new wave music videos with his older brother Brendan (Reynor). Things change however with the appearance of the mysterious and strikingly beautiful Raphina (Boynton) who stands on the stoop outside the school. He approaches her and asks her to be in a music video; she agrees. Next step: start a band.

Conor quickly makes friends with a gaggle of outcasts from the school in order to haphazardly start, build and maintain a fledgling little group. Among them is the multi-talented Eamon (McKenna) who can not only play multiple instruments but can put Conor's lyrics to song. It is the moments between these two young artists that best exemplifies the movie's central theme. We share with them the 4am feeling of unbounded imaginative bliss as they riff off each other, clean up their chords and rhythms and ask each other the meaning behind the songs they write. Because of Eamon's father's vocation as a covers band leader, the band not only has a place to practice but instruments to play which benefits the rest of the players as they develop their sound.

Conor uses his band not only for the purpose of wooing the girl but also as a means to escape his increasingly turbulent home life. The marriage between his mother (Doyle Kennedy) and father (Gillen) circles the drain as his dropout brother smokes hash and oozes cynicism and unrealized potential. In one moment of investigation, Brendan points to the mother who sits on the stoop, smoking a cigarette, hoping to catch the last rays of sunshine of the day. With big talk of some day going to Paris, the mother settles on these moments to sulk in bitter reflection. "I cleared a path for you." Brendan says in a moment of defeat. Seems his carefully curated collection of vinyl and his grimacing observations serve as a counterpoint to encourage Conor's brazen dreams.

Yet it's the girl who pushes Conor to the point of unique creative verisimilitude. And as the would-be model that captures the heart of our young hero, Lucy Boynton is an absolute vision. She coyly hints at gigs and glamour in London yet she lives at an all girls boarding house and dates a guy who listens to Genesis. Yet despite outward moments of confident sashaying, behind the makeup and denim there beats the heart of a true romantic and a true creative conduit. "When it comes to art, you never go halfway." she says just after she throws herself into the Irish Sea for the sake of a good video. This moment is immediately followed by Conor responding in kind.

And yes this movie is about a new wave band in the 1980's, so yes there is a lot of hair, makeup, posh scarf wearing and mod style bravado. While today we like to take potshots at the synth-pop aesthetic, there's still something utterly charming about the way it is presented here. Is it nostalgia; probably. Yet there's an unawareness to it, allowing the audience to discover (or re-discover) the trappings of 80's popular music in real time. The excitement Brendan and Conor feel in watching Duran Duran's Rio music video is infectious, and the original songs by the band are easily the best thing about Sing Street.

Conor eventually finds a since of identity within the catchy rhythms of his songs, the jejune charms of Raphina and the kindliness of Brendan's brotherly love. The moments of kitchen sink realism serves not only as a cautionary tale to Conor but to us as well. When we refuse ourselves the rewards of creativity we risk becoming embittered, angry and resentful. In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, "Go into the arts. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow." To put it another way, go create something.
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Gregory's Commitments
bob-the-movie-man11 May 2016
Ah, the joy and pain of first love! Young Conor (aka Cosmo, played in his impressive debut by Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) has the smelly end of a shitty stick to deal with while growing up in 1980's Dublin. He has warring parents with the need – for financial reasons - to move Conor from his posh school to 'Singe Street' Catholic school: a decidedly rougher and tougher place, ruled over with a rod of iron by Brother Baxter (Don Wycherley). This is a place of chaos and mayhem, ruled over by bullies of the likes of Barry (a superbly intimidating Ian Kenny).

The 15 year old Conor tries punching above his weight with the lovely 16 year old Raphina (Lucy Boynton) – a struggling wannabe model with "mysterious eyes" who hangs around outside the Woman's Refuge opposite the school. To get her number, he claims to head up a band and to need her help with the band's video. One small problem: there is no band and Conor has limited musical ability! He gathers around him a motley crew of friends, and with the help of his stoner brother (Jack Raynor) and his extensive vinyl collection, goes about creating a band to gain fame and fortune (or at least the girl).

