William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe Reviews

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Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope
December 31, 2010
A testament, at least in part, to Kunstler's long and controversial career as a lawyer-activist, defending members of minorities and unpopular causes, and changing the law and the country in the process.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
December 24, 2010
Tries to examine and then reconcile Kunstler's legacy as a fighter for causes with his choosing to defend mobsters, terrorists, rapists and drug dealers.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Louis Proyect
December 6, 2010
Still worth seeing despite the co-directors' inability to understand that a great lawyer will go out of his or her way to defend people being tried and convicted in places like the NY Post.
Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis
May 1, 2010
One of the most pronounced recent trends in documentary is the use of the medium as a form of public therapy.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
May 1, 2010
The radical lawyers' daughters - Emily and Sarah Kunstler - provide us with an intimate if not always flattering portrait of the man The New York Times once called 'the most hated and most loved lawyer in America.'
Full Review | Original Score: 88/100
Kam Williams
April 24, 2010
A very moving tribute to an underappreciated hero who spent his life as a tireless defender of the defenseless.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 20, 2010
Like the recent animated documentary Chicago Ten, this is a timely reminder of a era when "change" was more than just a campaign slogan. But it's also a personal portrait, with shadings.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
December 18, 2009
Civil rights? The American Indian Movement? The Chicago 10 trial? The Central Park rape trial? Attica prison riots? Kunstler was in the thick of all of them.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 10, 2009
William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe offers a deeply personal view of a larger-than-life figure. It's a view filtered through a prism of memory and emotion, but one well worth investigating.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
December 2, 2009
Leading the defense in the 1969-70 trial of the Chicago Seven, William Kunstler became a radical and a celebrity, and this vivid documentary captures how those two facets of his life worked together in morally urgent and contradictory ways.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
November 21, 2009
His daughters, Emily and Sarah Kunstler, made this timely documentary partly to celebrate their late father (he died in 1995) and partly to reiterate his fundamental beliefs.
Top Critic
Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times
November 20, 2009
Terrific archival footage from a range of seminal civil rights events, as well as affecting narration written by Sarah Kunstler and spoken by Emily Kunstler (who also edited the film), round out this superior documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Todd Gilchrist
November 20, 2009
...an in-depth but deeply emotional chronicle of their father's fascinating life.
Tricia Olszewski
Washington City Paper
November 20, 2009
Fails to demystify the man bearing the film's title.
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
November 20, 2009
The film's point is clear. And for those looking for a straight answer, it's this: The bravest lawyer isn't the one who takes on the clients that allow him to feel good about himself. It's the one who takes on the clients that give us nightmares.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
November 19, 2009
Kunstler's accomplishments, principles and courage are all here in Disturbing the Universe. But there is something else that adds an unexpected layer of emotional complexity.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
November 19, 2009
Other than a few tasty tidbits, like the fact that he wrote Joseph McCarthy's will while still a young family attorney, there's not much fresh news about William Kunstler in this documentary.
Nora Lee Mandel
November 14, 2009
A fond introduction to the activist lawyer by his daughters that may be more informative for their generation given that it covers little new ground.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
November 13, 2009
A thoughtful, clear-eyed look at the life and career of Kunstler, the New York attorney who was famous, and infamous, for standing up for his liberal ideals even for clients who might have been morally objectionable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
November 13, 2009
A refresher course on the history of American left-wing politics in the 1960s and '70s.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
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