Todd Gaines’s review published on Letterboxd:
Sometimes you watch a movie and everything clicks. You feel like the movie was made just for you. That's what happened when I experienced John Carney's Sing Street. Why did it click with me? Perhaps, its the coming of age genre that I'm a sucker for. Or, the mid '80s setting that reminds me of my own childhood. It could be the fact I adore music in movies when performed on stage. And, the real kicker, it's set in Dublin, Ireland, and the story revolves around a group of kids who start a band and dream big. Yeah, I couldn't help but think of Alan Parker's The Commitments. A film that's super special to me, and a movie that's forever a top 4 flick.
I'm most impressed by the mashup of original music with familiar '80s tunes a lot of us know. When the kids sing, they're singing their own material, but other music from artists such as Duran Duran, A-ha and The Cure are used to set the tone, and fashions for our characters. As the kids develop as a band, their influences change, and they dress the part. One day, they're channeling their inner Nick Rhodes, the next, they're sporting their best emo-emotional Robert Smith look. It's such a fantastic way to incorporate popular pop music into the narrative of the film.
I adore the original music. Each song, tells a story about our lead, Conor and his triumphs and struggles in his day to day life. From, The Riddle of the Model, that focuses on his relationship with wannabe model and potential love interest, Raphina. To, Brown Shoes, a song about his struggles with the priest who runs his catholic school, each song is a jam. Those two songs are great, but Drive It Like You Stole It and Girls, are the two musical highlights of the movie. Both, might bring a tear or twelve to your eyes, based on their awesomeness.
If I had to point out a weakness, it would be the lack of character development with the other band members besides Conor. This is basically Conor's story, with a little help from his girl, Raphina, and his big brother, Brendan. All 3 actors are excellent. The casting is great all around.
There's been a lot of talk about a certain movie with music in it. You know, the one about an actress and a lounge singer, the couple who dreamed big dreams. Yeah, more people should also discuss in the same sentence, the story of a singer and a model, and their super big dreams, too. Sing Street is an incredible film, and it's going to be very high on my top 10 of 2016 list.