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Earthwork (2011)



Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.



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Average Rating: 4.6/5
User Ratings: 204

My Rating

Movie Info

EARTHWORK is the true story of real-life crop artist Stan Herd (played by Oscar nominee and Spirit Award Winner for "Winter's Bone" John Hawkes, in his first starring role), told through a single episode of his life. In 1994, Stan traveled from Kansas to New York City and risked everything to create a massive environmental artwork on land owned by Donald Trump. The multi-acre piece was made from soil, rock, plants and vegetation near an underground railway tunnel. Stan recruited a number of


Documentary, Drama, Musical & Performing Arts

Chris Ordal

Shadow Distribution - Official Site External Icon



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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (5)

The story has dramatic reversals, humor, suspense and plenty of colorful, eccentric characters.

June 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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"Earthwork" takes an unexpected swerve but one that adds layers of meaning and emotion to a film that is as beautiful and wrenching as it is unassuming.

May 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Character actor John Hawkes, his rural demeanor tailor-made for hick pics, breaks through typecasting stereotypes in his nuanced portrayal of crop artist Stan Herd in Chris Ordal's ambitious Earthwork.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Variety
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John Hawkes brings a laconic soulfulness to this ultra-low-key, only mildly involving tale of artistic pursuit.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Reporter
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Directed, written and produced by Chris Ordal, "Earthwork" is best left to TV.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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Earthwork's narrative follows too-familiar templates, and its characters lack the careful detail of Herd's own art.

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: NPR
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While we're grateful for Ordal's introduction to this atypical artist, the film's focus on the sentimental side of the story is at the expense of showing us enough of his terrestrial achievements.

July 1, 2011 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

Hawkes is finally getting the great roles he has long deserved.

June 24, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

It's a rare film that makes viewers love a fellow who takes needless chances.

June 17, 2011 Full Review Source: MovieMaker Magazine
MovieMaker Magazine

Ultimately, "Earthwork" poses an interesting question. Does the true value of art lie in its creation or the pleasure that others get while viewing it?

June 13, 2011 Full Review Source:

This is a movie about work and about the satisfaction that a person can find in accomplishing something.

May 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Ebert Presents At The Movies

Writer-director Chris Ordal does something a lot of young filmmakers either can't do, or consciously try to avoid -- tell a simple story, simply, and without overindulging in stylistic gimmicks or emotional manipulation.

May 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Shared Darkness
Shared Darkness

The movie's numerous strengths include the cinematography by Bruce Francis Cole, the editing of extraneous material to 93 seamlessly flowing minutes by Brad Roszell and an upbeat, soothing guitar-heavy instrumental score by musician David Goodrich.

May 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Entertainment Spectrum
Entertainment Spectrum

Hawkes' performance reflects the gentle unaffectedness of Ordal's writing and directing. Earthwork hasn't any big bombastic moments. Instead it worms its way into your good graces slowly and thoughtfully until you're hooked.

May 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

Earthwork turns a potentially fascinating, infuriating story of failure into a dull, na´ve civics lesson.

May 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Ordal certainly picked the right moment of Herd's career to memorialize, because while the tale seems to follow a predictable path, it eventually veers off into a different direction.

May 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

An unchallenging, simplistic drama that's grounded by John Hawkes' genuinely tender and charismatic performance.

May 3, 2011 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

Drama about the many challenges faced by an earthwork artist from Kansas as he takes on a project in New York City.

May 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Challenging docudrama about a quixotic crop artist.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Slight and, I'm afraid, slightly forgettable..The film lives and breathes because of Hawkes, a lank actor with a craggy face, sad eyes and a winning, open smile.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Hollywood & Fine
Hollywood & Fine

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