Alive Inside

This documentary considers the positive effects of music on people with dementia and other mental disorders, a subject that neurologist Oliver Sacks explored wonderfully in his book Musicophilia. Sacks, still irrepressible in his 80s, appears briefly to discuss his findings, and his lucid explanations of complex science provide some of the few worthwhile moments in this oppressively saccharine film. Director Michael Rossato-Bennett bombards the audience with scenes of infirm seniors brightening at the sound of their favorite songs, though such dramatic moments discount all the patient work that precedes any therapeutic breakthrough. The movie effectively bullies you into feeling good; with its hard sell and superfluous CG imagery, it might as well be a superhero movie.