The Dhamma Brothers Reviews

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Top Critic
Joshua Land
Time Out
November 16, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Dave White
April 4, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
June 13, 2008
An example of advocacy filmmaking at its most inspired.
Marc Mohan
May 16, 2008
The thoughtfulness and humanity of these inmates is a potent reminder that there's almost no such thing as a lost cause.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 16, 2008
A sincere but unevenly made documentary about Buddhism on death row.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
May 9, 2008
Most of these men will never know freedom beyond prison walls, but they have learned liberation from within.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times
May 9, 2008
A sort of cross between The Shawshank Redemption and an episode of MSNBC's Lockup, the intriguing documentary The Dhamma Brothers makes a cogent case for prisoner rehabilitation over, as one inmate here bluntly puts it, being 'warehoused till you die'.
Bob Strauss
Los Angeles Daily News
May 9, 2008
Though compelling as far as it goes, a little more skepticism and drama would have made for a more engaging film and enhanced its message.
Top Critic
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
May 2, 2008
There's one image you're likely to take away from this mind-boggling documentary. It's of rows and rows of men dressed completely in white and seated cross-legged on royal blue mats.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Eric Monder
Film Journal International
April 15, 2008
If nothing else, it might change stereotypical perceptions about convicts and prison life.
Bill Gibron
April 12, 2008
(W)hat many will remember about this otherwise informative film is the way in which we get to know these men.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Ken Fox
TV Guide's Movie Guide
April 11, 2008
It's a truly inspirational piece of documentary filmmaking bolstered by a fine soundtrack featuring the music of Low, New Order and Sigur Ros.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
April 11, 2008
The Dhamma Brothers offers a constructive alternative to the hopelessness of human warehousing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
April 11, 2008
A remarkable documentary about inmates at an Alabama prison who do a 10-day silent meditation retreat which opens them to the experience of inner peace and compassion.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
April 11, 2008
Takes you on a thrilling and hopeful voyage through a very dark place.
Amre Klimchack
New York Press
April 9, 2008
The film presents an intimate, compassionate and sympathetic portrait of a group of individuals that much of society has written off as savage and brutal and who reconnect to their humanity through the act of meditation.
Top Critic
Ronnie Scheib
April 8, 2008
Subject matter definitely trumps stylistic nuance in this solid journeyman effort.
Kam Williams
April 8, 2008
Examines the before and after mindsets of hardened cons converted to an Eastern spiritual path.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Louis Proyect
April 8, 2008
Penetrating study of hardened prisoner's discovering their humane essence through training sessions in Buddhism.
Bill White
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
May 8, 2008
The film does a poor job of explaining the discipline or how it works, and naively takes the convicts' testimonials at face value.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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