Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
Dean Essner - Entertainment Weekly
To describe August Rush as a piece of shameless hokum doesn't quite do justice to the potentially shock-inducing sugar content of this contemporary fairy tale.
Stephen Holden - New York Times
Watching this yucky emotional drama is like being sprayed with treacle from a high-pressure hose.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
August Rush will not be for everyone, but it works if you surrender to its lilting and unabashedly sentimental tale of evocative music and visual poetry.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
Intended as a fuzzy family fable, August plays more to the gag reflex than to the heart.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
If August Rush is a fairy tale, it's an excruciatingly, sometimes hilariously oblivious one.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
It would be nice to say this predictable fantasy has such a big heart, we can forgive its excesses. But director Kirsten Sheridan overplays nearly every already-corny scene.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
The goal is to drive mothers everywhere insane with the urge to rescue him and brush his hair (or the other way around), and in my case it worked.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
I dislike sentimentality where it doesn't belong, but there's something brave about the way August Rush declares itself and goes all the way with coincidence, melodrama and skillful tear-jerking.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
It's an unabashed feel-good weeper, and those eager for that type of fare might as well settle for this one. But an equal number will be put off by the bad dialogue, transparent manipulation and saccharine overkill.
Sid Smith - Chicago Tribune
An exercise in dissonance.
Andrea Gronvall - Chicago Reader
With its musical themes for individual characters that come together symphonically at the climax, the music is so persuasive that it carries the narrative rather than complementing it.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
If Charles Dickens were alive today, he might be writing projects like August Rush, the unabashedly sentimental tale of a plucky orphan lad who falls in with streetwise urchins as he seeks the family he ought to have.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Director Kirsten Sheridan's new film is August Rush. But she might as well have named it Oliver! 2: Electric Boogaloo.
Suzanne Condie Lambert - Arizona Republic
Many of the so-called twists feel strained, though preteens are unlikely to complain, and there's nothing here to really frighten an even younger crowd.
Jay Weissberg - Variety
This is the sort of movie that requires you not only to suspend disbelief, but to check your sanity at the ticket counter.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
For all its patently absurd situations, its occasionally cloying characters and its naked tugs at the old heartstrings, August Rush still finds a way, every so often, of dropping a lump into your throat.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Exuberantly bad and strenuously preposterous.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
It's hard to believe in the magical power of music to heal and connect lost souls when the tunes are lame.
Jennie Punter - Globe and Mail
An aggressively bad movie. There are times when it tips the scales of absurdity and becomes almost comical.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
An often charming urban fantasy that teeters perilously on the brink of preciousness but never quite topples over.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
We need to break out a whole new definition of cheesiness for a film like this, augmented by fake tears and vomit gestures.
Jake Coyle - Associated Press
August Rush feels like the cinematic equivalent of being stuffed with fruitcake and doused with a gallon of egg nog.
Carina Chocano - Los Angeles Times
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
A music box trying to pass itself off as an orchestra.
Amy Nicholson - Boxoffice Magazine
A heartwarming fairy-tale that is undeniably sweet, even if it occasionally crosses over into sappiness.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
"The only thing astounding about this movie is how bad it is."
Heather Huntington - ReelzChannel.com
Someone in Hollywood must have it in for Thanksgiving. How else to explain the cruelly timed release of August Rush, a wretched confection that only the most determined will be able to count among their blessings?
Thomas Peyser - Style Weekly (Richmond, VA)
While many films require a suspension of disbelief, August Rush asks viewers to terminate their disbelief without severance and have security escort it from the building.
Alonso Duralde - MSNBC
Its almost desperate earnestness actually turns out to be its greatest appeal -- August Rush does believe in fairy tales, it does it does it does!
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
Dean Essner - Boxoffice Magazine
...warmly affecting at times and almost unbearably saccharine at others.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
August Rush kind of feels like a 2-hour coming attractions preview. Lots of fragmented stuff happens, without ever connecting the dots in between.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
It doesn't matter if you love music or inspirational stories or Robin Williams (anyone?) -- this is enough to make your teeth ache.
Tricia Olszewski - Washington City Paper
More fable than film, there is no earthly reason why August Rush should work. But it does.
Brandon Fibbs - Colorado Springs Gazette
Dean Essner - Sydney Morning Herald
It's far-fetched and a leap of faith of Olympic proportions is required to keep abreast of the plot, but August Rush does deliver some charming moments, largely due to charismatic performances from Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Uplifting and heart warming, this is a perfect date movie.
Simon Thompson - Heart 106.2
A lot like a conventional musical, but the story is not conventional, it is mystically romantic.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Hank Sartin - Time Out New York
The excellent actors and good music make you think the movie will get better as it progresses, but it never does.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
"August Rush" is a familiar, yet entertaining experience that works mostly because of the wonderful cast and the haunting mix of music.
Roger Tennis - Cinemaclips.com
However predictable, a good ol' fashioned happy ending is always welcome. But bring a box of tissues: A good cry is to be expected as well.
