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51 Birch Street Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Beverly Berning

If it is the objective of a work of art to hold up a mirror to our own lives, then 51 Birch Street, in all its makeshift craftsmanship, is a great work of art.

Full Review Source:

May 18, 2008
Tricia Olszewski
Washington City Paper

A portrait of a marriage, Capturing the Friedmans-style.

Full Review Source: Washington City Paper

February 29, 2008
Don Willmott

a documentary for every Baby Boomer, and every Boomer parent, to ponder

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4/5

November 8, 2007
Marty Mapes
Movie Habit

Leads us through a nice range of emotions and invites us to contemplate our own parents' lives

Full Review Source: Movie Habit | Original Score: 3/4

August 30, 2007
Felix Gonzalez Jr.
DVD Review

There is nothing more mysterious than the secrets of the people around us, and from the unraveling of this mystery Doug forms a beautiful portrait of an unfulfilled woman.

Full Review Source: DVD Review

August 17, 2007
Jason Gorber
Film Scouts

Reflecting upon the complications of post-war marriage in the pre-divorce age, Block's film does presenting an interesting and intensely intimate tale about his own parents.

Full Review Source: Film Scouts | Original Score: B

June 21, 2007
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Unfolds like an epistolary psychological mystery. Little about or in this movie is as simple as it seems.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

May 10, 2007
Jette Kernion

Doug Block delves effectively into family mysteries without offending or showing disrespect to any of the parties involved.

Full Review Source: Cinematical | Original Score: 4/5

April 8, 2007
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

In families, especially, perceptions are relative . . . reminds us that the seemingly mundane, right at our dinner tables, can offer its own special, bittersweet poetry.

February 11, 2007
Erin Clements
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 4/6

February 3, 2007
John Hartl
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It gradually turns into a vivid demonstration that truth can be stronger than fiction, and that compromise is necessary in any lasting relationship.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 12, 2007
Sean Axmaker
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

51 Birch Street, like the best of the recent wave of personal documentaries, is both a compelling story and an eye-opening bit of social history.

Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Original Score: A

January 11, 2007
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

The overall effect makes one ponder how much we really know about our parents, as well as how much we really want to know.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Original Score: 3/4

December 30, 2006
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Just as Doug starts looking at his own marriage through new eyes after reading about his parents', so will most viewers. "51 Birch Street" could be any address in America.

Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI) | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 15, 2006
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film grows in power as it goes, finding ever more universal levels of feeling.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 24, 2006
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Through haunting home movies, Mina's diaries and interviews with Mike, a raw, riveting portrait emerges of what a child sees in his parents' relationship and what lies beneath.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

November 13, 2006
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

We'd all be better off if we could find our grace without a camera's obstruction, but ironically, Block's film provides a useful direction to see our way.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

November 7, 2006
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Since the trend of documentary films as a vehicle for the camera operator's family therapy seems firmly established, we can only hope it produces more stories of this caliber.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

November 4, 2006
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A resounding success because it touches on things every child has wondered about on the road to adulthood.

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

November 3, 2006
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

It's a fine film, and it's practically guaranteed to make you think about your own relationships.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 2, 2006
Michael Atkinson
Boston Phoenix
April 23, 2009
July 21, 2007
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