This is a film that works on so many levels. As a piece of nostalgia for us older folks, the sights and sounds of the 80's are brought vividly back to life, with a rocking soundtrack of the likes of Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet to enjoy. And as a coming of age movie, the long lingering looks, embarrassment and discomfort of first-dating is both touching and painful to watch, with the best Rich-Tea fuelled snog ever put on screen! Few films in fact have come this close to depicting this glorious ineptitude since John Gordon Sinclair and Dee Hepburn struggled to get together in Bill Forsyth's "Gregory's Girl" (making me feel ancient, this was actually set in 1981!).

It should be noted that at one point the film also models the casual racism prevalent at the time, with perhaps only the addition of a rebuking "You can't say things like that" striking a less realistic note.

This is a film where nearly everyone is damaged in one way or another – drugs; hopeless ambition; child abuse; paedophilia, alcoholism; bullying; (the list goes on). However, the hugely intelligent script by writer and director John Carney drips the issues out in such tiny insinuations and snippets of conversation that it feels lifelike: not as if the film-maker is beating you over the head with it. This is just a poor Dublin life in the 80's: get on with it.

All of this might make you think this is a hugely depressing, kitchen-sink type of drama that will leave you, at the end of the evening, in dire need of a box-set of "Father Ted" to cheer you up. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the same way as the music in Alan Parker's 1991 Dublin-set classic "The Commitments" - and indeed 2013's excellent Belfast-based "Good Vibrations" - lifted the spirits, so the drive and energy of the soundtrack makes the film a hugely uplifting experience. Besides the classic 80's stuff there are some really great original songs (co-written by the multi- talented John Carney, with Gary Clark): I was still humming "Drive It Like You Stole It" in the car park.

The young cast throw themselves into the job with great energy, with Walsh-Peelo and Boynton delivering touching and impressive performances and Mark McKenna particularly worthy of note channeling a young John Lennon. My top acting accolade though goes to Jack Raynor (who was until recently rumoured to be in the running for the role of the young Han Solo: a role that's now just gone to "Hail Caesar's" Alden Ehrenreich). Playing Conor's older and wiser brother, his frustration at his role in life boils over in a vinyl- smashing and hugely impressive rant that I would like to see credited with a Best Supporting Actor award. And amid all of the teenage love and band efforts, it is this aspect of brotherly love that eventually shines out as the beating heart of the film.

The film is a little rough at the edges – a dream sequence looks like it could have had a few more dollars thrown at it - but this often adds to the charm. John Carney seems to have quite an Indie following, but I'm not familiar with his other work. This film left me wanting to dig into his archives. It left my wife gushing with tears from beginning to end! A must see film.

(I loved it - did you? Please visit for the graphical version of this review and to provide any feedback in the comments section.)
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The Feel-Good Irish Movie Of The Year
CinemaClown6 January 2017
A beautifully balanced, sensibly narrated & splendidly performed indie covering the highs & lows of teenage life while demonstrating the magic of creating music with all the romance of the art in tact Sing Street is a heartfelt ode to the carefree, joyous days of growing up and with its subtle touch of melancholy & hummable soundtrack, delivers an experience that's delightfully captivating.

Set in Dublin, Ireland during the 1980s, Sing Street tells the story of a young kid who is looking for an escape from all his troubles at home where his family is on the verge of falling apart, and at his new school where students & teachers are quite rough. His window of opportunity arrives when, in an attempt to impress a girl, he invites her to star in his band's music videos despite not being a part of one.

Written & directed by John Carney, the movie packs just the right amount of heart, fun, nostalgia, heartaches & optimism and also benefits from the interesting set of characters the writer-director brings to life. The events progress in smooth, effective manner from start to finish while the songs are expertly placed at just the right moments to exquisitely capture the underlying context of the emotions on surface.

Production design team does well to nicely capture the period details of the timeline its plot is set in. Cinematography encapsulates the entire feature with an overcast ambiance with warm & cold colours utilised as per the scene requirements. Editing provides a steady pace to its 105 minutes narrative with each scene only taking the story forward while songs are composed from scratch and have an infectious quality to them.

