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Operation Filmmaker Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Karina Longworth
SpoutBlog

Davenport seems to be projecting her disappointments concerning the entirety of the Iraq situation onto Muthana, thereby excusing herself from culpability in his individual plight.

Full Review Source: SpoutBlog | Original Score: 6.5/10

February 4, 2008
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

...the cinematic equivalent of spending 90 minutes in the company of a really unpleasant, unlikable figure...

Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews | Original Score: 1.5/4

September 24, 2007
Mark Rahner
Seattle Times
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If learning about other cultures shows that we're all basically alike, Operation Filmmaker is a reminder that foreign countries have their own share of nitwits, too.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 25, 2008
Mark Keizer
Boxoffice Magazine

As the story of an exasperating, manipulative, lazy and entitled young man, it's one for the books.

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

June 6, 2008
Chris Barsanti
Filmcritic.com

Davenport's unnerving film becomes grindingly uncomfortable not long after its cheery beginnings

Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com | Original Score: 3/5

June 3, 2008
Bill Weber
Slant Magazine

Operation Filmmaker occasionally verges on damning its subject--one of the most gripping characters seen this year on film--for being a cagey, arrogant, single-minded narcissist, but hey, that's showbiz.

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

June 2, 2008
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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Operation Filmmaker is an absorbing story about the best intentions gone terribly and comically awry.

| Original Score: 4/5

June 4, 2008
Prairie Miller
NewsBlaze

The peculiar journey of an Iraqi film student turned refugee through Hollywood hell and back, as he puts the lessons of his own exploitation to use as a survival tool down the rabbit hole of Western society.

Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

May 27, 2008
Jennifer Merin
About.com

Particularly fascinating is the way in which it this documentary examines the filmmaker's relationship to the film's subject, and the role documentary filmmakers play in shaping their subjects' futures.

Full Review Source: About.com | Original Score: 4/5

June 27, 2009
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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This essentially comic tale maps a contagion of mutual exploitation that seems to have burnished the careers of everyone involved.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

June 4, 2008
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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A ruefully funny cautionary tale about cross-cultural tone-deafness.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

June 6, 2008
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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An exit strategy in Iraq? This self-aware study shows how hard it'll be.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A-

June 6, 2008
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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This gut punch of a documentary will knock you for a loop.

| Original Score: 3/4

June 13, 2008
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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Everyone here comes out smelling bad -- that's why the film's so good.

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

June 20, 2008
Michael Joshua Rowin
Stop Smiling

What the film really spotlights is a cultural clash violently, awkwardly resisting the tenuous unifying powers of art. The Westerners -- including Davenport -- see in Muthana the protagonist.

Full Review Source: Stop Smiling

February 17, 2014
Eric Monder
Film Journal International

Despite the dubious moral of the film and on-the-fly camera technique, it is interesting to watch the pathetic story unfold.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

June 4, 2008
Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out
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Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

November 17, 2011
Bill White
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The antagonism between filmmaker and subject reminds us that reality is never a passive still life, but a volatile entity with its own ideas on how it is to be represented.

Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Original Score: B-

July 24, 2008
Rob Nelson
Film Comment Magazine

Nina Davenport's unapologetically cunning doc exceeds the sum of its parts to become almost unmanageably allegorical and even an indictment of its own shock-and-awe premise.

Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine

August 24, 2009
Eddie Cockrell
Variety
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Meaty issues of media responsibility and individual self-determination, coupled with inside-baseball aspects of set politics and immigration policies, elevate this unintentional analogy on U.S. involvement in Iraq to a hot-button level.

Full Review Source: Variety

September 29, 2007
John Powers
NPR.org
October 18, 2008
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