Opening

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Sweetgrass Reviews

Jason Anderson
Toronto Star
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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 Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3.5/4

July 22, 2010
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
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There are audience rewards for sticking with the herd and its lonesome cowboys.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

July 16, 2010
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Instead of rounding up information, this documentary about an arduous sheep drive across Montana is driven by the beauty of the landscape.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

June 17, 2010
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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It's a gorgeous and, believe it or not, riveting documentary...about sheep.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3/4

May 21, 2010
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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It may not be your thing, but Sweetgrass is unlike anything you'll see in a theater this year. It bravely strays from the flock.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: 4.5/5

April 23, 2010
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Filmmakers Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor rigorously follow the cinema-verité creed: no sonorous Morgan Freeman voiceovers, no explanatory intertitles until the finale, just carefully observed reality.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 15, 2010
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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If you're used to the ADD pace of modern filmmaking, Sweetgrass will probably drive you crazy. If you can adjust, it could widen your soul.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 1, 2010
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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Sweetgrass is an unexpectedly intoxicating documentary, unexpected because it blends high artistic standards with the grueling reality of one of the toughest, most exhausting of work environments.

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

March 25, 2010
Ted Fry
Seattle Times
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In an extraordinary series of tableaux that are alternately idyllic and severe, Sweetgrass defies the conventions of what most of us regard as a documentary film.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 25, 2010
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
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What starts out looking like a 4H film soon develops narrative power, and a rough natural humor. You'll be hearing bleating in your sleep for days, which is more pleasant than it sounds.

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

March 12, 2010
Dana Stevens
Slate
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Leaves behind the domain of ethnography and becomes a work of art.

Full Review Source: Slate

January 22, 2010
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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This slyly transcendental documentary consists of long, mostly wordless takes of sheep, cowboys, and the divine Montana mountains they wander through for 200 miles.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B

January 20, 2010
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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The filmmakers' motivation couldn't be clearer: They needed to capture a way of life that may soon exist only on film and in memory.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

January 8, 2010
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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Minimalist and hypnotic, a catalog of observations about the primal relationship between man and beast, and the still-daunting challenges of the Western landscape.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B

January 7, 2010
Neil Young
Hollywood Reporter
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An intriguing but overly demanding portrait of rural Montana that concentrates on sheep and their herders.

January 7, 2010
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
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Castaing-Taylor's lensing -- from sheep staring into a camera to panoramic views of the gorgeous landscape -- is pleasing to the eye.

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

January 6, 2010
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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The first essential movie of this young year.

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

January 6, 2010
Melissa Anderson
Village Voice
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Though the breathtaking vistas of Big Sky Country in Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor's unforgettable sheep-herding documentary come close to heaven, it's telling that AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" can be faintly heard.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

January 5, 2010
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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Memorably captures a dying way of American life, a marvelously untrammeled American landscape and at least two animals -- men and sheep -- that despite their millennia-long domestic relationship still have a spark of wildness in them.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

January 5, 2010
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
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As subcultural anthropology, it's unassailable. Yet the often ugly-looking DV aesthetic dilutes the cumulative effect.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

December 30, 2009
Ronnie Scheib
Variety
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Sweetgrass showcases an elemental intimacy between man and animal.

Full Review Source: Variety

September 28, 2009
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