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Raise Your Voice More at IMDbPro »

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79 out of 117 people found the following review useful:

Heartfelt...most underrated film of the year!

Author: Smurfette_Smurf (Smurfette_Smurf) from London, England
26 October 2004

I went to see Raise Your Voice expecting the worst. What I left with was a lump in my throat and a sincere admiration for this young actress/singer Hilary Duff.

People are so hard on her and she just seems so unworthy of such criticism. Sure it's a squeaky clean Fame...and it's kinda cliché. But...the performances of Hilary as well as her supporting cast were honorable. This movie certainly doesn't deserve the bashing it's getting.

I was especially impressed with the young supporting cast including Kat Dennings, Johnny K. Lewis and Dana Davis. Not to mention John Corbett who by far was one of the greatest things in this film.

I cared...I cried...and when it was all over I honestly felt inspired.

I give this film a 6 out of 10...because it makes u really does.

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35 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Tragically Predictable

Author: Ddey65 from United States
7 June 2005

In my review of "Cheaper by the Dozen"(2003), I mentioned the difficulty Hilary Duff is going to have breaking away from typecasting as Lizzie McGuire. The fact that this movie was a Brookwell/McNamara Production, a staple of the cable network that made her famous may be another obstacle from that typecasting. Make no mistake though -- Hilary Duff *IS* a talented actress and singer(in spite of corporate punk pretensions), and even with this formulaic material she proves it. But the way things are looking now, she couldn't break out of the Disney universe if she did hardcore pornography.

Terri Fletcher(Duff) sings in a local church chorus, and for her own personal enjoyment. She also thinks her singing can make her a star, and so does her brother Paul(Jason Ritter) who secretly recommends her for a scholarship to a school for the performing arts in Los Angeles. But her father(David Keith) wants her to stay at home and wait tables at the family diner. After she and her brother sneak out to go to a concert one night, some drunk driver plows into them on the way home. Her brother dies, she survives and is left with crippling flashbacks and survivor's guilt. But just when she thinks she's going to have to spend the rest of her life at the bottom of the barrel, along comes that scholarship to the performing arts school she didn't even know she entered. Of course, the only reason she doesn't want to go is because she's afraid to face the wrath of Dad, so Mom(Rita Wilson) and Aunt Nina(Rebecca De Mornay) tell Daddy she's going to spend time with her aunt, while smuggling her off to that school. And the rest of the movie involves Terri trying to make friends in the big city, cover-up her lie to her father, and deal with her own fear of bright lights, courtesy of that random drunk driver.

Too much about this movie is predictable; The overbearing father, sympathetic avant-garde artistic aunt, the tragic car wreck, the boyfriend with an ex-girlfriend who won't let go(who Terri catches putting the moves on and thinks is unfaithful to her), and yes even the triumphant concert at the end. Having said all that, I must reiterate that I don't want my criticism of this movie to be interpreted as another Duff-bashing tirade. Because regardless of the cookie-cutter plot line, Duff is still outstanding. Yes, she's a better actress than a singer, but both of these aspects of her are far superior to the movie. And if you DON'T believe she can play anyone else but Lizzie McGuire, you should've seen her in a highly publicized episode of Joan of Arcadia from the Spring of 2005. So while it's nowhere near the fluff-piece that her first big series was, it makes you wish there were more parts out there that are better for her.

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22 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

A little formulaic, but still provides 'that peaceful loving feelin'

Author: H. Martin (~AleXa~) from Everman, TX, United States
8 June 2005

Hilary Duff stars as Terri Fletcher, a 16-year-old anxious to explore her musical talent at a performing arts academy in L.A. for the summer. After a little persuasion, she makes it there, and the movie is more or less about her exploits therein.

The film starts well; the Three Days Grace concert helps set the musical tone for the movie. That was an unexpected surprise, although I suppose I'm partially biased since I like the band.

A beautiful performance by Hilary Duff. I am more and more impressed with her with every movie I see her in. She brought me to tears twice in the first twenty minutes of the movie. I was impressed by the colorful array of teens at the school, even if they were chosen primarily to make it believable that they're in L.A. I appreciated that none of the teens were written to fulfill any particular stereotype and all seemed like real people, for stereotypes are a sore spot for me, as my teen years were not all that long ago.

I loved the scenes with Denise playing the violin; again, very refreshing and stylistic. John Corbett turns in a innovative performance as a progressive music teacher, breathing a little more life into the film.

