The Garden Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
May 8, 2009
The Garden is an especially fatuous documentary, nominated for an Oscar this year, about a community garden in South Central LA where Latino farmers have been allowed to grow food on somebody else's land.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Robert Koehler
Variety
October 18, 2008
It becomes clear that a more thorough, objective and serious journalistic approach was required once the story delves into the intricacies of the property's murky history.
Top Critic
Mark Feeney
Boston Globe
May 21, 2009
Justice and Corruption and Profit are abstractions, and film is so ill suited to deal with abstractions.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
David Fear
Time Out
May 6, 2009
The Garden does a fine job of promoting the power of grassroots advocacy; in almost all other respects, however, this is nonfiction filmmaking that's nearly as dull as dirt.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
Top Critic
Philip Kennicott
Washington Post
May 15, 2009
A good documentary leaves the viewer wanting more. A problematic one leaves the viewer needing more.
Adam Keleman
Slant Magazine
May 8, 2009
The documentary digs deep into the racial and monetary problems of a tumultuous, melting-pot community.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Avi Offer
NYC Movie Guru
May 10, 2009
A compelling, inspirational, provocative and thoroughly engrossing documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 9.45/10
Kam Williams
NewsBlaze
May 6, 2009
A heartbreaking documentary which landed a well-deserved Oscar-nomination for its touching portrayal of Spanish-speaking salt-of-the-earth who find it hard to fathom that the legal system could possibly side with a crook out to flatten the fruit of their
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Bill Gibron
PopMatters
August 22, 2009
The Garden moves beyond the feel good facet of any apparent ending to show how stark, stupid reality can rip said victory away. It won't make sense - none of these 'us vs. them' situations ever do - but it does create compelling cinema.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
May 8, 2009
[Director] Hamilton captures the heart-wrenching devastation done in the name of profit, as citizens mourn. Incredibly effecting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jennifer Merin
About.com
April 3, 2009
A beautiful portrait of a unique downtown LA community of poor Mexican-Americans who've turned urban blight into a marvelous garden and fight a developer determined to shut them down. A moving, inspiring documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Geoff Berkshire
Metromix.com
April 23, 2009
Presents a classic story of the little guy taking on The Man with both thrilling and frustrating results.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
May 7, 2009
Scott Hamilton Kennedy's plucky, powerful storytelling makes this a worthwhile experience.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
May 8, 2009
A compelling documentary about an urban garden collective and their fight for justice in a nation where poor people are expected to keep quiet and not speak truth to power.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Kevin Carr
7M Pictures
March 2, 2011
an interesting film simply for the complexity of this issue
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
May 8, 2009
This intricate and compelling documentary paints a saddening portrait of American politics.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Shawn Levy
Oregonian
June 12, 2009
Likely to grab your heart and incite your passions.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
May 1, 2009
A documentary about fighting city hall, the empty promises of politicians, backroom deals, small victories over the Man and the cost paid by a handful of farmers who endured all of the above. Imagine if John Steinbeck rewrote the script for
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Harvey S. Karten
Compuserve
May 6, 2009
A political documentary that is as lovingly developed as the garden cared for by poor immigrants.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
August 22, 2008
It's tempting to call The Garden a story of innocence and experience, of evil corrupting paradise, but that would be doing a disservice to the fascinating complexities of a classic Los Angeles conflict and an excellent doc that does them full justice.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Page 1 of 2