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Watermark Reviews

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Al Alexander
The Patriot Ledger

For a movie proselytizing the dire need to preserve our rivers and oceans, 'Watermark' is shockingly dry.

Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger | Original Score: C

April 11, 2014
Stephanie Merry
Washington Post
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It's as if the movie's many pieces are supposed to be like impressionistic brush strokes. When seen together, the result is pretty to look at. But it's not as meaningful as it should be.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 2/4

April 10, 2014
Nick Schager
AV Club
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Unfortunately, while the documentary's points are clear, its desire to articulate them primarily through contrasts neuters some of its persuasiveness.

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

April 3, 2014
Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic
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Although the visuals are spectacular - a barren Colorado River looks like a landscape from a science-fiction epic - there's not much else here to grab on.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 2/5

May 1, 2014
Chuck Wilson
Village Voice
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Watermark is a documentary filled with images both beautiful and wrenching, yet the film as a whole is a disappointment.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

April 1, 2014
Adam McDowell
National Post

Visually transfixing.

Full Review Source: National Post | Original Score: 4/4

September 27, 2013
Tom Clift
Concrete Playground

The sorts of visuals the filmmakers capture are nothing short of astounding...yet while the imagery is beautiful, its implications are often dire.

Full Review Source: Concrete Playground | Original Score: 4/5

July 5, 2014
Kenji Fujishima
Slant Magazine

By keeping explanatory talking-heads interviews to a minimum, the filmmakers put their trust in the audience to draw their own conclusions based on what they present to us.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 3/4

March 31, 2014
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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Here's a case of images in the service of important ideas, rather than entertainment, yet they could hardly be more powerful, from roaring torrents released by a dam in China to a lyrical helicopter shot of a glistening river in British Columbia.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

April 17, 2014
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

No glaring message, in fact no narration, just gorgeous 5K ultra-high-def images.

Full Review Source: East Bay Express

May 9, 2014
Anders Wright
San Diego Union-Tribune

The movie, which does drag at times, puts into perspective what an impact we've had on the planet and its lifeblood.

Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune | Original Score: 3/5

April 17, 2014
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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It's meant to inspire us to think about our relationship with water and how we use it, and in this it succeeds admirably.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 25, 2013
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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These exceptionally gifted filmmakers are simply best at the long view of the human species and its impact.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

April 10, 2014
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
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Always arresting and sometimes troubling, "Watermark" - aside from the odd comment here and there - neither lectures nor argues.

Full Review Source: New York Times

April 3, 2014
Mike D'Angelo
The Dissolve

Documentaries that shove a message down viewers' throats are a drag, but it's possible to place too much emphasis on aesthetics at the expense of a thesis. Still, if one must err in one direction or the other, this direction is preferable.

Full Review Source: The Dissolve | Original Score: 3.0/5

April 3, 2014
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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As in Manufactured Landscapes, the long shots of natural and man-made environments have a patterned, abstract beauty that often chafes against the ugly truth on the ground.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

April 24, 2014
Peter Debruge
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A Canadian photographer dedicated to chronicling how man affects the environment turns his attention from land to water with mesmerizing results.

Full Review Source: Variety

April 4, 2014
John Hartl
Seattle Times
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They've found a way of serving up these images without seeming callous or exploitative or preachy.

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

May 1, 2014
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
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It relies heavily on visuals and offers minimal context. The project has a pro-environment feeling, which comes across implicitly, not through browbeating or preaching.

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

April 18, 2014
Jason Anderson
The Grid

Watermark succeeds both as a rumination on our varied relationship with H2O and as a warning about the perils we'll face when we're down to the last few drops.

Full Review Source: The Grid | Original Score: 8/10

October 4, 2013
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