Battle for Brooklyn (2011)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Battle for Brooklyn is an intimate look at the very public and passionate fight waged by residents and business owners of Brooklyn's historic Prospect Heights neighborhood facing condemnation of their property to make way for the polarizing Atlantic Yards project, a massive plan to build 16 skyscrapers and a basketball arena for the New Jersey Nets. The film focuses on graphic designer Daniel Goldstein whose apartment sits at what would be center court of the new arena. A reluctant activist, … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Drama, Special Interest
Directed By: ,
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 11, 2012
Independent Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Battle for Brooklyn

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (12)

Although not exactly even-handed, the movie proves a deft look at a reluctant crusader and how financial sway and political override can so effectively trump the power of the average citizen.

Full Review… | November 23, 2011
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Hawley and Galinsky, a longtime wife-and-husband documentary team, bring real suspense to the story, culled from many hundreds of hours of footage.

Full Review… | October 6, 2011
Seattle Times
Top Critic

A battle ordinarily requires two sides, yet this earnest, ungracefully reconstructed saga posits that opposition to the building of the New Jersey Nets' future home took place in a virtual vacuum, and that the fix was in from the start.

Full Review… | June 22, 2011
Top Critic

Spins a compelling tale about the value of individual and collective resistance, even as it makes clear where power in our society really resides.

Full Review… | June 19, 2011
Top Critic

Brings us inside the lives it touches.

Full Review… | June 17, 2011
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Not exactly inspiring.

Full Review… | June 17, 2011
New York Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Battle for Brooklyn

Although we follow the point of view of those who oppose a development which arguably would provide new opportunities for Brooklyn residents, the viewer remains on the fence as the debate unfolds as to what is best for a community. It also shines a light on the mega project which is such a popular way to spur economic development but which can often have results that are significantly less than anticipated.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

A well-told story of a really potent political issue - the invocation of eminent domain where public subsidies are used to enrich developers (also including a stadium, real Dave Zirin territory here). The documentary stretches over many years, optimistic promises, the economic crash and the subsequent stand-still in construction, the non-existence of promised jobs and fare hikes due to the developer paying only 20% he promised the MAT. It's an I-told-you-so sort of loss, but one that's well documented and because it followed the entire process, showed that yes the pastor (who lives in New Jersey) and the self-styled grassroots representative of Brooklynites were both paid off by the developer, that the jobs never do appear and that Jay-Z may be on the developer's side but Rosie Perez, Steve Buscemi and John Turtorro are on the side of those fighting it, which is a good and kickass place to be.

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