The Dhamma Brothers Reviews

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Mark Keizer
Boxoffice Magazine
April 11, 2008

Not polished enough to spread, or strike a nerve, within the wider moviegoing community.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Julia Wallace
Village Voice
Top Critic
April 8, 2008

There's no doubt that the Brothers are a compelling bunch, but their story isn't well served here.

Jurgen Fauth
About.com
April 15, 2008

Beyond the visual novelty of murderers and rapist sitting in silent practice, The Dhamma Brothers seems to be interested in surprisingly little.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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
Kam Williams
NewsBlaze
April 8, 2008

Examines the before and after mindsets of hardened cons converted to an Eastern spiritual path.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Bill Gibron
PopMatters
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
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.

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
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic
May 16, 2008

A sincere but unevenly made documentary about Buddhism on death row.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Ronnie Scheib
Variety
Top Critic
April 8, 2008

Subject matter definitely trumps stylistic nuance in this solid journeyman effort.

Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
June 13, 2008

An example of advocacy filmmaking at its most inspired.

Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
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'.

Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
Top Critic
April 11, 2008

The Dhamma Brothers offers a constructive alternative to the hopelessness of human warehousing.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Joshua Land
Time Out New York
Top Critic
April 10, 2008

The film, which focuses primarily on four individuals, is unusually effective at finding the humanity inside men usually reviled as monsters -- not least by themselves.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
Joshua Land
Time Out
Top Critic
November 16, 2011

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Eric Monder
Film Journal International
April 15, 2008

If nothing else, it might change stereotypical perceptions about convicts and prison life.

Louis Proyect
rec.arts.movies.reviews
April 8, 2008

Penetrating study of hardened prisoner's discovering their humane essence through training sessions in Buddhism.

Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
Top Critic
April 11, 2008

Takes you on a thrilling and hopeful voyage through a very dark place.

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
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
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
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