Walter Addiego – San Francisco Chronicle
John Carney’s “Sing Street,” about troubled Irish schoolkids who form a band in 1985, has enough charms to overcome its prefab material. The director’s skill pushes what could have been the same old song into a likable testament to the saving powers of young love and rock ’n’ roll.
Because his parents have been losing work, 14-year-old Connor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), who looks a bit like an adolescent Paul McCartney, is sent to a less-expensive, more rough-and-tumble school — which happens to be located on Dublin’s Synge Street. Connor is catnip to the new school’s ample supply of bullies.