Opening

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The Price of Sugar Reviews

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Stephen Holden
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like most documentary polemics, it simplifies the issues it confronts and selects facts that bolster its black-and-white, heroes-and-villains view of raw economic power.

| Original Score: 3/5

September 28, 2007
Chad Greene
Boxoffice Magazine

[A] no-frills doc, which isn't done any favors by Newman's monotone narration.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/5

September 28, 2007
Maria Garcia
Film Journal International

Few will doubt the priest's claims given the Dominican Republic's appalling human-rights record; one only wishes they had been explored in an objective documentary format.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

September 27, 2007
Andy Klein
Los Angeles CityBeat

... even those naturally sympathetic to the film's position may feel like they're taking their medicine.

October 21, 2007
Anthony Kaufman
Time Out New York
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Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 2/6

January 3, 2008
Anthony Kaufman
Time Out
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Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 2/5

November 17, 2011
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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The tainted relationship between the dessert on our tables and the suffering of those who produce it gets a horrifying workout in Bill Haney's multilayered account of Haitian cane cutters in the Dominican Republic.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

October 18, 2007
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine

The director's investigation has a clear-sighted persuasiveness, as well as a formidable, complex central figure in the person of Father Christopher Hartley.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 3/4

September 11, 2007
Prairie Miller
NewsBlaze

These Haitian sugar slaves are starved, beaten, disappeared, malnourished, and lacking uncontaminated drinking water, even as other far more privileged foreigners frolic in the waters of the DR's tropical tourist paradise nearby.

Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

April 18, 2009
Jim Hemphill
Reel.com

Uplifting and enraging in equal measures, Bill Haney's The Price of Sugar is a powerful issue-driven documentary that also happens to have one of the most compelling heroes of any movie this year.

| Original Score: 4/4

September 28, 2007
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

A portrait of a modern-day saint, a courageous Spanish Catholic priest in the Dominican Republic with a ministry of compassion to poor, enslaved Haitian immigrants. One of the best documentaries of the year.

Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice | Original Score: 5/5

September 27, 2007
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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It's been conceived and executed as an instrument of human rights and a tool of shame. But it's the political controversy that's at the heart of this movie -- the contempt that one poor country feels toward its somewhat poorer neighbor.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 9, 2007
Hank Sartin
Time Out
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Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

November 18, 2011
Harvey S. Karten
Compuserve

A vivid, visual experience that will easily convince skeptics that slavery is alive and well.

Full Review Source: Compuserve | Original Score: B+

September 15, 2007
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
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In this compelling documentary, narrated by Paul Newman, Hartley comes off as a man of intense will, and he needs to be.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

November 2, 2007
Brandon Judell
New York Theatre Wire

In the end, this is a fevered tale of an outsider, spurred on by his belief in God, who believes his role in life is to save a people, and for a while it seems he is making a difference. What film can top that nowadays?

Full Review Source: New York Theatre Wire

September 12, 2007
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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Profoundly disturbing.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

September 27, 2007
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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Illuminating and deeply distressing.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/4

September 28, 2007
Lael Loewenstein
Los Angeles Times
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Haney doesn't strive for balance, and he doesn't have to; the images speak for themselves.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3/5

October 19, 2007
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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Price of Sugar is designed to educate, outrage and finally spur viewers to action. That it does so with vibrant visual style and an engaging narrative makes it that rare consciousness-raising film that's not only good for you, but a joy to watch.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

November 15, 2007
Peg Aloi
Boston Phoenix
April 23, 2009
Joe Leydon
Variety
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July 22, 2008

Screen International
August 18, 2007
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