Coming to the performances, Sing Street features a relatively unknown but incredibly committed cast in Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Mark McKenna, Jack Raynor, Aidan Gillen & Maria Doyle Kennedy and everyone does an excellent job with what they are given. Walsh-Peelo in particular is a standout and shares brilliant chemistry with both Boynton & McKenna while Raynor pretty much steals the show in every scene he appears in.

On an overall scale, Sing Street is the feel-good movie of the year that's euphonic in both happy & sad moments and manages to incorporate a mix of both with amazing comfort. A healthy dose of entertainment that treads the fine line between wishful fantasy & cold reality that promises plenty of laughs & hints of tears, this bittersweet coming-of-age musical comedy hits the right chords at the right time throughout its runtime and is one of the best films of 2016. Definitely recommended.
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Carney is now 3 and O
somf22 March 2016
I was a fan of Carney's band the Frames, and was delighted to see his first low budget film , "Once"

His second wonderful film had a much bigger budget and well know cast, but still a small film. I just loved, "Begin Again" with Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine, and Kiera Knightly.

He goes back to his roots with Sing Street and it is simply a joyful experience. It started off a bit slow for me. But as the band that is the focal point of the film hones their skills and improves so does this wonderful story. I just can't say enough about how great the two leads were in this film Ferdia Walsh-Peelo plays the male lead Conor, and Lucy Boynton as Raphina were just wonderful. It is a great film to watch if you are having trouble getting your smile on.

As an American I had a little trouble at times with the thick Irish accents. When I watch the CD I may have to stick the subtitles on.I wish the film had a bit of a bigger budget in the sense that it looks like it was made on a tiny budget and musicals are much better when the sound is powerful. But that is just quibbling. Go see this in the theaters, if for nothing else to make sure Carney gets money to keep making films.
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"Sing Street" is music to the ears - and the heart.
dave-mcclain8 May 2016
Few (if any) of us were who we wanted to be when we were in high school. While high school girls often think they're not pretty enough or popular enough, boys fear they're not cool enough or tough enough. Of course, these are only a few of the characteristics that teens in high school – both boys and girls believe they lack. The point is, during adolescence, all kids think that they're not "enough"… of something. Well, I say "enough already" – and so does Irish writer-director John Carney, through his music-oriented comedy-drama "Sing Street" (PG-13, 1:46). This is a film that shows us it's okay to be insecure and sad sometimes, but you can also learn to be happy during those times and even to rise above them. "Happy-Sad" the film calls it. I call the film insightful, encouraging and entertaining.

Conor Lalor (Ferdia Walsh Peelo) is, in many ways, a typical 15-year-old. He goes to school, where he has both friends and enemies. He has family members who love him, but also add challenges to his life. And, of course, he wants to earn the affections of someone special who has caught his eye. The details of the framework of Conor's life may differ from yours (as well as his gender, interests, location and even time period), but he should be easy to relate to – for anyone who attended (or is now attending) high school.

As for Conor, he lives in Dublin, Ireland in 1985. He has a brother (six years older) named Brendan (Jack Raynor), who is out of school but still lives at home, and a younger sister named Ann (Kelly Thornton). Their parents (Aidan Gillen and Maria Doyle Kennedy) argue – loudly – about money, their kids, their marriage, etc. Conor has the experience of changing schools, starting at Synge Street Christian Brothers School, where, as the new kid, he quickly runs afoul of the principal (Don Wycherly) and the school bully (Ian Kelly). However, Conor soon makes a friend named Darren (Ben Carolan) and is quite taken by a mysterious girl named Raphina (Lucy Boynton) who lives across the street from the school.

As a way of getting to know Raphina, Conor asks her to be in a music video for his band. She agrees, so now all Conor has to do is… start a band! He gets Darren to be the band's manager – slash – music video producer. Darren introduces Conor to Eamon (Mark McKenna), who is skilled at a variety of instruments. After the guys recruit from among their school mates, adding friends Larry (Conor Hamilton) and Gary (Karl Rice), along with Ngig (Percy Chamburuka), the only black kid at Synge Street CBS, they choose "Sing Street" as the name of their band, and start working on their band's musical and visual identity.

