"Overshadowed at the time and since, Summer of Soul brings the Harlem Cultural Festival and a pivotal point in American history into the light."
— Matthew Anderson, CineVue
"The lack of awareness of this event is another tragic example of black history being ignored. Only this time the record survived, and now we all get to share in it."
— Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian
"A joyous piece of filmmaking, something that I could have watched for literal hours, and contains quite simply some of the best concert footage ever put on film."
— Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
"It’s a music documentary like no other, because while it’s a joyful, cataclysmic, and soulfully seductive concert movie, what it’s really about is a key turning point in Black life in America."
— Owen Gleiberman, Variety
"This sizzling concert film is a resurrected piece of power-to-the-people art, featuring dizzyingly rich footage from 1969's Harlem Cultural Festival. [It] reclaims a forgotten piece of Black culture with aching timeliness."
— Tomris Laffly, Harper's Bazaar
"Politics, music, fashion, history, religion – this is one of those super-smart cultural documentaries that has entry points from all sides, but one thing’s for sure: this magical, essential event is forgotten no more."
— Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"Thompson pulled off an extraordinary feat. He introduced a whole new audience to a very impressive cultural event that could have been entirely forgotten. He also reminds us of where and what conditions we all came from as a country and where we’re headed now."
— Lorry Kikta, Film Threat