Hearts Beat Loud (MovieMan Dan’s Guest Review)




“Hearts Beat Loud” is the latest feature film from indie writer-director: Brett Haley of “I’ll See You in My Dreams” and “The Hero” fame. Ahead of a well-received Sundance debut back in January – this film was picked up by the folks at Gunpowder & Sky who after touring the film at various film festivals all Spring have now begun the film’s theatrical release… It was a busy weekend where I had three other films to see but I managed to find the time to check out this film for myself along the way but before I dive in with my thoughts on the flick, here’s a brief plot synopsis for those who are wondering what the film is actually about.

Plot: In the hip Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook, single dad and record store owner Frank (Nick Offerman) is preparing to send his hard-working daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) off to college, while being forced to close his vintage shop. Hoping to stay connected through their shared musical passions, Frank urges Sam to turn their weekly “jam sesh” into a father-daughter live act. After their first song becomes an Internet breakout, the two embark on a journey of love, growing up and musical discovery. (Gunpowder & Sky)

Review: “Hearts Beat Loud” wasn’t one of the big breakout hits of the Sundance film festival this year but it did generate enough buzz where I knew that it existed among the rest of the competition and with the talent involved I knew that I wanted to eventually see it. During the festival, the film was then picked up by Gunpowder & Sky – a new US distributor that’s slowly beginning to put themselves on the map among their competition.


Now, after finally seeing the film this past weekend, I can say that I liked it but I didn’t love it. “Hearts Beat Loud” is a really charming movie but it doesn’t really take many risks along the way. It plays its cards really safe and so if you’ve seen any films in this genre you should find it really easy predictable as it’s really beat for beat.

However, with that said, the film is done well enough where I didn’t really care that I knew how things were going to go and after a while I found myself having a fun time with this one. It’s completely harmless family fare. It doesn’t re-invent the wheel but it doesn’t try to either. It’s light and breezy and moves along at a good pace and I have little complaints other than what I have mentioned above.  It’s like a lesser John Carney film but that’s alright as it is solid enough on its own.

This is a really small film but as I mentioned there’s some notable talent involved – both young and old.  Kiersey Clemons (of “Dope” and “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” fame) and Sasha Stone (of “American Honey” fame) continue to show that they have what it takes to break out in Hollywood and I’d say they are well on their way. Likewise, both Nick Offerman and Toni Collette continue to showcase their talent here and they’re both great as well. I’ll get to that other Toni Collette movie later in the week but I’ll just say here that these are two drastically different performances and it really shows just how great of an actress she really is – especially since I saw these two films within 24 hours of each other.


Likewise, Offerman and Clemons have really good chemistry together and you really buy them as father-daughter. The music between the two was great and their conversations felt real. Their relationship is easily the best part of the film as you really do care about their characters. They work together quite well.

In Conclusion/My Verdict: 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars: We’ve seen it all before and Haley doesn’t really give us anything new to chew on with “Hearts Beat Loud” but the film is done well enough where this isn’t really a big issue. It’s sweet, really charming and it’s a film that’s sure to put a smile on your face. It’s one of the few films this Summer that the whole family can go out and enjoy on a similar level. It may not be one that you’ll want to rush out to see but it’s definitely worth a watch at some point. My recommendation is to see it at matinee price if it comes to your area or give it a rental and have a family movie now when it’s available for streaming. You won’t lose much by watching it at home.


“Hearts Beat Loud” is Now Playing on select screens in NY and LA – the folks at Gunpowder & Sky will be expanding the film to other cities throughout the Summer. So, if you’re interested be sure to keep an eye out for it! The folks at Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions have the International rights but there’s no word on any release dates outside of the US at this time!

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