• Unrated, 1 hr. 18 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Eric Eason
    In Theaters:
    Jun 13, 2003 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jan 1, 2005
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Manito Reviews

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

First-time director Eric Eason's assured debut feature is a gritty urban drama shot on a shaky handheld DV camera for $25,000.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: A-

June 24, 2006
Marta Barber
Miami Herald
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The film shows a capsule of American urban life where few outside the community venture in. Eason hands out an invitation to do so. Accept it willingly.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

July 1, 2005
John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews

The digital camera itself becomes a major character because it gives any director with unique connections access to previously unfilmable subjects

Full Review Source: Old School Reviews | Original Score: B-

July 15, 2003
Alex Kranz
Premiere Magazine

The movie barrels painfully through increasing misfortunes ... leaving filmgoers to walk out with the rawest of reactions.

Full Review Source: Premiere Magazine | Original Score: 3/4

June 23, 2003
Bob Campbell
Newark Star-Ledger
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Ragged but intense, this compassionate little movie is stocked with enough skillful touches and sensitive moments to stir interest in Eason's future work.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger

June 20, 2003
Harry Haun
Film Journal International

A mangy little movie that winds up -- surprise! surprise! -- leaving you genuinely moved and sadly bewildered.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

June 14, 2003
Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
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A low-budget wonder.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

June 13, 2003
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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A remarkably assured feature debut, Eric Eason's raw, intimate movie deftly captures the kinetic energy of its Washington Heights setting.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/4

June 13, 2003
Erich Scholz

A compelling slice-of-life narrative that draws much of its strength from its non-professional actors.

Full Review Source: Citysearch | Original Score: 7/10

June 13, 2003
Janice Page
Boston Globe
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What Manito delivers that its cable TV cousins rarely seem interested in exploring are the tiniest details of the real urban 'hood where its stories take place.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

June 13, 2003

E! Online

A solid, touching effort.

Full Review Source: E! Online | Original Score: B+

June 13, 2003
Megan Lehmann
New York Post
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Eason has crafted a small, independent film that has an outsized impact.

| Original Score: 3/4

June 13, 2003
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Where do the actors come from, who can walk into their first picture and act with such effortless effect?

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 13, 2003
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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[Eason] has a quick-moving, incisive eye that captures little details of gesture and décor ... and also an ear finely tuned to the nuances of talk.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4/5

June 13, 2003
Arthur Lazere

Manito packs a visceral punch; it grabs hold and doesn't let go.

Full Review Source:

June 12, 2003
Ken Fox
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Eason balances the clichés of a fairly standard story with convincing realism and a powerful momentum that never flags.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 3/5

June 12, 2003
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
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A small film with a big impact.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

June 12, 2003
John Anderson
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Eason has made a film about family tragedy that sings along on an electrical pulse of energetic editing, convincing naturalism and a confident sense of turf.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3/4

June 12, 2003
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
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Flaunts all of its potential liabilities -- microscopic budget, first-time director, unknown cast, downbeat story -- and, one by one, transforms them into soaring triumphs.

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 12, 2003
Jon Strickland
L.A. Weekly
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Eric Eason's assured debut succeeds in the way Larry Clark's Kids succeeded -- through a feel for the rhythms of street life, and some extraordinary casting.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

June 12, 2003
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