The Letter: An American Town and the 'Somali Invasion' - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Letter: An American Town and the 'Somali Invasion' Reviews

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April 1, 2005
As helpful as it is to realize that white supremacists are as loony in Maine as they are in Idaho or Florida, The Letter is too confused and confusing to make anything more than the most simplistic points.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
February 11, 2005
A frustrating lack of details compromise this much-needed look at how the promise of American diversity failed a community of Somali refugees in a large Maine town.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
February 14, 2005
Some chilling characters are on display.
February 8, 2005
Hamzeh's film eschews voice-over to allow the more despicable characters to embarrass themselves with their ludicrously foolish invective.
February 9, 2005
In the last 20 minutes, the film moves as breathlessly as a Hollywood thriller -- only it's much more frightening, because it's true.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
March 31, 2005
By allowing a range of residents' opinions to drive the narrative forward and ending on a positive note, [Hamzeh] made a film that won a standing ovation at its Lewiston premiere in January.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
February 14, 2005
An affecting work of compassionate craftsmanship.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
March 31, 2005
A true story with an 'inciting incident' that resonates with significance about race, culture, community, and the world itself.
February 10, 2005
Revealing and harrowing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
February 9, 2005
Ziad H. Hamzeh's documentary is important as a record of a disturbing incident that occured when 1,100 immigrants from Somalia settled in Maine.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
February 24, 2005
A powerful and timely portrait of the tensions that can be generated by immigration situations, especially in a post-Sept. 11 world.
March 31, 2005
Allows slavering bigots and slicker-tongued hypocrites alike to speak for themselves, thus exposing the essential interdependence of over-the-counter racism and its institutionalized, more soundbite-savvy variation.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
August 11, 2005
A carefully wrought, historically grounded and thoroughly absorbing look at a quintessential American experience.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
August 11, 2005
Undeniably strong, The Letter is at times misleading and confusing, possessing the raw materials for a much more coherent and potent film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
December 6, 2005
Were it simply a case of truth being stranger than fiction, Syrian-born filmmaker Ziad Hamzeh's America-set doc (which played New York last month) would sport one of the year's most thrilling plots.
Read More | Original Score: B
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