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Trouble the Water Reviews

Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

November 24, 2011
Hank Sartin
Time Out
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Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 5/5

November 18, 2011
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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'God's gonna trouble the water,' goes the chorus from the African-American spiritual that gives Trouble the Water its title, but no deity is to blame for the tide of bureaucratic bungling and inhumanity the movie reveals.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 13, 2009
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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The person at the centre emerges as a force of nature unto herself. Meet, and prepare to be inspired by, Kimberly Rivers Roberts.

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

February 12, 2009
Wally Hammond
Time Out
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Essential, startling and distressing insight into what it was like to be in the eye of the Katrina storm if you were a poor, black resident of the Ninth Ward of New Orleans on Monday August 29 2005.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/6

December 5, 2008
Joe Leydon
Houston Chronicle
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You can't help wanting -- and maybe needing -- to read into her indomitable spiritedness something like a reason for hope. For her, for other Katrina survivors, for all of us.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 31, 2008
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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It's not quite a Grapes of Wrath for our times, but Trouble the Water does give a voice to people America didn't see or listen to before Katrina.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 4/5

October 22, 2008
John Hartl
Seattle Times
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More than most documentaries, this mosaiclike movie is made up of many pieces, and it's considerably more than the sum of those parts.

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

October 17, 2008
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Trouble the Water is a crucial film, one of the best of the decade.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 4/4

October 17, 2008
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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A tale of natural and civic catastrophe, Trouble the Water is also a frank yet inspired saga about poverty, survival and what lies beyond.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 17, 2008
David Hiltbrand
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Trouble the Water is choppy, overly long and at times almost indecipherable, but it's indelible.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 2, 2008
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Roberts needs more practice at holding the camera steady and framing shots. It doesn't matter. We feel her footage at the base of our spines.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 4/4

September 19, 2008
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Trouble the Water proves that a couple of gutsy amateurs with a home video camera can work wonders.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

September 18, 2008
David Denby
New Yorker
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Trouble the Water, along with Spike Lee's extraordinary four-hour epic, When the Levees Broke, remains one of the most eloquent records we have of a tragedy that brought out some of the most impressively alive men and women in New O

Full Review Source: New Yorker

September 8, 2008
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
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Is there more to be said about this national catastrophe? Yes, definitely, as the engrossing documentary Trouble the Water shows in just about every frame.

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

September 5, 2008
Joanne Kaufman
Wall Street Journal
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Filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal have fashioned a deeply moving story of resilience and redemption.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

August 29, 2008
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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Essential, unique viewing: a stunning experience of the hurricane and its aftermath, rooted in immediate personal response and emotions that encapsulate the full national catastrophe.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A

August 28, 2008
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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More than a keenly dramatic look at how this country treats the poor and dispossessed. It's also a film that was hijacked by its subjects. They saw an opportunity, they took it, and the grand jury prize at Sundance was the result.

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

August 22, 2008
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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Using mostly amateur video shot by an aspiring rap artist and her husband in the lead-up to Hurricane Katrina and in the weeks after, this gripping, sometimes unstructured doc shows the devastation New Orleans residents suffered in the swirl of the storm.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News

August 22, 2008
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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I thought Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke was pretty much the last word on the national tragedy and disgrace that followed Hurricane Katrina's assault on New Orleans. Maybe not.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

August 22, 2008
Noel Murray
AV Club
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Trouble The Water is infuriating in its depiction of helpless Americans getting left behind, and uplifting in the way it shows the Roberts putting their lives together.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B

August 22, 2008
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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A spellbinder you do not want to miss.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

August 22, 2008
John Anderson
Newsday
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Brilliant melding of first-person footage, heart, and directors Tia Lessin and Carl Deal's documentary expertise.

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

August 21, 2008
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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What Lessin and Deal provide is a considered structure that places Roberts' footage within a larger social and emotional context as part of a self-defined life, in which Hurricane Katrina was both tragedy and opportunity.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

August 21, 2008
David Fear
Time Out New York
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Trouble the Water's political-made-personal power to invoke both Anderson Cooper levels of rage and the sense that hope springs eternal rests solely with its main subjects.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 4/6

August 21, 2008
Jim Ridley
Village Voice
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The resilience of the movie's subjects -- survivors of street crime and drugs and HIV -- irradiates Trouble the Water like sunshine.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

August 19, 2008
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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Trouble the Water is ineradicably moving.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

August 18, 2008
Robert Koehler
Variety
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[Subject Kimberly] Roberts' vid reps some of the more extensive by any Katrina survivor.

Full Review Source: Variety

January 22, 2008
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