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Praying With Lior Reviews

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Maureen M. Hart
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Director Ilana] Trachtman doesn't downplay the challenges of a family with a Down syndrome child, even one as high-functioning as Lior.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

July 24, 2008
Michele Kenner
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A messy brew, sometimes manipulative, with no real conclusions, as Lior, though highly functional, cannot explain his deep sense of religion and those around him are too supportive to question.

Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 1, 2008
Janice Page
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is the latest feel-good documentary to turn a spotlight on a much-misunderstood disorder, and per usual it demands that you unleash your sense of humor and table your pity.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 25, 2008
Rachel Beckman
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Charming as Lior is, this triumphant little movie leaps from good to great by exploring the Liebling family dynamic.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

March 27, 2008
David Noh
Film Journal International

Praying with Lior focuses on this precocious, lovable lad, while giving time as well to the special challenges he presents to others.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

February 5, 2008
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Praying With Lior documents the extraordinary life of Lior Liebling, a rabbi's son with Down syndrome.

| Original Score: 4/5

February 4, 2008
Nick Schager

Provides a complex, compelling depiction of the intrinsic relationship between love for God and one's kin.

Full Review Source: Cinematical

February 3, 2008
Jordan Hiller

Praying with Lior is a tremendously moving and invigorating film, but Lior's love for davening is minimally responsible.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3/4

February 2, 2008
Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Uninterested in exploring the larger history of beliefs and traditions concerning mentally challenged people and their closeness to God.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 1, 2008
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ilana Trachtman's gentle profile does make for touching viewing, but she leaves too many questions unanswered.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 1, 2008
Scott Tobias
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lior is a special boy, but the film remains refreshingly down-to-earth about his abilities and limitations, and in the four-month buildup to his bar mitzvah, it wonders openly about where this rite of passage might take him.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B

January 31, 2008
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

An emotionally rich documentary about the extraordinary Bar Mizvah of a spiritually vibrant 13 year-old boy with Down Syndrome.

Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice | Original Score: 5/5

January 31, 2008
John Anderson
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A gentle, tender-hearted portrait of a devout young Jew with Down syndrome, Lior will not be for everyone, ...but its messages of family and love are pretty seductive.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 2.5/4

January 31, 2008
Rob Humanick
Slant Magazine

In the Oscars of my mind there exists a category for Cutest Performance, and Lior Liebling just took home the golden statuette.

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

January 31, 2008

Lior's big moment is an underdog weeper for the ages; I only wish the 80 minutes that preceded it had been as powerful.

Full Review Source: Reeler

January 31, 2008
Maitland McDonagh
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This portrait of mentally challenged Lior Liebling, renowned within his tight-knit Jewish community for his closeness to God, is heartfelt but lacks context.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 2/6

January 31, 2008
Julia Wallace
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This doc is a hardcore tearjerker.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

January 29, 2008
Dennis Harvey
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Amid an escalating U.S. trend toward commercial entertainment that earnestly or exploitatively taps religious demographics, Praying With Lior explores a rather extraordinary instance of real-world faith, sans condescension or proselytizing.

Full Review Source: Variety

January 29, 2008
John P. McCarthy
Boxoffice Magazine

If you can watch Praying With Lior without shedding a tear, it's time for an emotional checkup.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine

December 21, 2007
Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

November 18, 2011
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