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The Commitments (Fullscreen)

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With perhaps more four-letter words than any other film ever made, The Commitments oozes authenticity. The relentless profanity is part of a rich, hilarious, musically satisfying portrait of a fictional working-class Irish band whose mission is to bring American soul music to Dublin. Avoiding the customary romantic view of Ireland and most clichés about the music industry, rebellious director Alan Parker presents a gritty, alcohol-soaked, often inspired portrait of an Emerald Isle most tourists never see: the alleys and bars of decidely unpicturesque urban ghettoes. The band, fronted by a Joe Cocker-like husky-voiced lead singer, is fabulous, and the music is as powerful as the rhythm-and-blues greats whose songs the band covers -- so good, in fact, that the band released two excellent CDs. This Is Spinal Tap introduced the genre of the rock mockumentary, but The Commitments is a stronger, more genuine, and musically superior film. In fact, it's among the best music films ever made, including those fashioned by "real" bands. Michael Betzold, All Movie Guide

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