The direction really helps to further the movie along, as it is pretty anti-climatic. The 'unwanted kiss' was a bit predictable, however an element of predictability is generally assumed in movies of this persuasion. The make-out scene was completely unnecessary and should've been cut.

And it should be noted that the film is more or less like a Crossroads (2000) for a slightly younger generation, but despite that, it still maintains its own life.

I absolutely love the last song in the film—that was the perfect song for the theme of the movie. And I don't care what anyone says, Hilary Duff is a true performer, even if she isn't that great of a singer. She just always has this glow about her, and no matter how I feel, seeing her perform always makes me smile, and that's something to be commended.

VERDICT: Very enjoyable musical film despite its predictability. Recommended to anyone with kids, who's young at heart, who likes Hilary Duff, or just needs a good smile, but be forewarned—you might get a little teary-eyed before that smile reaches your lips.

6.5 out of 10.0

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34 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

Raise Your Voice 9/10

Author: joaniekilbride from DG, IL
11 October 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In RAISE YOUR VOICE, Terri Fletcher(Hilary Duff) has always had a close relationship with her brother, Paul(Ritter). When they sneak out to a concert and get hit by a drunk driver(Terri survives the accident,leaving Paul dead), she feels terrible. She then loses her passion for singing. She was hoping to attend a summer music program in LA, but her father(David Keith) says she can't go. Terri's mom and aunt sneak her in and tell her father that Terri is spending the summer with her aunt.

I am surprised that people didn't think this was a great change for Hilary. All of her other roles were the same; but in this, her character isn't all that different but the heartfelt script brings much emotion into Terri's role, giving Hilary the opportunity to show everyone that she can do a drama. She convinced me.

A lot of sadness is brought in through her brother's death. Hilary Duff is good at crying and the rest of the cast is pretty good. Oliver James is great at Hilary's boyfriend, Jay. And John Corrbett is fine as the loose music teacher.

Good job, Hilary. I hope to see a movie like this from you again: smart, thematic, romantic, and humorous. Mostly the thematic.

PG- thematic elements, mild language, and brief sensuality.

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32 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

The movie does NOT suck...

Author: dawnkelley from United States
19 December 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm so sorry to see so much negativity about this movie. It's apparent to me that people that don't see the value of it, just plainly don't like Hilary Duff. Whether you like her or not, this movie has great potential.

I am an adult with a teenage daughter, and I happen to love the showed great character in how some kids deal with adversity. Never mind, that we all knew Hilary would be a great singer, and how it was portrayed. So what? I enjoyed the storyline, and was caught by surprise on the tragedy. Note in the end, the prize went to her friend, and it was a great moment.

I guess I just enjoy a great movie when I see it!

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33 out of 57 people found the following review useful:

Amazing Hillary Movie!

Author: Riley Hudson from United States
29 August 2005

I thought this movie was amazing!A lot of people don't like Hillary movies but this one is worth seeing.There are parts that made me wanna cry and other parts made me laugh.I think this movie is really heart-warming so all girls should see it.Guys may like it too but I think it's more on the chick-flick side.The issues with Teri are very real and the movie is played out really well around them.I really enjoyed watching it.Even if you don't particularly like Hillary,you should still see it because this is one of her best movies.It's different than her other movies and she really shines in this.Oliver James is also very good in this movie along with the rest of the cast.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Terrible message for Duff fans

Author: BlockChuckster from tampa
12 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My wife convinced me to bring this fluff little movie home, and to tell you the truth, I was disappointed for not so obvious reasons. Granted this was just another teen-queen Duff vehicle that runs on sugar and not gas, thus it doesn't get very far...

*****SPOILERS***** however, I didn't think it was appropriate for the movie to take the tack that she lied to her father (David Keith) to get into the summer program, then continue to lie to him to stay in it...then the aunt character played by Rebecca DeMornay conspired with the the mom (Rita Wilson) character to continue the lie against the father. According to the movie, the ends justifies the means. This is not a great message to teach the teens and preteens, that it's OK for a kid to lie to their parents and that it's OK for a wife to lie to her husband. No wonder this movie bombed like it did...well...there are other reasons for it's failure. I also didn't buy into the setup of the school, when stated that if you get caught doing things you're not supposed to do, (i.e., drinking, etc.) you will be dismissed. Then the Jay character (Hillary's on screen boyfriend) proceeds to go out drinking after Hillary walked in on him and another girl kissing...there are no negative consequences for him. I would have liked to see Duff take a harder stance with the issue, especially in light of the fact that her brother was killed by a drunk driver. The wrong message is put forth in that it's OK to drink when you're underage to cope with your problems, and the only consequence is spending the night on the roof with Hillary Duff. Puh-leeeeeeeze! This movie is horrible for kids today...and they had an opportunity to make it enjoyable, although it has been done before with Fame. There was one bright spot in the casting...Johnny Lewis, who plays a nerdy innovative percussionist. His character was enjoyable to watch, and hindsight 20/20, I wish the movie had starred him and taken it from his perspective.