Heavily influenced by early-mid 1980s acts like The Cure, Joe Jackson and Hall & Oates (whose songs appear in the soundtrack), Sing Street works up a cover of Duran Duran's "Rio" and then Conor and Eamon start writing original songs together. Brendan makes use of his misspent youth to school his younger brother in the finer points of modern music and encourages Conor to stretch musically. Soon, Raphina becomes Conor's muse and a regular in Sing Street's videos. Raphina and Conor also grow closer, in spite of her "it's complicated" relationship status and her plan to move to London to model.

"Sing Street" features a whole lot of talent – on both sides of the camera – and the microphone. Carney's direction and his script are sensitive, engaging and fun. The story has a lot going on, but still keeps things simple, and derives its entertainment value from a variety of sources. The drama comes from following the development of the band, the relationship between Conor and Raphina, the relationships within Conor's house and Conor's problems at school. The comedy comes from the behavior of the film's colorful characters and the natural awkwardness of teenagers discovering life.

Carney says the film is "wish fulfillment of all of the things I wanted when I was the age of the character and didn't do." To portray a fictionalized version of his own adolescence, he cast unknown, but talented actors – with terrific results. Raynor creates an interesting and passionate character, who is dealing with the fear that life is passing him by. For their part, Walsh-Peelo and McKenna, besides being fine young actors, are talented musicians in real life – all the better to perform the film's excellent original songs.

As the main character, Conor's struggles are relatable, his dreams are understandable and his story is enjoyable. The film isn't completely original or realistic, but it's very effective as a representation of the trials, tribulations and potential triumphs of the teenage years, and offers hope as to what could lie ahead – for those who make the most of those years – and the lessons they produce. "You can never do anything by half," is one character's heart-felt proclamation. "Sing Street" continually speaks to the heart – through its comedy, its drama and its wonderful music – and doesn't do it by half. "A-"
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London Calling
ferguson-620 April 2016
Greetings again from the darkness. The vast majority of 1980's music usually inspires nothing but groans and an immediate change of the radio channel from me. Yet writer/director John Carney masterfully captured and held my attention with this crowd-pleasing story that leans heavily on the tunes from that era.

Mr. Carney was also responsible for two previous music-centric movies, Once (2007) and Begin Again (2013). He is an exceptional story teller who puts music at the center, but avoids the label of "musical" by making it about people, rather than notes.

It's 1985 in economically depressed Dublin, and a strong opening sequence introduces us to Connor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) as his ever-arguing parents (Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy) inform him of the economic necessity of pulling him out of prep school and enrolling him into a much tougher environment … one that comes with bullies and hard-nosed teachers/clergy.

Soon enough Connor is hanging with the misfits and inviting an enchanting "older" girl to star in his band's video. She agrees, and wide-eyed Connor quickly sets out to form a band that didn't previously exist.

There are two interesting and fully realized relationships that make this movie click: Connor and the enchanting Raphina (Lucy Boynton), and Connor and his older brother Brendon (Jack Reynor). Brendan is Connor's life mentor and music guru. They are quick to jump on the new world of music videos, and it's a real hoot to watch Connor emulate the style and fashion of Duran, Duran, The Cure, etc.

It's fascinating to note that Connor, while a pretty talented lyricist and singer, doesn't really seem to be in love with the music except as a means to an end … a way to get the girl. That said, the real message here is that while teenagers often feel like they can't fix the outside world (parents, teachers, bullies), they can fix themselves by finding a passion in life (the movie uses the term vocation).

