Payback Reviews

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Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
August 28, 2012
An earnest and edifying documentary on the philosophical and ethical ramifications of debt as something owed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Mark Feeney
Boston Globe
June 20, 2012
There's a splendid audacity in Baichwal trying to bring to the screen something as idea-driven as Atwood's book.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
April 26, 2012
Ultimately, this intriguing but scattershot movie turns on the incompatibility of two worldviews - the corporate-financial vs. the environmental-spiritual.
David Noh
Film Journal International
April 26, 2012
Three real-life horror stories are linked by the theme of debt in this informative but sometimes wandering doc.
Top Critic
Noel Murray
AV Club
April 26, 2012
Adapting non-fiction to cinema can be tricky even for a documentarian, but Jennifer Baichwal makes a game effort at turning Margaret Atwood's book-length essay Payback: Debt And The Shadow Side Of Wealth into a movie.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Andrew Schenker
Time Out
April 24, 2012
Despite trying to fit both the ancient Albanian Kanun legal code and the fate of the environment on the same procrustean bed, Baichwal's free-flowing essay film stands as a thoughtful and compelling meditation on global interconnectivity...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Mark Holcomb
Village Voice
April 24, 2012
Cinematic globe-trotting doesn't necessarily trump reading a good book, it turns out; then again, more movies should be burdened with the flaw of being too intellectually curious.
Bill Weber
Slant Magazine
April 24, 2012
This doc on the many forms of human debt, though often frustratingly broad, offers a path to balancing civilization's ledger with a hard-nosed brand of altruism.
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
March 16, 2012
Payback is nothing if not brave.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rob Nelson
Variety
February 6, 2012
A rarefied conceptual docu that will appeal to a limited but highly appreciative audience.
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
May 31, 2012
Makes similar points as several other docs, but in a more labored and tedious way.
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
April 27, 2012
Baichwal could have devoted a single film to just BP's disgraceful behavior.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
April 24, 2012
You can't help feeling that the movie owed its subject - and its audience - a bit more.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
March 15, 2012
The compelling human stories are often stalled behind a logjam of interviews with experts and intellectuals that are intended to add perspective but disrupt the movie's flow.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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