I thought the hubris Duff showed in one interview I heard about was tragic, she was quoted as saying that it was a challenge for her to sing badly in parts of the movie to show her character's growth as a singer...ha!!! My my my, aren't we full of ourselves!!!

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Disappointing and cheesy...

Author: pinkishdarko from United States
28 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this movie already expecting it to bomb, and boy was I right. The acting is cheesy and bland. In one part, Terri Hatcher (Hillary Duff) confronts Jay Corgon (Oliver James) after getting into some fight tor hissy fit about something. He says : Lets go somewhere, I mean the bag wont get up and go by itself" or something like that. Hillary follows by saying "How do I know you wont?" GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!! No teenagers say that!! All the parts where Hillary was singing were completely fake and you could tell she was lip syncing...proving that she in fact cannot even really sing very well....

disappointing, I don't recommend it at all unless you are sick and are only watching something so you can fall asleep.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Too heavy for the kiddies, too lame for everyone else

Author: docorange6 from United States
8 April 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

OK, so, we've got this great dramatic story about this girl with a great singing talent, who pushes through her father's hovering and her brother's death to get accepted into one of the premiere music schools in the country.

Great. Who do we cast as the lead? Um, Hillary Duff? You're kidding me, right?

Anyone who can buy into the premise of Hillary Duff as a singing prodigy needs to watch some American Idol reruns and realize that Duff, who can barely carry a tune, would probably have not even made it to Hollywood. She has made millions of dollars by pretending to act and sing in order to market her cuteness and general likability, which has been eaten up by her core fanbase of seven- to twelve-year-old girls. The problem with Raise Your Voice lies in the very serious, dramatic storyline crafted by writers Mitch Rotter and Sam Schreiber. It's just too serious for Duff's fanbase, and she doesn't possess the acting ability to make it believable for the rest of us.

To their credit, Rotter and Schreiber, along with director Sean McNamara, did a very skillful job in putting together an engaging drama. Some elements of the movie were brilliant, such as Terri's reaction to bright light in her eyes after the accident. The movie was just bogged down by its bungling cast of actors. The only truly good performances were by some of the supporting cast members, such as John Corbett, David Keith and Rita Wilson. Johnny Lewis was a terrific comic relief, but his character's main story - a romance with an uptight, virtuosic pianist named Sloane - seems to fit a more typical giggles-and-good-times Hillary Duff movie. Duff's abysmal singing only made McNamara's job even more difficult, and you can actually hear the pitch correction on her voice at some points of the movie, which makes everything seem that much more ridiculous. And something that especially bothered me was Jay's (Oliver James) guitar-playing during the scholarship performance. There was absolutely no rhythm to it at all.

Overall, it's still a cute movie, but it could have been so much better.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

its decadent

Author: mcconville-john from United Kingdom
25 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is by no means awful, but its not the best film made by Hilary Duff to date. We've all seen Hilary in Lizzie McGuire and we know what she can do. We are crying out for a new film that challenges our own perceptions. Don't you think that its time to see Miss Duff playing a character out of type.

Anyway lets talk about this generic film for a while. Hilary plays Terri Fletcher and yes it does sound like the desperate housewife. Well Terri has a great talent and she HAS to get a summer music school. But her mean father won't let her, BUT THEN luckily for Terri her brother dies so in a kind of well u can now but not really way she gets to go to the summer school, (but don't tell dad). Its the usual story its really hard to manage here blah, blah, but it all works out in the end.

AAH, this isn't really a film. It's just a nice story to watch for a while but i promise you will think it was a waste of your life for the seemingly endless number of minutes it takes up. I suggest you go out and watch Mean Girls instead, its really much better.

However having said all that if you love the Duff then this a film for you. For the entire film she dances, crys, and smiles furiously. She acts her little socks off in the hope of winning a Teen Choice Award.

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