It's hard not to notice the influence of such filmmakers as John Hughes and Cameron Crowe, and Carney certainly brings his touch of romanticism. Plus, one must appreciate any movie that delivers an original song as catchy as "Drive it like you Stole it", while also taking a shot at Phil Collins. It's a funny and sweet movie that should really catch on through positive word of mouth.
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Great Period Piece
reimermathew30 September 2017
Really captures its time, has a wonderful soundtrack, and a great concept. Does a really good job communicating the tone and the feeling of the plot, and none of the actors felt like actors. There were very many things done very well in this movie and very few things that noticeably would need improvement. It'd be an 8 in my books if not for just how well it captured 1980s Dublin. It definitely added to the film experience. If you're looking for a good film with good humour that tells a good story, this would be great option.
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Possibility. Your own path. Risk being ridiculed. "Happy sad".
mago427 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
It's a few days before the end of May, 2016, and the year in film might already be over as far as I'm concerned. It did not seem that way to me after the first time I saw this film - the "Mary Sue"-ism of the band's progress in quality, the strange appearance of a 1987 song in a 1985-set film (Starship's track at the party towards the end - from the movie 'Mannequin'), me asking myself which characters were responsible for editing the music video for 'Riddle of the Model' so decently / well?, and a couple more quibbles. These minor details became less important by the second viewing, and completely unimportant by the third and fourth viewings. They were replaced by: the girl that inspires your work, the work that allows you to ignore your current circumstances, the "adults", however few they may be, that actually notice what you're doing and encourage you / help you / are happily there for you, the friends you make as a result of putting yourself "out there", the joy of coming up with new material, "who are you, Steely Dan?", the fantastic storyline with Barry - the 'bully' who is incorporated into the group as the roadie with M's "Pop Musik" playing in the background, Brendan and Raphina meeting towards the end of the film, Eamon's mother (hahah), Flash and the Pan's "Waiting for a Train", The Cure on a film soundtrack, "Depech-E Mode", cookies between kisses, and Raphina... and Brendan. When even Adam Levine works perfectly for the film's ending, you know things are clicking.

On a side note: my profile has my location as San Juan, Puerto Rico, but I did not see this film there... since it has not been shown there, and I unfortunately would not be surprised if it ended up not showing there at all before home video (hope I'm wrong).

On a second side note: while in early high school, we tried to make a music video to compete in MTV's make-a-video contest for Madonna's track 'True Blue'... and failed impressively. Hence my immediately noticing the editing in 'RotM' :)
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What A Relief
Movie_Riggs7 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I needed a movie like this in 2016, and I wish it could have come earlier. I didn't know they had decided to keep making films like this.

'Sing Street', on the surface, is a funny teenage movie about an Irish boy who starts a punk rock band in the 1980s to impress a girl he likes. This premise alone made me want to see it; it sounded hugely enjoyable for someone who loves rock and roll and loves (certain) teen movies. And I wasn't wrong, I had a great time with the film. But it's definitely more than what it sounds.

The movie reminds me so much of 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower', which is important to acknowledge because that film is one of the defining teen movies of a century devoid of good teen movies. I could count the 21st century gems on one hand, and the other lackluster attempts on ten. Both of these movies succeed in calling back to the glorious John Hughes era. They use their characters right, the dialogue works, and it's relatable for a teen audience.

'Sing Street' is about rebellion. About taking control of one's life and making memories, even if the steps you must take to get there seem too steep to climb. It's about finding out who this musically talented boy is through a journey in which his family is torn apart but his friendships are multiplied. It is heartfelt, beautifully shot, and comes complete with a hip soundtrack. One of the best movies of its year. 9/10
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Just superb.
d-carlyle4 January 2017
Had heard so many good things about this and had really wanted to see it but it didn't come to my local world of cine so I missed out during its theatrical run and one thing or another had made me not catch up later, but I was determined to see it before the year was out as I thought it might be one of my favourite films, and I was right. I had really enjoyed Begin Again and Once was one of my favourite films when I saw it so I am a fan of director Carney's work and in this he's right back up to Once's standards. I was enjoying it from the start, helped by the 1980's setting which was when I was in senior school just like the protagonists and which the film perfectly portrays, but was not blown away. But as it progressed it just crept into my being, filling me up with its energy, heart, sole and most of all its music and the joy and exuberance of its creators. The young cast here shine, from our hero, to his bully nemesis, taking in along the way the heroes dream girl, his band of misfits, and the worlds ultimate big brother. Sure, for a group of school kids they are unrealistically good at writing and performing their various pastiches of several 80's pop styles, but the songs are incredibly catchy and the homemade videos they create for them are very funny and perfectly of the era. If you don't leave this film with a song in your heart and a smile on your face, then your dead inside.
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miguelmiccia21 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
While we have not seen so simply and yet so Special for this kind of movie, charming from start to finish with a freshness and despite major cast of rookies a imposing professionalism. The message is clear from half the film, which leaves nothing to chance. With a very sensitive issue and deep.

