Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A dying Georgia town has little to cheer except the church choir that's on the way to the regional sing-off championship, and even the people who are losing their jobs and struggling to keep their families together in tough times find joy in singing and their faith.
Positive Role Models
Just about everyone in this film is decent, trying to do the right thing. They may not always agree on what that is, and they sometimes get into heated arguments, but everyone basically wants only the best for everyone else.
Violence & Scariness
Three teen boys get into a fight that leaves two of them bruised and bleeding. A mother and daughter get into a heated shouting match, and one of them slaps the other. All of the conflicts are later resolved amicably.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A young couple flirts with each other in the first half of the film and exchanges a few kisses by the end. Two adults are shown making out feverishly; they're next seen the following morning, with the implication being that they slept together. A woman earns, perhaps unfairly, a unique reputation after a man dies in her bed.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Occasional swearing includes ""s--t," "ass," "bitch," "damn," "hell," "oh my God," and "pissed off." A mother and daughter repeatedly say "bulls--t" during an argument.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
A few brands appear onscreen, including Sanyo televisions and Wyndham hotels. A wealthy character sometimes flaunts her money, including her indulgence in cosmetic surgery.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, overall, Joyful Noise is more wholesome than not, despite some swearing (including "s--t" and "bitch") and sexual content (kissing/making out; implied sex between adults). Set in a struggling Georgia town where the only thing giving residents hope is a church choir on the way to the regional sing-off, the movie also has some moderate conflict between choir members, a fist fight that leaves two teens bloody and bruised, and angry confrontations between a teenage girl yearning for independence and her mother, who wants to protect her. But the characters generally want the best for each other, and the movie's underlying uplifting messages are about faith and spirituality. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
If JOYFUL NOISE had just been a concert film -- rather than a hybrid struggling for cohesion -- it would have been a great movie. It's feel-good, and the uplifting song-and-dance numbers are great. But the movie falls flat with messy storytelling and edits, lack of focus, and a case of too-many-plotlines-spoil-the-broth-itis. It clearly means well, but it's predictable and cliched.
Which is a shame, because the cast has so much potential. Queen Latifah completely sells her role as a single mom who can express everything she feels with a nod and a shrug, and Parton is (as always) fun to watch as a folksy spitfire who loves to speak her mind. Newcomer Jordon also stands out, with a strong singing voice and a natural way with the camera. Too bad the script doesn't give any of them enough to work with.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.