Sweetgrass (2009)



Critic Consensus: At once tender and unsentimental, Sweetgrass gracefully captures the beauty and hardships of a dying way of life.

Movie Info

Filmmakers Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor continue their work capturing the stark beauty and danger of the Western landscape with this documentary. With only a soundtrack as narration, Sweetgrass tracks shepherds through Montana as they take their flocks on the long trek to the Beartooth Mountains. ~ Kimber Myers, Rovi

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Western, Special Interest
Directed By: ,
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 3, 2010
Box Office: $0.2M
Cinema Guild - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Sweetgrass

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (21)

If there's anything we can learn from the creatures here, it's that any day in which you don't get stripped of your coat or eaten by a bear is probably a good one.

Full Review… | July 22, 2010
Toronto Star
Top Critic

There are audience rewards for sticking with the herd and its lonesome cowboys.

Full Review… | July 16, 2010
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Instead of rounding up information, this documentary about an arduous sheep drive across Montana is driven by the beauty of the landscape.

Full Review… | June 17, 2010
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

[The directors] portray something indelible by capturing the rancher's old-hand ways.

Full Review… | September 24, 2014
Film Comment Magazine

The talk is sheep. And normally, I'd say baa humbug to sitting down with lambs for 90 minutes. But any apprehension. abates under the power of a documentary that's as beautiful as it is informative.

Full Review… | May 25, 2013
The Patriot Ledger

As it progresses it begins to strike a subtly elegiac, unsentimental tone...

Full Review… | June 13, 2011

Audience Reviews for Sweetgrass


"Sweetgrass" is a stunningly photographed documentary about the process of sheep farming in Montana. The movie keeps the human subjects at a distance, giving us little chance to really get to know any of them. Instead, the natural scenery and the sheep are the true stars here and the one who looks directly into the camera knows that. In fact, he would like to file a complaint with his union representative about the working conditions.

Yeah about that. Not much has changed in this profession since the 19th century. The cowboys still ride horses, camp out under the stars and rely on dogs for a lot of help in keeping the sheep in line. Cell phones are about the only indication that this is now the 21st century. And I should warn those of you expecting lots and lots of footage of cute sheep roaming around the mountains that there is a gruesome shot of an eviscerated sheep which speaks to the difficulty and frustration for the cowboys which is expressed in the most colorful language heard since "Deadwood" went off the air.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

I dream of a day when I have sheep in a yard near my house. Scratch that. I *used to* dream that. After 30 minutes of hearing sheep bleating, I could no longer watch this movie. Therefore, the dream of sheep is now dead for me.

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