The soundtrack deserves a separate paragraph where we remember those glorious years of rock, and as mutates over time a It forms so well treated, from its essence to fashion and more.

A highly recommendable film that left us with a taste nostalgic sweet and melancholy.

To sit and enjoy.
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One of the most fun and genuine movies I've seen in a while.
grayfox77719 July 2017
This is one of the most fun and genuine movies I've seen in a while. The most basic and tried concept of a guy starting a band to impress a girl is executed with such freshness and color. And when the music starts playing you will wish Sing Street was a real band. Easily one of my favorite movie bands. The acting was surprisingly good and Lucy Boynton performance was fantastic. Sing Street is an absolute gem and I promise you will feel younger by just watching it.
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A Heartwarming Film that is Ridiculous Fun,
lesleyharris3011 June 2017
Sing Street is an outstanding movie with a very well developed plot and a stellar cast. It is a real feel good, sweet movie that is a pure delight for anyone familiar with the eighties, the setting and atmosphere makes it convey very clear that we are in a very different time in Ireland. The original songs are magnificent, each one being annoyingly catchy and serving the plot very well. It is immensely funny, but also stands out in more dramatic moments that are mildly tense, and very real.

The only aspect of the film that I did not particularly appreciate was the parents plot line. It was clearly trying to add an extra layer of difficulty to Conor's life, but it failed to grab me in any way. I did not care for his two dimensional mother and father, nor did I have any interest on seeing how their relationship pans out.

The strongest part of the movie has to be Conor and Brendan's special brotherly bond, it is sweet, pure and I think any pair of brothers can relate to it. With the teasing that goes on between them, as well as the sincere care they both have for one another, the ending brought a tear to my eye as a result of how powerful Ferdia Walsh-Peelo and Jack Reynor's relationship was.

It made me experience many different emotions throughout, which is what the best movies do. Funny, heartwarming and wildly entertaining, Sing Street is worth the watch for anyone who is looking for a good comedy or music film.

A young boy starts a band in order to get an older girls attention.

Best Performance: Jack Reynor
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John Carney's highly entertaining and youthfully vibrant, Sing Street will be the most delightful riot of eighties-reminiscent nostalgia you never thought you needed.
itsJennayy13 March 2016
Following Carney's stunning hit Once, his attempt at 2013′s Begin Again, although (at first glance) full of indie music-lover potential, never quite felt like it understood what you wanted it to be. Since re-watching Begin Again, hoping to find some reasoning behind this, it became apparent that the film never finds its own voice or identity, like Once did, despite its great cast and original music. Instead of ignoring this, Carney has focused on this misstep with Sing Street, creating a truly genuine ode to not just the seventies and all coming-of-age youth, but his own personal experience.

There is a deliberate personal touch here, and the film is all the better for it - it is present in the relatable character of Cosmo (played by the impressive Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) and his hormone- infused ambitions to simply "get the girl". Instigated by the presence of the beautiful and mysterious Raphina (played by the lovely Lucy Boynton), Cosmo starts a band. He is guided by his older brother Brendan (played by the excellent Jack Reynor) and his rebellious 80′s taste in music, to inspire his own band's music. What follows is a musically-charged narrative of experiments in identity, rebelling against oppression and hilarious attempts at parodying classic 80′s music videos. You have to wonder how interesting a character Carney must have been at that age, growing up in conservative Dublin and gaining a taste in new music that opened up his world, like his character Cosmo.

