Music of the Heart (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

Music of the Heart (1999)



Critic Consensus: Meryl Streep's depiction of an ordinary person doing extraordinary things transcends, inspires, and entertains.

Music of the Heart Photos

Movie Info

When Roberta's husband left her for a family friend, she left the security of her small town and moved to East Harlem to give kids the hope, pride and power to make something of themselves with the most unlikely tool - fifty violins. After ten years of teaching, the school decided to cancel her funding. With the support of her friends and the community, she sets out to fight back.

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Meryl Streep
as Roberta
Jane Leeves
as Dorothea
Cole Hawkins
as Lawrence
Michael Angarano
as Nick `Young'
Henry Dinhoffer
as Lexi `Young'
Sandra Park
as herself
Socorro Santiago
as Lucy's Mother
Robert Ari
as Supervisor
Teddy Coluca
as Taxi Driver
Josh Pais
as Dennis Rausch
Mateo Gomez
as Manuelo Olivas
Gideon Jacobs
as Headlock Boy
French Napier
as Painter No. 1
Dominic Walters
as Justin Brady
Eva Loomis
as Vanessa Klein
Asease Korankyi
as Shandra Wilson
Asha Sapp
as Tanihsa
Olga Merediz
as Concepcion
Sam Fox Royston
as Leonard Hood
Betsy Aidem
as Mrs. Lamb
Rosalyn Coleman
as Mrs. Adisa
as Old Woman in Tenement Building
Myra Lucretia-Taylor
as Beverly Wilson
Hazel J. Medina
as Alice Crowley
Arthur French
as Ernie the Electrician
Naeem Jones
as Toussaint
Adam LeFevre
as Mr. Klein
Kirby Mitchell
as New Times Reporter
Karen Briggs
as herself
Majid R. Khaliq
as Naeem Adisa `Teen'
Omari Toomer
as DeSean `Teen'
Molly Gia Foresta
as Guadalupe `Teen'
Cristina Gomez
as Lucy `Teen'
Isabel Segovia
as Guadalupe's Grandmother
Isaiah Sheffer
as Carnegie Hall Staff Person
Isaac Stern
as himself
John McGinty
as Naval Officer
Edmund Wilkinson
as Man No. 1 with Sheetrock
Diane Monroe
as herself
Michael Tree
as himself
Tarik Lowe
as Teammate No. 1
Justin Daly
as Teammate No. 2
Kevin Miller
as Hall Boy
Julie Janney
as Flight Attendant
Barbara Gonzalez
as Janet's Secretary
Joshua Bell
as Himself
Rosalyn Benniman
as Woman at Opus Meeting
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News & Interviews for Music of the Heart

Critic Reviews for Music of the Heart

All Critics (90) | Top Critics (25)

Meryl dominates the proceedings. She simply disappears into the role, and the movie, for all its educational impulses, becomes about watching her do it.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The standard plotline of a teacher bearing the torch of liberal enlightenment to an educationally bereft group comes off rather dubiously here.

December 2, 2002 | Full Review…

There really is a Roberta Guaspari, but this dull, wanly repetitive teacher movie fails to bring her story to life.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: C-

It may be premature to think Craven just doesn't spark outside the horror genre, but there's nothing here to suggest the opposite.

January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Another utterly bland lump of Hollywood crapola.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Music of the Heart is nothing if not a change of pace, and, unfortunately, Craven doesn't appear entirely comfortable in these new surroundings.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Music of the Heart

There is a lot of dramatic credibility attached to this film, which isn't warranted. Yes, Meryl Streep is the lead and she received an Oscar nomination for the role, but this film is less dramatic than much more soapy. This film falls into the sub-genre of "white woman saves inner city children" which also includes "Freedom Writers" and "Dangerous Minds," and overdone and quite manipulative genre that needs to be done away with. You will either find this true story enlightening and sweet hearted or overly dramatic, based on taste or being able to stomach racially motivated storylines. Though, in general, I find these kinds of films tedious and over the top, the last half hour did make me well up. Real life music teacher Roberta Guaspari is inspirational, and her story is at least treated with respect. It is also interesting to note this is the only film Wes Craven has directed that has nothing to do with horror or sci-fi, and for those unaware of his finesse, this is a great showcase of his talents. This is an entertaining film, if a little overdone in its execution.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer


Inspiring true story with good acting and a compelling narrative. A nice change of pace from Wes Craven.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


it wasn't bad, despite the fact how much i despise the cliched inner city kids can do sports/be intelligent/sing/spell/play an instrument despite GREAT ODDS and there's always a random kid dying or doing drugs or something. and meryl streep is great at playing angry women.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

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