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OT: Our Town (2003)

tomatometer

86

Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

73

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 154

My Rating

Movie Info

The Los Angeles community of Compton has become infamous thanks to news reports and rap music lyrics that have portrayed it as an African-American neighborhood brought to the edge of destruction by corruption and black-on-black crime. In 2003, a handful of students and teachers at Compton's Dominguez High School decided to do something that hadn't happened at the school in more than 20 years -- put on a play. When it became obvious that the financially strapped school (which had recently

Aug 17, 2004

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All Critics (27) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (3) | DVD (1)

For a film about stereotype-busting, OT treads a very worn path.

August 15, 2003
New York Post
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Emotionally involving.

August 15, 2003 Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News
San Jose Mercury News
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[A] modest, moving documentary.

August 15, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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A whole world can be fit into 76 minutes, and that's what the splendid documentary OT: our town manages to do.

August 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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A smart, seamless commentary on race, class and the expectations (or lack of) that are often attached to them.

August 14, 2003 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
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As the players themselves struggle with finding what Borek calls 'the line between representing ourselves and stereotyping,' Kennedy takes pains to illuminate aspects and insights that buck cliché.

August 13, 2003 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
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promotes a message that more people need to understand in order to get past false stereotypes

January 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

A documentary guaranteed to leave you laughing, crying and feeling pretty darn good about the transforming power of art.

February 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

A tiny but wondrous miracle that sprouted despite daunting obstacles, like a dandelion that shoots up in the middle of a sidewalk.

December 4, 2003 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

The film makes a convincing case that the seemingly antiquated play may actually be more relevant today than ever before. Who would have guessed?

November 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Director-photographer Scott Hamilton Kennedy's celebratory documentary shows how the students proved the naysayers wrong.

November 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Though not spectacularly directed, there are enough moments of humor and poignancy to keep you engaged.

September 19, 2003 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

The connections between Wilder's text and the realities of ghetto existence take on an emphatic, crystalline life all their own.

September 5, 2003
Fresno Bee

OT is inspiring, but abstractly so, like a six-part series on arts and education in the L.A. Times.

August 23, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Briskly energizing... it's a delight to watch [these kids] blossom as they come together in an effort none of them had any idea they needed, or wanted, or could succeed at.

August 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

A remarkable documentary about some ghetto kids in Compton, California, who rise to the best in themselves in a rousing high school production of Thornton Wilder's famous play.

August 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

One of the most truthful 'backstage' films in ages.

August 19, 2003
San Francisco Examiner

Backed by a soundtrack of hip-hop and edited to within an inch of its life, Kennedy's film has sleek gutter charm to spare.

August 19, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Wonderful documentary.

August 15, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Director Scott Kennedy parallels the play's universal themes -- community, family, love and loss -- with the students' lives, poignantly illustrating how relevant the material still is today.

August 15, 2003 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

Entertaining and heartening, OT is also an urgent reminder of the importance of arts-related programs in the schools, and could serve as a useful tool tool for those fighting the good fight for such funding.

August 15, 2003 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

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