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
Top Critic
Julia Wallace
Village Voice
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
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
Ronnie Scheib
Variety
April 8, 2008
Subject matter definitely trumps stylistic nuance in this solid journeyman effort.
Top Critic
Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
June 13, 2008
An example of advocacy filmmaking at its most inspired.
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'.
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
Top Critic
Joshua Land
Time Out
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.
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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
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
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.
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