More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 34.18%
Worth A Look: 6.33%
Average: 8.86%
Pretty Bad: 12.66%
Total Crap37.97%

3 reviews, 61 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Unity of Heroes by Jay Seaver

Hanagatami by Jay Seaver

Predator, The by Jay Seaver

Fahrenheit 11/9 by Rob Gonsalves

Madeline's Madeline by Jay Seaver

Won't You Be My Neighbor? by Rob Gonsalves

Brothers' Nest by Jay Seaver

Mandy by Peter Sobczynski

Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum by Jay Seaver

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

Raise Your Voice
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Laura Kyle

"Young American actress in desperate need of a high quality, original film."
1 stars

I wasn't interested in RAISING HELEN, and I certainly don't want to RAISE MY VOICE, unless it is to scold Hilary Duff and the pitiful movie she is stuck in. I entered the theater with low expectations, and let's just say they were exceeded. These teen flicks have gotten out of hand. I do not feel like a critic anymore, I feel like a mother, who must inform her children of proper behavior. "Remember, when making a film, make sure you don't neglect directing it."

Duff plays Terri, an aspiring young singer who has a strangely close relationship to her doting brother. Remember American Beauty, and that scene of Ricky Fitts (played by a brooding Wes Bentley) videotaping his half naked girlfriend Jane Burnham (Thora Birtch)? Well, picture Ricky as a bright-eyed, happy go lucky kid with a camera, and Jane, not naked, but blond and singing badly. And now imagine they are brother and sister. This is essentially the beginning of Raise Your Voice. Yeah. There could only be one reason for this odd plot element. When a movie opens up with obnoxious smiling faces, a choir shouting out an incredibly cheery song (Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog to be specific), and a brother/sister relationship that is so strong, it is borderline incestuous, it could only mean one thing. Somebody is going to die. Hint hint.

After a sudden tragic loss, the details of which you should have figured out by now, we are thankfully fast-forwarded through the grieving process, to Terri disobeying her stern father, with the support of her mother and aunt, to attend a prestigious summer music program where she can practice her craft. The ensuing plot and lame finale is not worthy of discussion. But if you must know... there is more than one spontaneous gathering of music students, who - armed with their instruments and voices - burst into well choreographed songs that appear to be giving them orgasmic pleasure. And when Terri attempts to perform classic Italian Arias and timeless choral pieces in a pop style (without talent I might add), I knew Raise Your Voice was hopeless.

Raise Your Voice is another fish-out-of-water-who-wouldn't-normally-be-out-of-water-in-real-life stories, except this time around, horrid music is mixed into the formula. Raise Your Voice is also the kind of movie that is so brimming with cheese, Duff's celebrity rival Lindsay Lohan will probably take a group of friends to see, for a good laugh, and a sizeable ego boost. It puzzles me that superstar Duff cannot find more respectable work; perhaps Lohan has taken all the good roles.

Nonetheless, there are a few touching, earnest moments, and despite all the damage Duff has done to the movie industry, I still like her. Although she's hardly a musical performer (even though her real-life hit songs and teeny bopper fans imply otherwise), she's mastered the art of crying -- shedding tears and downright sobbing for a considerable portion of the film. What's more amazing though, is her character's permanent, perky personality never gets too irritating; that's quite a feat. Ultimately, whether one likes it or not, she is what carries Raise Your Voice. Her young co-stars are easily forgettable, and I am not really sure what David Keith (as Terri's father), and John Corbett (as her teacher), are doing in this movie, and I don't think they know either. I'm certain they weren't getting much help from director Sam McNamara, who had to draw most of his experience from work in television, and whose only memorable film projects were some of the Casper movies and P.U.N.K.S.

There was a story in here that McNamara could have told in a compelling and convincing manner. But he can't even manage to pull off the unoriginal film tactics, like the discovery of the "other girl," competently. I assume that if quality actors like Corbett, Keith, and Rita Wilson (playing Terri's mother) hopped on board, Raise Your Voice must have looked good on paper. I guess even they could not predict it would sound so awful. However, the young up-and-coming star Evan Rachel Wood (Once and Again, Thirteen), turned the job of playing Terri down.

It's possible some pre-teens and kiddies will appreciate this PG dud, but I'm not making any promises.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 10/15/04 17:10:25
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

