85

NPR

By Ella Taylor
According to Hava Nagila: The Movie, an infectiously high-spirited new documentary by Roberta Grossman, the most cornball song in the Jewish repertoire has a colorful history that has carried Ashkenazi Jews through the joy and sorrow of 150 years of being thrown around the world.
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80

Los Angeles Times

By Gary Goldstein
It's a fun, nostalgic, informative journey. Aided by vivid archival footage and photos, the movie charts the evolution of the song through the Holocaust, the birth of Israel and the modern Jewish Diaspora.
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75

Boston Globe

By Loren King
Hava Nagila (The Movie) guarantees that the next time you hear the song at a party, you won’t think of it quite the same way. Of course, that won’t slow anyone rushing to the dance floor.
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75

Movie Nation

By Roger Moore
Roberta Grossman’s cute documentary gives weight to the tune, tracing its lineage to a town – Sadagora, in the Ukraine – and the 19th century. It bubbled to life as a “Nigun,” a wordless hymn or prayer, more hummed than sung.
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75

RogerEbert.com

A slight, but very satisfying, and at times, surprisingly moving, documentary.
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70

The New York Times

By Rachel Saltz
The interviews are mostly good and instructive, but the well-chosen historical footage is better.
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60

New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
While the filmmakers never quite make the case that their chosen melody deserves its own full-length film, they do ensure that you’ll leave the theater happily humming it.
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50

New York Post

By Farran Smith Nehme
By the movie’s end, the party guests may be ready to dance the hora — or they may find themselves sitting this one out. “Hava” will have its revenge, however: It’s still stuck in my head.
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38

Slant Magazine

The documentary can at times feel like you're wasting your time on a subject you might wish you had only accidentally crossed paths with briefly on Wikipedia.
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20

Village Voice

By Michael Atkinson
Patronizing from toe to chin, the film opts continually for self-congratulation and cheesy aphorism, and could've-should've been comfortable slotted into a half hour of airtime on TJC.
Full Review
59 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.