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All Critics (15)
| Top Critics (7)
| Fresh (12)
| Rotten (3)
Gabel and Hahn, whose thoughtful and frequently amusing commentary carries us through thousands of miles of interstate and more motels than Frank Zappa ever imagined, are guided by John Steinbeck's wisdom that you don't take a trip, but the trip takes you
This is a documentary that could easily have been overly self-indulgent or fashionably irreverent but instead appeals to one's intelligence and provides glimpses of a dynamic country cruising peacefully toward the millennium.
It's enjoyable precisely because Hahn and Gabel give us both sides of the experience: the interviewer and interviewee. Though there's an undercurrent of melancholy, Anthem is a bright ride, a welcome shot of 60's optimism in a gray post-modern age.
The delightful, sometimes humorous yet thoughtful result of [Gabel's and Hahn's] efforts is Anthem, in which they talk to nearly 30 people, some famous, some obscure, to find out what's on their minds.
The film has the invitingly earnest feel of a Charles Kuralt feature, bringing you into the living rooms, kitchens and cars of some very unlikely heroes.
a naive, surprisingly sloppy documentary.
While Anthem may not offer any genuine insight into the future of America, Gabel and Hahn at least prove that the can-do spirit has not been completely lost to cynicism and the cult of celebrity.
This is a funny and immensely thought-provoking documentary that is a testament to just how far a pair of enthusiastic young filmmakers can go with pluck and gall.
Far too often these days, documentary filmmakers try to push their own political agendas on audiences by ridiculing those who have different views from their own. Happily, that's not the case with Anthem.
The great (and pleasant) surprise of Anthem is how satisfying a documentary it is and how the observations about America's direction in the new century are clairvoyant rather than stale.
Over-long, full of itself, ultimately pointless.
Many themes emerge -- equality, justice, freedom, environmental crisis -- but weaving them into cogent insights is beyond the adventurers.
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