Frieda Walsh-Peelo does a fine job, although not leading man quality yet, he carries the film considerably well for his first acting role. More impressive, is his vocal talent. Frieda is a trained opera singer and musician at only 16. His broad vocal range is apparent and works really well with the many different songs in the film. It will be exciting to see what other projects he tackles in the future.

Lucy Boynton is stunning and so believable as the sure-footed and mysterious Raphina - she really wears the eighties wardrobe well as she fully embodies this role, rather than the other way around. Early on, her character is saved from Manic-Pixie-Dreamgirl syndrome and she becomes a real, imperfect, three-dimensional character. Boynton's light, airy voice lends to her character's naiveness, which is a stark contrast to the image she projects.

Perhaps the most enjoyable character (aside from the underused band members, who do deserve some more love) is Cosmo's older brother Brendan, played by Jack Reynor. Reynor manages to make Brendan into both a reckless, failed dreamer as well as the older brother we all wish we had. By the end of this film you'll empathize with him even more and that's not just because it's written well.

The only concern will be that most notably, at the TIFF Next Wave film festival, it was acknowledged during the Q&A's how approximately 90% of the audience were 50 or older. The soundtrack, if marketed correctly, could become a hit. Tunes like "Rhythm of the Model" and "Drive it Like You Stole It" were clearly audience favourites. It will be interesting to see how this will be marketed though. The music, although catchy and fun, is not "mainstream" and younger audiences may not bite. Older audiences who come for shoutouts to Duran Duran and The Cure may be put off by how toned down and slightly unrealistic or easy the plot plays out.

There seems to be some confusion with this film, if it was made for adolescents or older audiences or just John Carney. I would have to agree with all three. I found Sing Street similar to a Pixar film in that it's marketed toward the younger set with a story that doesn't get too ugly but is pulled off well with a strong message. References that only adults will get will go over kids' heads. But ultimately - this is a movie for and by John Carney. And that is why is it so unlike Begin Again - Sing Street has it's own voice and identity.

Overall, the message is so clear and true in this film. The world Carney places his story in is so rich that it refuses to lack depth despite it's expected younger audience. There are relatable subplots about family and marriage, the bond between brothers, oppression in society, and the desire to achieve your dreams despite where you come from. Admittedly, there are some underused characters who still manage to naturally add charisma and charm. Perhaps a missed opportunity, but the rest of the band members fall to the wayside to make room for Cosmo and Raphina's boy- meets-girl plot. This could've easily become a completely different film about the band itself and made into an ensemble's story. However, Sing Street is much more than that - it's a personal journey through adolescence. It's about daring to dream beyond what is put in front of you. (Reviewed by : COLD KNEES)
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Most Under-appreciated Movie of 2016- Great Soundtrack
sean3202 September 2017
Wow. What an absolutely beautiful film. It is so simple. It is about teenagers in a band. But the humor is so well-timed, and the music so...awesome...that it is a real pleasure to watch. I only heard about Sing Street because of its Golden Globe nomination (which it completely deserved) and didn't watch it on Netflix until well through 2017. I regret not seeing it sooner.

One of the great parts of Sing Street is that the teenagers are actually played by teenagers, not 20 year-olds pretending to be 14 (cough cough Spider-man). They're really believable kids, and just so likable. Their personal stories are interesting and the way they see the world is fascinating to experience. It all feels very real.

Sing Street also has an INCREDIBLE SOUNDTRACK that compliments the story so well. Up is my favorite.

Jack Reynor totally deserved his Irish Oscar. He was such a REAL older brother. I did it again, and said how real it felt. That's part of the beauty of the film. It just feels real. But back to Jack Reynor. I didn't know him from anything else, but he was so good in this that when I first saw his face as a racist cop in Detroit (a SUPER intense film) that I actually laughed. Thanks Sing Street.

Must see film. Just bunny stuff.
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Drive it along Sing street
i_ianchev6 February 2017
I thought that 2016 was dominated musically by "La La Land", but then I saw "Sing street"...