4/24/11 Jenna Loved it. It was cute and sweet. Not Oscar material but worth seeing. 3 stars
8/20/09 Miki The classical song that the 4 teachers were playing is Vivaldi's "Four Seasons (Winter)". 4 stars
6/21/09 Savannah great movie, 5 stars
9/28/08 Brianna your a crappy critic, this movie was awesome.. so i think you should get a new job. 5 stars
7/19/08 IceKat For goodness sake. The movie was good! What was the classical song she was singing? 4 stars
4/19/08 tim does any one know the song name for these lyrics from this film there's a "light in me" 5 stars
11/01/07 cody a good movie with great story about facing your fears and not backing down. duff is hot! 3 stars
10/30/07 Beau This was beautifully acted and was a very light-hearted film, very enjoyable!!! 5 stars
10/07/07 Ebow its very inspiring please hata stop hating its a good movie or u wud prefer american pie 5 stars
9/15/07 charlie Yea wats da piano music called 3 stars
8/20/07 gen hi guys does anyone know the name of the classical song that the 4 teachers played together 4 stars
7/25/07 Elizabeth It was one of my FAVORITE movies!!!!!I loved it!!!! 5 stars
6/17/07 sabahet what's the name of song which played DENISE GILMORe on electric violin? 5 stars
1/11/07 Sweet Perez loved it I watched it over 70 times 5 stars
12/06/06 Lozy best H.D. film eva! I luv da song at da end-It roks!!! 5 stars
11/23/06 Missy Does anybody know the name of the songs that the black girl plays on her Electric Violan?? 3 stars
7/09/06 Rio This does nothing but make Hilary's haters hate her twice as much! 1 stars
6/27/06 someone i love it and all u haters critics need 2 shutup hilary did nothing but make a great flim!! 5 stars
5/25/06 N/a I think you are all idiots...THIS MOVIE SUCKED...but the violin music was decent. 1 stars
4/03/06 JRE music's good. movie's trash. you'll either love it or hate it 2 stars
3/23/06 tabiya karim best worst best worst 5 stars
3/09/06 Anthony Feor Hilary needs a new agent 1 stars
11/08/05 Lee Can only be liked by 12-year-old girls, extremely gay men, and soccer moms. 1 stars
10/26/05 ya mum gay gay gay 1 stars
10/23/05 Kale "Someone's watching over me" . . . and he's telling me not to see this crap. 1 stars
9/24/05 emely i love tjis movie because its my same story written in a diffrent person! 5 stars
9/04/05 Paige bennett I loved the movie and i can really relate to it a lot! 5 stars
8/09/05 Milana This movie is just perfect full of music and life and reality .soo great. Just fantastic!!! 5 stars
8/01/05 danielle the best film ihave ever seen 5 stars
7/20/05 Chris Typical Hilary Duff movie 1 stars
7/17/05 carolina y think raice your voice is an amazing movie and thinking what you said y SAID YOU SUCK 5 stars
6/27/05 dan garbage anough said 1 stars
6/03/05 heather campbell I loved It 5 stars
5/11/05 Robin Garrow I loved this film. I deffomatly am going to buy it. 5 stars
5/08/05 Burtie it was good for her, it was a challenge, it was like her first dramatic role 4 stars
4/21/05 Riviera I'm also a teenage girl with a dream. It is to throw Ms. Duff into a big bucket of acid. 1 stars
4/06/05 Julietta Davis I love Hillary Duff! I have dreams too! 5 stars
4/02/05 Megan I liked it well enough 4 stars
3/31/05 Madeira I'm going to raise my voice: THIS MOVIE SUCKS!!! 1 stars
3/28/05 Netsurfer Holy shit this movie sucks. 1 stars
2/24/05 Mary JD I didn't particularily like this film. I'm not a big fan of Hilary Duff 1 stars
2/07/05 craig varney made for tv at best 2 stars
2/05/05 Melissa wait for DVD 3 stars
1/19/05 liz the best 5 stars
12/15/04 Gray lame 1 stars
12/11/04 aida hernandez the movie was fantastic! i actually made me cry at the end. 5 stars
12/03/04 Hilary Adamson Groovy until cliche of stalker kisses guy& turns his girlfriend against him. 3 stars
10/29/04 kristy it was kewl as and i have seen it 10 times 5 stars
10/24/04 Frankie NICE 5 stars
10/23/04 Jaimee Kitzmiller It was a good movie 5 stars
10/20/04 none its the best hilary duff movie yet! 5 stars
10/16/04 Naka Awful remake of "Save the Last Dance." Duff is a talentless whore. 1 stars
10/15/04 Raven Sparx it was great it showed you to follow your dreams no matter what 5 stars
10/15/04 eugene well its not as good as DEBBIE DOES DALLAS 1 stars
10/12/04 jessica brumit I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!! ITS SO SAD BUT HAPPY AT THE SAME TIME..I CRIED! 5 stars
10/12/04 Colin Hillary Duff's carear begins a Countdown to Extinction 1 stars
10/11/04 Kris Lindsay Lohan could kick this chick's ass! 1 stars
10/07/04 Lauren Skinner 1 stars
10/02/04 Ray Bah 2 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  08-Oct-2004 (PG)
  DVD: 15-Feb-2005



Directed by
  Sean McNamara

Written by
  Sam Schreiber

  Hilary Duff
  Jason Ritter
  John Corbett
  Rebecca De Mornay
  David Keith
  Rita Wilson

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast