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Trudell Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Tim Grierson
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

How could a movie about someone with one of the nation's longest FBI files be this dull?

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

March 9, 2006
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

The movie tries to do too much, sandwiching in extraneous histories of the Indian occupation of Alcatraz, for instance, and skimming quickly past the mysterious fire that killed Trudell's wife and children.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 1/4

March 30, 2006
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine

Trudell belongs to a strain of documentary biopic wherein one-sided reverence is the principle impetus.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2/4

January 27, 2006
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

When Trudell expounds on his political philosophies, the film is fascinating, but Rae lets style obscure substance.

| Original Score: 2/4

February 23, 2006
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics

Strident environmental warnings and political rhetoric do not a movie make.

| Original Score: 5/10

February 24, 2006
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As one of our most prominent and passionate advocates for Native American rights, John Trudell deserves more daring and objective scrutiny than this overly reverent tribute.

| Original Score: 2.5/5

February 23, 2006
Bob Westal
Film Threat

To my mind, John Trudell often starts with the truth, but then he leaps over it to say and do a lot of things that are highly questionable or worse. Politics aside, he ought to be questioned -- if only to make for a more interesting documentary.

Full Review Source: Film Threat | Original Score: 2/5

February 4, 2006
Sheri Linden
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rae's reluctance to delve into more complex, personal or specific territory -- with anecdotes, for example -- limits viewer involvement.

March 30, 2006
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Politics aside, Trudell plays like an infomercial for its subject rather than a serious examination of the man and his beliefs.

| Original Score: 1/4

February 24, 2006
Joe Leydon
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

More hagiography than history, Heather Rae's long-in-production portrait of Native American activist and poet John Trudell has the uncritically admiring feel of authorized biography.

Full Review Source: Variety

February 3, 2006
Noel Murray
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Anyone looking for history lessons from Rae's documentary will have to be patient and alert enough to pick through the poetry.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: C+

February 21, 2006
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

More tribute than true documentary, Heather Rae's reverential biography of Native American activist John Trudell sells everyone a little short.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2/4

February 24, 2006
Jordan Reed
Boxoffice Magazine

Rae borrows a bit heavily from the Oliver Stone school of filmmaking: Quick cuts of seemingly random footage do more to draw attention to a possible dearth of relevant background materials than to evoke ideas of Native American history and struggle.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/5

February 24, 2006
Andy Klein
Los Angeles CityBeat

...should all be interesting, but Rae goes that extra mile to make it alternately dull and irritating.

March 9, 2006
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By preaching so relentlessly to the choir, this film misses an opportunity to show what got them to sing in the first place.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2/5

March 10, 2006
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

This documentary feature is more concerned with telling us about Trudell's many exploits than with telling us about the man. As a result, it feels superficial, and the tone is much too reverential.

Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City | Original Score: 2/4

March 17, 2006
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Combines a minimum of critical distance and a maximum of gratuitous flash.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 1/4

March 30, 2006
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle

Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle | Original Score: 2/5

April 8, 2006
Maria Garcia
Film Journal International

Like many "documentaries" that are essentially homages, Trudell often lacks context.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

March 1, 2007

E! Online

Short on the meat of documentary -- archival detail-- and long on hero worship ...

Full Review Source: E! Online | Original Score: C

March 10, 2006
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
April 29, 2009
Ted Drozdowski
Boston Phoenix
April 23, 2009
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