Jennifer Preyss - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
If it weren't for the wonderful soundtrack, Nick Castle and James Hart's screenplay wouldn't have made it past the slush pile.
Eric Lurio - Entertainment Insiders
Nauseating drama with poor direction, dodgy performances and a sappy, cliche-laden script.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
An honorable failure -- maybe even a noble one. Certainly, it's an ambitious one. But it is a failure.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Even the final few moments, which should have us choking up, seemed hurried and shot from the wrong angles.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
Cloying, annoying, and absurd. And that doesn't even include Robin Williams.
Boo Allen - Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
Dean Essner - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
It doesn't really work, and looks especially messy and corny next to a beautifully simple, music-driven romance like Once.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Yes, August Rush is cheesy, almost embarrassingly so, but it's also irrepressibly sweet.
Fairn Roberts - BBC
The film-makers ought to be reported to social services.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
Brian Marder - Hollywood.com
...reeking heap of hogwash...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Packing every cliche, coincidence and contrivance known to man (well, Hollywood screenwriters) into one glossy, saccharine, syrupy package takes some doing; but Highmore's open-faced charm makes Evan's sappy story tolerable.
Rob James - Total Film
If you can stomach an ultra- contrived plot with a ridiculously schmaltzy finale, August Rush will be music to your ears.
Dean Essner - Sun Online
A show-stopping compendium of cliches, bogus emotions, duff dialogue and cringeworthy performances. Yet it's so naively idiotic that it's hard to hate. Better just to ignore it.
Kevin Maher - Times [UK]
Passionate about the importance of music, August Rush is an ambitious family film that just about keeps its head above the rising waters of gushing sentimentality.
Daniel Etherington - Film4
A perfect example of everything wrong about Hollywood films, "August Rush" is an obstinately perverse, hammy piece of instant-gratification cinema that weeps from the screen as so much emotional sludge.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Heart-warming, life-affirming fantasy - a magical, musical adventure, geared for families
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
Pandering to the point of offensive.
John Thomason - Orlando Weekly
All this could totally happen, just like an oak tree might spurt out of the ground to start singing and dancing, the Arizona Cardinals could win the next 50 Super Bowls.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
That Robin Williams' character turns out to be a controlling bully is one of the picture's few surprises; everything else falls neatly into place, thanks to a script that needs about 128 coincidences to retain its forward momentum.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
This inspirational drama gets three stars for oddity value alone.
Wally Hammond - Time Out
Saying August Rush is contrived is like saying that, in terms of continents, Asia is pretty big.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
The filmmakers are so deadly earnest about the power of music and love and all that stuff, you just twiddle your thumbs waiting for the inevitable.
M.E. Russell - Oregonian
Although Williams seems to be in another film altogether, Russell and Rhys Meyers make an attractive and believable would-be couple, and Highmore may actually be the best child actor working today.
Loey Lockerby - Kansas City Star
Before you can say one night stand, a pint sized street urchin is a big city superstar. American Idol for kids.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
It can be admired for trying something a little different from the usual family film, but in the end, it just doesn't work. At all.
Pete Hammond - Maxim
Far from the year's worst film, but it might be the year's biggest debacle -- it's hugely, ostentatiously bad.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
Schmaltzy and borderline insufferable.
Nathan Rabin - AV Club
[An] odd, quasi-mystical movie that's too silly for adults to take seriously and frankly too weird for kids.
Ken Fox - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Most of the time, the material is quietly, subtly perfect.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
I liked the movie, but I wanted to get caught up in it and swept away by the magic and it didn't quite make it over the rainbow.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
The leaden script is full of empty romantic pronouncements that sound neither believable nor wondrous.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
Think of it as a fairytale only with more of a ... oh, who am I kidding? I can't defend this.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
If it isn't brilliant cinema, it's honest and powerful.
Tom Keogh - Seattle Times
Director Kirsten Sheridan has no interest in keeping August Rush tethered to reality or toning down the sentimentality.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
It tries very hard to be fanciful, lyrical, sentimental, magical, rapturous, romantic, heartwarming, tear-jerking and inspiring. The result, however, is a goulash of half-baked bathos.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
If sentimentality were a cymbal, it'd be like having a percussionist standing right behind you and crashing every other beat.
Donald Munro - Fresno Bee
Seems to want to wear its schmaltz on its breast pocket as if it were a medal of honor.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
A light, fanciful touch at times bolsters its "fairy tale" feel, but at times the story incorporates just enough "realistic" elements to drag the whole thing back down to earth.
Peter T. Chattaway - Christianity Today
Will his parents, through a magical, utterly unlikely yet strangely compelling of fate, come running once they hear the longing in their little maestro's edgily hip, borderline Ani DiFrancoid slap-strumming? Far be it from me to state the obvious.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
Its exertions are too obvious, and its story is too contrived for us to swallow it.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
The fairy-tale-like family film is one slow, saccharine ride.
Jane Stevenson - Jam! Movies
[An] inane musical melodrama.
Pam Grady - San Francisco Chronicle
Despite its flaws, the music is the ultimate star of this film and Freddy Highmore is a highlight. He plays the role with a truthfulness and innocence that hasn't been matched by a child actor in some time.
Adam Fendelman - HollywoodChicago.com
Dave White - Movies.com
Unapologetically preposterous, but it is a (very sweet) fairy tale and Highmore is captivating.
Angie Errigo - Empire Magazine
The abruptness of the picture as it leaps from character to character is unsettling, revealing that either Rush had a 30-hour rough cut or Sheridan just didn't know where to take a stand with the film's focal point.
Brian Orndorf - eFilmCritic.com
Even though August Rush is sappy, it's the kind of sweetness that everyone needs once in awhile -- like a big, honkin' ice cream sundae.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
Sheridan's magical movie blooms at the crossroads of music, melodrama, and love; leaving the theatre, you'll find yourself happily immersed in the sounds of the streets.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
manages to stay just this side of saccharine, most of the time
Anne Gilbert - Filmcritic.com
There is a lot of talent wasted in August Rush, a would-be weeper that comes across remarkably flat.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
Acclimate yourself to the frenzied vibe and you'll feel the movie grow into itself as an urban fairy tale whose rapturous finale stakes a wishful claim on the redemptive power of love and art.
Ella Taylor - City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
I must also confess my absolute astonishment and delight to discover that it is much better than the treacly nightmare suggested by the ads.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
Kirsten Sheridan, who helped write her father Jim Sheridan's overcooked In America (2003), directs this awful drama, so soggy that her previous work looks positively austere.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
If you appreciate a well-crafted fantasy tale that is a showcase for its young star and its great music, then you might just like August Rush.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Wholesome family entertainment with a life-affirming message.
Mack Bates - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Pleasant, emotional, fable-like family drama.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
August Rush is more like the cold November Rain
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Slight, uneven and not very memorable. Just as the viewer's heart is intended to soar, mine was left lukewarm and wishing that it cared more.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Egregiously self-indulgent and mawkish fairy tale.
Shirley Sealy - Film Journal International
The kind of fairy tale that makes Cinderella look like kitchen-sink realism.
Jan Stuart - Newsday
Those who are willing to open their hearts to this urban fairy tale will find its pleasures, as long as they they don't think about it too hard.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
Yes, it's all pretty silly. But director Kirsten Sheridan weaves a certain spell with her lush poetic montages, heart-tugging close-ups of Highmore's angelic face and mostly appealing performances.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Heavy-handed, undeniably saccharine, and about as magical as a clown at a kid's party, August Rush is an implausible, pus-covered pixie stick.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
So ridiculous and sappy that it defies the best efforts of a pretty good cast.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
[A] joyful movie -- so joyful, in fact, that its soul and heart triumph over the many flaws of some of its separate parts.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
A fanciful fairytale blending elements of Oliver Twist, Ferris Bueller, Peter Pan and The School of Rock likely to entertain and enthrall preteens for a couple of hours.
Kam Williams - NewsBlaze
So gloriously, astonishingly nutty that it almost qualifies as an instant camp classic...the visual flamboyance only adds to the pretentious goofiness of it all.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Flawed, yet, does what I, as a musician, find difficult to do. It conveys in words&pictures that wonderful feeling of being caught in a much grander current of rhythm&melody.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
Freddie Highmore, still the cutest kid in the movies, is an endangered species, about to turn 16 in February and allegedly not intending to continue as an adult actor.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
this crowd-pleasing fable does a lot of good things, but it also makes so many glaring missteps that it's hard to get truly caught up by the magic.
Sean McBride - Sean the Movie Guy
Overly sentimental it may be, but August Rush took me quite willingly to a cinematic world full of music and hope.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
As a real-life story, this would be preposterous. But as a fantasy ode to the spiritual qualities of music in our lives, it works beautifully.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
In spite of its flabbergasting self-absorption, August Rush's devotion to following through on its screwy internal logic is almost genius.
Ed Gonzalez - Slant Magazine
Dean Essner - Slant Magazine
May be the best film I have seen in 2007. August will have you Rushing to theatres to witness his musical masterpiece.
Vince Koehler - Entertainment Spectrum
Fans of soppy movies will probably love it, but everyone else should steer clear.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Following in the footsteps of her father Jim Sheridan (In America), helmer Kirsten has concocted a contrived, sentimental urban fantasy--a reworking of Oliver Twist-- far more impressive in music, sound, and imagery than in plot, dialogue, and words.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
A poetic joy: if you can suspend your subscription to the definition of film Hollywood has groomed us to accept, you'll love this film.
David Foucher - EDGE Boston
Those who are prepared to forgive the film its stock characters and lack of emotional subtlety may allow themselves to be ravished -- by the sumptuous soundtrack, if nothing else.
Lee Marshall - Screen International