Box art for The Sapphires

The Sapphires

comedy, music & musicals


In 1968, four gutsy Australian Aboriginal women become unlikely stars by singing for the troops in Vietnam with the help of an R&B-loving musician (Chris O'Dowd). Inspired by a true story.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    91%
  • Audience Score
    76%

common sense

ON for kids age 13
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
Violence
2 out of 5
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Sex
2 out of 5

Interesting true story has good music, not enough soul.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Sapphires is a fact-based musical drama about an Aboriginal singing group that went to Vietnam in the 1960s to entertain the soldiers. In addition to themes of teamwork and following your dreams, it deals with the immoral practice of whites taking light-skinned Aboriginal children away from their families to be re-educated and raised as whites. Sexuality is probably the biggest content issue here, though most of it involves romantic flirting and kissing, with only one scene of real sexual suggestion. There's one scene of Vietnam War-related violence, with shooting and explosions, plus some mild fighting and a little bit of blood. Language includes infrequent use of words like "s--t," "t--s," and the "N" word. And the main male character is a heavy drinker, getting drunk and suffering from a comical hangover in some scenes. Many characters smoke cigarettes (accurate for the era).

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about The Sapphires' sexuality. How much of it is romantic, and how much of it is erotic? Does it ever cross the line?
  • How does the movie portray the whites' treatment of the Aborigines? Do you think it's accurate? How could you find out more? What did you learn about Aboriginal culture from this movie?
  • What's the allure of fame? Why would these girls have gone to such a dangerous place in search of it?
  • How does the movie depict drinking? Are there any realistic consequences?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    91%
    reviews counted: 21
    see all The Sapphires reviews
  • Audience

    76%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: A solid, stirring song sung with more sincerity than polish.

- A.O. Scott, New York Times, Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fresh: It's pure joy.

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fresh: The Sapphires shouldn't gleam as brightly as it does. The up-from-struggle story follows the predictable form of movies like these, from Dreamgirls to The Commitments. But there's such a sense of joy ... that it's hard not to be won over.

- Cary Darling, Dallas Morning News, Thursday, April 4, 2013

Audience Reviews

4 stars

It seems that what the Australian Public really wants is a feel good home grown feature film, and by the looks of it "The Sapphires" fits that criteria. Its about a group of Aboriginal girls; Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell), Gail (Deborah Mailman), Julie (Jessica Mauboy) and Kay (Shari Sebbens) from central Australia who dream of musical success and through Dave (Chris O'Dowed) they find themselves travelling to Vietnam to entertain the troops there. This film work as a heartwarming musical drama with enough wit and humour that hit their mark. All the major cast members give supurb performances and the four leads have great voices. So if your looking for something unique and entertaining then get your asses down to "The Sapphires", its sure to be a lot of fun!

- fb1281229360, Monday, September 10, 2012

3 stars

A charming lead performance from Chris O'Dowd and the authenticity the four female leads that make up The Sapphires bring to the film lends a charm that heavily outweighs the standard cliches of music biopics this film falls into. Though it never leads to drugs or the drink taking over the lead singers life or a struggle for fame that is reached then eclipsed by personal struggle, this is a film more about a moment in time and the importance of bringing a little soul to what is otherwise a valley of death. Both inspiring and quickly paced, The Sapphires take us on an adventure we'd rather not miss even if we know the beats it's going to hit along the way.

- fb1025970122, Wednesday, September 4, 2013

3 stars

A charming lead performance from Chris O'Dowd and the authenticity the four female leads that make up The Sapphires bring to the film lends a charm that heavily outweighs the standard cliches of music biopics this film falls into. Though it never leads to drugs or the drink taking over the lead singers life or a struggle for fame that is reached then eclipsed by personal struggle, this is a film more about a moment in time and the importance of bringing a little soul to what is otherwise a valley of death. Both inspiring and quickly paced, The Sapphires take us on an adventure we'd rather not miss even if we know the beats it's going to hit along the way.

- fb1025970122, Wednesday, September 4, 2013