Detropia Reviews

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Barbara VanDenburgh
Arizona Republic
November 1, 2012
A fascinating portrait of a 21st-century post-industrial hellscape.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Inga Saffron
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 1, 2012
Detropia's filmmakers stay out of the picture, hanging back to allow the viewer to absorb the meaning of Detroit's fate. It is even more complex than we thought.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
October 18, 2012
A startling, haunting documentary about a once-great city, "Detropia" is all but a eulogy for Detroit.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
October 4, 2012
Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing, Oscar-nominated for their earlier Jesus Camp, aim a compassionate and artful lens in their new documentary Detropia, finding signs of life in the ruined city.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
October 4, 2012
City services are shutting down, schools are closing, houses are being demo'd by the thousands - like lights being turned out one by one, "Detropia" powerfully captures a city fighting not to go dark.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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David Lewis
San Francisco Chronicle
September 28, 2012
Artfully - perhaps too artfully - illustrates the transformation of the Motor City from a middle-class utopia to an urban nightmare of blight, crime and fleeing residents.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
September 27, 2012
Just as the film finds an aesthetic in its dilapidated setting, the city's residents find hope in a desperate place, a place that once represented hope itself.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
September 21, 2012
The movie is heavy on statistics (all of them grim), yet what lingers is an operatic sense of tragedy.
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Mark Feeney
Boston Globe
September 20, 2012
"Detropia" feels somewhere between loose (which is good) and aimless (which isn't).
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 20, 2012
Via beautiful cinematography, the film wanders the city, contrasting a new automaker's towers with abandoned hotels, derelict theaters, ruined houses and people walking through the snow down the middle of streets because there's no traffic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
September 14, 2012
Grady and Ewing are exceptionally skilled and sensitive visual storytellers, adroit at recognizing decisive moments and smart enough to let viewers make of them what they will.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
September 14, 2012
"Detropia" offers up a mirror to the country: This is what the future may look like. Now, what do you want to do about it?
Full Review | Original Score: B
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David Denby
New Yorker
September 10, 2012
This documentary film, about the deconstruction of a great American city, is surprisingly lyrical and often very moving.
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Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
September 6, 2012
Moving from union hall to town hall, from brutal salary negotiations to contentious plans to create urban farms out of concrete wasteland, the film listens and moves on.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
September 6, 2012
What the movie captures overall looks like a scene from a sci-fi, postapocalyptic nightmare.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Sam Adams
AV Club
September 6, 2012
At times, as Ewing and Grady's cameras prowl its empty streets, the city seems like the world's largest ghost town.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Keith Uhlich
Time Out
September 4, 2012
Imagine if Frederick Wiseman and David Lynch had a bastard child, and you'll get a sense of the movie's off-kilter aesthetic, a potent and pointed mix of firsthand observation and surreal flights of fancy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Karina Longworth
Village Voice
September 4, 2012
Beautifully composed and purposefully edited to a haunting electronic score ...
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Dennis Harvey
Variety
January 30, 2012
A potent snapshot of a potential future for many American cities.
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John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
January 24, 2012
Doc about Detroit's state of abandonment offers snapshots and sounds but little new information.