Well, what can I say - music is everything sometimes. And just sometimes - movie making through music is what it takes to make everyone feel so much better.

Topics like family, growing up, friendship and love fill this movie with the necessary energy to carry you from beginning to end with joy and passion. I am truly inspired how the main characters start from the desire to be noticed and reach some of the highest peaks of originality in art. The 80's background music, set and costumes are far too attractive to be missed. And for me - these are all hallmarks of great directorship and cinematography.

The desire to associate with, to give, to win, translates to the viewer the impression of youth's vigor and love towards pushing down walls and changing habits. The young cast of this film reminds us to never let the important things run out of our lives, no matter how hard the situation is. And always to share every spark of creativity. The unique cultural-historical perspective of this movie shows again how music connects past and future, now and then.

Across cultures and distances we are interconnected by art, and in particular by good music. We can experience the passion to express ourselves all the way along our path of growing up and chasing our dreams. And to see once again how we must never lose grasp of our goals, no matter how hard it gets along the way.

This movie is an excellent example of how the family can influence any young kid in both a good and a bad way. Also - the importance of a good advice against the malice of poverty and ignorance is really obvious. "Sing Street"is the newest story of how love can actually save and dignify. But more than everything we see - how music can be a solution to all. And without any guaranteed success at the end, we enjoy this film as a really splendid creation of nostalgia, music and love.

I truly recommend this small treasure to you and your close ones. We can never have too much music and love in our lives!
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The most beautiful movie in the last 10 years (or more)
mauricio-em14 October 2016
If you're reading this I'm willing to bet that you know what this movie is about. Ireland, mid-80's, Depeche mode, awesome music, dope, the works.

Sing Street manages to elicit that time frame exceptionally well and with respect for it's source material, I totally became engrossed with the music of the era and -specially- the FASHION. They actually made it look cool.

But what sets this movie apart and takes the whole "Boy meets girl and makes band" to new heights is the HEART the movie has. I honestly haven't been so inspired, mesmerized and just in plain awe at a movie and the dreams, trials and tribulations of it's protagonist as much as with this one in AGES. Maybe EVER.

Just please do yourself and me a favor: Go watch the movie right now, by whatever means possible. You won't regret it. I promise.

Oh and, Drive it like you stole it. ;)
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Beautiful, heartwarming experience
meleager13 September 2016
The movie somehow illuminates in the darkness surrounding the 7th art nowadays. Drawing a simple, yet powerful fable, using bold and at times even aggressive strokes, it creates a convincing story which will certainly affect most of the viewers.

All the actors are great, but the youngsters are just fabulous. I am totally in love with Raphina and Conor has all my sympathies. The powerful performance by Jack Reynor (the big brother) comes as a surprise and provide an extra boost to the whole thing.

It's a beautiful, beautiful movie. It is also fun and quite optimistic and I would recommend it to anyone.
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Thanks for the music lessons
ctowyi1 August 2016
Brilliant. Once will forever be one of my desert island films, but Sing Street comes really close. Together with Begin Again, John Carney has made an amazing trilogy of 'music' films that beat with warm hearts of gold.

This one is about a boy living in the 80s who wants to start a band because he likes a girl. A rather simple storyline but the execution is bliss. If you were weaned on songs from the 80s you are so going to love this. The music is of course A1, but I never counted the familiar story to be so winsome and endearing. It fricking made me tear up. The reason why it is so good is because Carney knows how to portray the kids and adults like how we think them to be in our idealistic minds. In our minds, at one time or another, we all wished we were like them. I love the banter between the boy and his older brother in the music man-cave. Doesn't anyone want an older brother like that. A bro that knows, feels, loves and understands music, and talks music like it is the only knowledge in the world worth knowing. Carney knows music and he uses it to bridge relationships and incidents in our lives, and it is about getting the girl. It is also about "finding the happiness in sadness" that transcends us to a new level, and "no woman can truly love a man who listens to Phil Collins". I will remember that one 😬

Thank you for the music lessons.
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