51 Birch Street Reviews

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Top Critic
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
November 3, 2006
Ultimately, the film reveals more about Block than about his private, remote mother and father.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Sam Adams
Los Angeles Times
October 19, 2006
What makes 51 Birch Street a moving revelation rather than a therapeutic exercise is Block's commitment to understanding his parents, Mike and Mina, on their own terms, regardless of what it does to his image of them.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
October 19, 2006
It's a loving, painful map of the gulf between thought and word, between word and deed, that props up good marriages, and sends bad ones to hell.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
November 2, 2006
The film has a compelling way about it. All five of the immediate Block family members emerge in full and affecting portraits.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Don Willmott
November 8, 2007
a documentary for every Baby Boomer, and every Boomer parent, to ponder
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
November 2, 2006
It's a fine film, and it's practically guaranteed to make you think about your own relationships.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Tricia Olszewski
Washington City Paper
February 29, 2008
A portrait of a marriage, Capturing the Friedmans-style.
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
February 11, 2007
In families, especially, perceptions are relative . . . reminds us that the seemingly mundane, right at our dinner tables, can offer its own special, bittersweet poetry.
Jim Emerson
October 7, 2005
In some ways, an antidote to the sugarcoated myths and lies the movies have taught us about love and marriage.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
December 30, 2006
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Felix Gonzalez Jr.
DVD Review
August 17, 2007
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.
Beverly Berning
May 18, 2008
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.
Matt Pais
November 2, 2006
An intensely painful, personal and cathartic movie of a man coming to accept his parents as people with flaws, problems and regrets.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Sean Axmaker
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
January 11, 2007
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 | Original Score: A
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
October 18, 2006
In 51 Birch Street, a moving and fascinating documentary, Doug Block investigates the lingering, buried frustration in his parents otherwise ordinary lives.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
John Anderson
October 18, 2006
Doug Block's very moving, honest and even suspenseful autopsy of his parents' marriage is the kind of film audiences leave the theater talking about, and which keeps them talking days later.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
October 25, 2006
A warm and honest portrait of a marriage at its most mysterious, and ordinary.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 13, 2006
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
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 24, 2006
The film grows in power as it goes, finding ever more universal levels of feeling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Erin Clements
Time Out
February 3, 2007
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
Michael Atkinson
Boston Phoenix
April 23, 2009

July 21, 2007
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