The film looks and feels like another Pulp Fiction clone at times, but what emerges is a far more thoughtful work that makes important (and surprisingly) salient points about the humanistic struggles of developing countries.
- Simon Foster, sbs.com.au, October 17, 2011
Both exotic and engaging, with an earthy edge. But it also has a sophisticated side
- Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile, October 01, 2011
- , New York Times, September 14, 2011
A slick, exciting, well-made crime thriller, dripping with atmosphere.
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, August 18, 2011
- Rick Groen, Globe and Mail, August 12, 2011
It feels so raw and urgent and real.
- Bruce Demara, Toronto Star, August 04, 2011
Patsha Bay plays the macho title character, but the film belongs to sultry Manie Malone as the dancehall diva he aims to steal from the top mob boss. She makes even the act of applying lipstick spark with erotic electricity.
- Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, July 08, 2011
"Viva Riva!" has its cake and eats it, too. Shoots it to pieces, actually.
- Ty Burr, Boston Globe, July 07, 2011
The titular exclamation point promises exuberant fun that the movie delivers only in spots.
- Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle, June 23, 2011
Munga's screenplay rarely rises above the conventional, but he keeps things motoring nicely, and there's the smell of authenticity about the ramshackle locations he's chosen.
- Andrew Pulver, Guardian [UK], June 23, 2011
You'll need some patience to wrangle with this conflicted beast, but it's never dull.
- Dave Calhoun, Time Out, June 22, 2011
On the basis of this expertly engineered crime thriller Djo Munga is a director going places.
- Philip Wilding, Empire Magazine, June 20, 2011
Unfortunately, despite the sweaty, tense atmosphere, "Viva Riva" becomes derivative of the duller scenes in other gangster flicks.
- Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News, June 10, 2011
A nastily effective, sociologically pungent genre piece...
- Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, June 09, 2011
The Congolese writer and director Djo Tunda Wa Munga gives Viva Riva! a playful sensuality that goes a long way toward disguising formula.
- Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, June 09, 2011
Despite a nifty final twist and a willingness to dispense with a few taboos, it fails to establish a consistent rhythm.
- John Hartl, Seattle Times, June 16, 2011
Writer-director Djo Munga brings Kinshasa to rumbustious life, and should he devote the same attention to character and dialogue he may be a talent to reckon with.
- Anthony Quinn, Independent, July 01, 2011
This insight into the aimless hedonism of young punks could be cutting, but the film doesn't dig beneath Riva's Jack-the-Lad charisma.
- Michael Leader, Little White Lies, June 23, 2011
The debut of writer-director Djo Munga, who's from the DRC and studied filmmaking in Belgium, Viva Riva! has a sleek international sheen.
- Alison Willmore, AV Club, June 09, 2011
The landscape may have changed, but Viva Riva!'s story is a familiar one.
- Ilya Tovbis, Slant Magazine, June 09, 2011