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Darkon Reviews

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Grady Hendrix
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Joins the ranks of movies like Hoop Dreams and Murderball as one of the great documentary dissections of how Americans play.

Full Review Source: Slate

November 12, 2007

Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By approaching the subject without a sense of ironic distance, Neel and Meyer get at something elemental, a variation of the American Dream at work, in which everyone can live out their life as they see it, even if that's as a medieval elf.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

October 26, 2007
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Eloquent and occasionally touching, Darkon is haphazardly photographed but unfailingly generous toward subjects who exhibit an astonishing degree of self-awareness.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4.5/5

September 22, 2007
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
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Neel and Meyer approach their subjects with open minds. Running around Baltimore in medieval armor isn't everyone's chalice of wine, they seem to be saying -- but who are we to judge?

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

September 14, 2007
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There should be plenty of material here. But all we see are average men and women looking for an escape from their boring jobs and disappointing home lives.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2/4

September 14, 2007
Aaron Hillis
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Empowered as they are, it's hard to take this motley crew seriously when they spit medieval maxims with soccer goals in the background, but the filmmakers approach their subjects with humanity.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

September 11, 2007
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine

The film perceptively addresses the intertwining of fantasy and reality, which eventually seems so pronounced that one senses players are acting out their dreams of either being, or striking back against, bullies.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 3/4

September 6, 2007
Michael Esposito
Chicago Tribune
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There are lessons to be learned here, not the least of which is that you should never trust elf mercenaries, no matter how much you pay them.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

February 22, 2007
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

How can you not like a movie where a guy says, completely without irony, "During my third campout, I was assassinated seven times."

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 3/4

February 8, 2007
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
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This full-length movie becomes quite wearing. The players are entitled to dignity and respect, of course, but how many of us would spend 89 minutes at a party listening to one of them talk about Darkon? That's pretty much what you get here.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 2, 2007

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

This low-budget documentary by Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel spends three years chronicling Darkon, a medieval role-playing group whose members dress up in homemade costumes and chase each other around fields in suburban Baltimore.

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

February 1, 2007
Emanuel Levy

For all its hipster appeal, it's hard to imagine anyone who would not be charmed by this ode to nonconformity, a humanistic, thoughtful, and entertaining film that won this year's SXSW Film Fest's Audience Award.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: 4/5

June 26, 2006
Eddie Cockrell
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A clear-eyed and oddly touching docudocu about a gaggle of Baltimoreans who dress up in home-made medieval garb and chase each other around soccer fields and meadows.

Full Review Source: Variety

June 20, 2006
Eric D. Snider

A documentary that peers casually into the inner workings of a game and lets us laugh at -- er, with? -- the participants.

Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com | Original Score: B

April 3, 2006
Nora Ankrum
Austin Chronicle

You won't leave this film with a full grasp of, say, how a Darkonian knows when he's mortally wounded, but you'll relate to this exuberant subculture more intimately than you'd perhaps expect.

Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle

March 24, 2006
Scott Weinberg

Darkon works as a fascinating and colorful documentary about an endearingly bizarre game and as a "can't wait to see who wins" sports film. (And as a nifty little comedy, too, actually.)

Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com | Original Score: 4.5/5

March 17, 2006
Eric Campos
Film Threat

It's an epic fantasy adventure with loads of laughs, starring a bunch of people who, believe it or not, you wish you were.

Full Review Source: Film Threat | Original Score: 5/5

March 15, 2006
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher
October 18, 2008
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