Winter Solstice Reviews

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Time Out
November 17, 2011
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Trevor Johnston
Time Out
August 16, 2007
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Time Out
June 24, 2006
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
October 1, 2005
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Houston Chronicle
July 21, 2005
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
July 5, 2005
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Janice Page
Boston Globe
May 13, 2005
Ultimately undercut by its fictional elements and its flat characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Michael Booth
Denver Post
May 6, 2005
This movie deserves to be seen -- and learned from. It captures the moments in which each of us stares out across an emptiness, searching for a connection that will keep us from falling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
May 6, 2005
It's the kind of narrow-gauged drama that either will drive you crazy or absorb you in its low-key rhythms. Mostly, I went along for the ride.
| Original Score: B
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
April 29, 2005
It has everything an indie film could desire -- except for a compelling plot or dramatic tension.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
April 28, 2005
In an impressive feature debut, director-screenwriter Josh Sternfeld takes an observant, nuanced look at human behavior.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
April 22, 2005
...while our brains quickly comprehend Sternfeld's point, our hearts never quite get the message.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
April 22, 2005
The performances are excellent...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
April 21, 2005
This kind of conceptual and directorial control isn't as easy to accomplish as it might look, and it's particularly welcome in this era of overheated hysteria, both on the screen and off.
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 21, 2005
Granted, we're not wild about hams who try to flood the theater with emotion, but having them bottle up everything while they stand around looking gloomy isn't the answer, either.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
April 21, 2005
This is minimalist filmmaking at its finest -- beautifully acted, dramatically fulfilling, often funny and achingly true.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
April 15, 2005
We learn little about the characters other than that they're bored and restless.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
April 15, 2005
The characters interact through lowered gazes, the shuffling of feet, the semi-grunted, 'hey,' of greeting followed by a responding 'hey.'
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 14, 2005
The movie is not plot-driven, for which we must be thankful, because to force their feelings into a plot would be a form of cruelty. The whole point is that these lives have no plot.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Allison Benedikt
Chicago Tribune
April 14, 2005
Writer/director Josh Sternfeld has a feel for life's little interactions -- the moments before or after Big Things Happen, otherwise known as: most of the time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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April 12, 2005
A quivering portrait of a grief-stricken family, all male, after the loss of a wife and mom.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
April 11, 2005
This is a real triumph of storytelling and character.
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
April 8, 2005
The narrative is simple, the dialogue spare and the performances low-key, yet there's real resonance to the film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
April 8, 2005
Winter Solstice is a well-built machine that dunks you into a big warm vat of sadness.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
April 8, 2005
A gracefully understated drama about a widower trying to help his sons - and himself - heal after a tragedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
April 8, 2005
So much is unspoken and this slice of reality is so thin and slow as to make the film downright unsatisfying.
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AV Club
April 7, 2005
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Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
April 7, 2005
A graceful ensemble piece with effective performances from the entire cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Dana Stevens
New York Times
April 7, 2005
Winter Solstice is the kind of ambling, event-free family drama that will either draw audiences in with its gentle, understated power or quietly bore them out of their skulls.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
April 7, 2005
You come to admire the way Winter Solstice delivers its emotional impact by showing more than telling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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David Rooney
Variety
April 7, 2005
Story of a still-grieving widower and his two troubled teenage sons is distinguished by its emotional integrity, sustained mood of aching melancholy and superbly understated performances.
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
April 6, 2005
Every now and then the mood piece Sternfeld is after flickers briefly into life, only to slump back into inertia.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
April 6, 2005
A realistic drama that looks and feels as inevitably true and moving as a good documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Laura Sinagra
Village Voice
April 5, 2005
What makes Winter Solstice, a nice little Jersey vignette about a widower and his two teenage sons, so striking is writer-director Josh Sternfeld's respect for the verbal shorthand of family interaction.