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Dark Days

Dark Days (2000)

tomatometer

94

Average Rating: 7.9/10
Reviews Counted: 65
Fresh: 61 | Rotten: 4

Marc Singer's documentary about a group of homeless people living beneath the streets of New York City is haunting and uplifting in equal measure.

89

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 19
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 2

Marc Singer's documentary about a group of homeless people living beneath the streets of New York City is haunting and uplifting in equal measure.

audience

89

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 6,142

My Rating

Movie Info

Explores the lives of a community which chose to flee Manhattan's drug ravaged shelter system for life underground -- living in the city's Amtrak tunnels by drawing electricity from the tunnel's power lines and water from its pipes.

Sep 25, 2001

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August 8, 2005:
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All Critics (66) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (61) | Rotten (4) | DVD (6)

This is the world discovered and illuminated by gonzo documentarian Marc Singer, who spent a good part of two years living with and chronicling the lives of a half-dozen tunnel dwellers for his remarkable first film, Dark Days

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Moving and memorable.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The lives of these people inside their shacks are full of surprises as well as grim confirmations, but the things we don't know about them also significantly shape our experience of the film.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Singer deserves credit for attempting to put a human face on such tragic circumstances, but he appears to have gotten so close to his main subjects that he seems unwilling to make them, or their desperate situation, look too bad.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Some of these hardy souls have lived this way for years, decades even, and they've lived not just to tell the tale but to suggest that they've created a viable alternative existence. At times, Dark Days almost makes you envious. But only almost.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Revealing, if occasionally frustrating.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The documentary is amazing.

April 29, 2014 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The virtue of Dark Days is that it provides a forum for its subjects, who turn out to be funny, charming, acerbic, annoying, callous, kind and, ultimately, fully human. The movie's other quality -- a dewy romanticism -- is both an asset and a detriment.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Marc Singer's documentary Dark Days absolutely blew me away. It takes the viewer on a thoroughly engrossing journey to the heart of darkness.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Singer's grainy... photography lends the film the evocative aura of something that has been unearthed, while the spare, haunting soundtrack by DJ Shadow perfectly captures the sense of otherworldliness that pervades this remarkable film.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

As we come to know the residents, we find their lives, and yearning for home and safety, as tragic, funny, and involving as anything in a scripted movie.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

It's hard not to get caught up in these people's lives, or to be impressed by their resiliency.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

Singer captures intimate moments in the lives of his subterranean protagonists in their strange, crepuscular world.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Independent
Independent

A portrait of the homeless community of "mole people" who lived in sections of disused underground tunnels in New York, this is a singularly powerful account of the lives of the dispossessed and desperate.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

Simultaneously uplifting and shaming.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Marc Singer's camera hustles and chills along with them all, documenting their lives in black-and-white as high-contrast as the days above to the nights below.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

A black-and-white hymn to the energy of the dispossessed, made in the late 1990s, but still horribly relevant.

January 24, 2014 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Audience Reviews for Dark Days

One of the most successful fly on the wall documentaries of all time. Director Marc Singer takes us into another world, a dreamworld on screen but a nightmare reality for those involved. Singer captures the poverty, the ignorance and intelligence, the mindset of those above and those below the city. It's a shocking and somewhat sad example of human existence but it's also a satisfying achievement in understanding and social care.
March 11, 2014
SirPant

Super Reviewer

New York City homeless create a small community in Amtrak's tunnels.
While there's no hero or central figure in Dark Days, one gets the sensation that all of these people are together living one life. With a few exceptions, many of them are drug-addled and have shady pasts. My father used to say that we're all one bad day from being homeless, an assertion one of my right-wing professors in graduate school scoffed at, and what few stories we see of these people's pasts prove my father's point. I wish the documentary had more of these because the nagging question throughout was how these people got to be where they are, but I suppose that, as one of the film's subjects stated, one has to live day to day in order to survive, which doesn't leave too much time for reflecting about the past.
Overall, I would have liked to have seen more inidividualization of the documentary's subjects, but for what it is, Dark Days is a very strong film about the forgotten members of our society.
July 29, 2012
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

A brutally honest look at the world of homeless people in New York. We get to hang out with these people as they try and build a life in the underground tunnels of Amtrack. They don't make any attempt to tell a story here. They just let life play out and take us along for the ride.
June 20, 2011
superclerk25

Super Reviewer

This was really interesting in being able to see how these people really live. They're making the most of their situation and it shows them as real people who realise their mistakes and feel guilty about what they've done and wish it could be changed. It's also really good that these people were allowed a second chance because of this film.
November 22, 2009
StarCrossedVoyager

Super Reviewer

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