Trudell Reviews

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Top Critic
Tim Grierson
L.A. Weekly
March 9, 2006
How could a movie about someone with one of the nation's longest FBI files be this dull?
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
March 30, 2006
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 | Original Score: 1/4
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
January 27, 2006
Trudell belongs to a strain of documentary biopic wherein one-sided reverence is the principle impetus.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
April 29, 2009
An ultimately forgettable account of the poet and historic speaker for Native American rights
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
February 23, 2006
When Trudell expounds on his political philosophies, the film is fascinating, but Rae lets style obscure substance.
| Original Score: 2/4
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics
February 24, 2006
Strident environmental warnings and political rhetoric do not a movie make.
| Original Score: 5/10
Top Critic
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
February 23, 2006
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
Bob Westal
Film Threat
February 4, 2006
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 | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Sheri Linden
Hollywood Reporter
March 30, 2006
Rae's reluctance to delve into more complex, personal or specific territory -- with anecdotes, for example -- limits viewer involvement.
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
February 24, 2006
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
Top Critic
Joe Leydon
Variety
February 3, 2006
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.
Top Critic
Noel Murray
AV Club
February 21, 2006
Anyone looking for history lessons from Rae's documentary will have to be patient and alert enough to pick through the poetry.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
February 24, 2006
More tribute than true documentary, Heather Rae's reverential biography of Native American activist John Trudell sells everyone a little short.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jordan Reed
Boxoffice Magazine
February 24, 2006
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 | Original Score: 2.5/5
Andy Klein
Los Angeles CityBeat
March 9, 2006
...should all be interesting, but Rae goes that extra mile to make it alternately dull and irritating.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
March 10, 2006
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 | Original Score: 2/5
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
March 17, 2006
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 | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 30, 2006
Combines a minimum of critical distance and a maximum of gratuitous flash.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle
April 8, 2006
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Maria Garcia
Film Journal International
March 1, 2007
Like many "documentaries" that are essentially homages, Trudell often lacks context.
Ted Drozdowski
Boston Phoenix
April 23, 2009
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