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

William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe Reviews

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Top Critic
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
Film-Forward.com
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
Bill Weber
Slant Magazine
November 8, 2009
His oft-spoken use of Michelangelo's David as a personal symbol of the individual's decision to bring "power to the people" gives better insight into this jurist's fiery heart than any case study.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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
Tricia Olszewski
Washington City Paper
November 20, 2009
Fails to demystify the man bearing the film's title.
Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
November 11, 2009
The film slowly loses the sobering toughness of its initial inquiry, and finally comes off as bloodline-biased hagiography.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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
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.
Edward Douglas
ComingSoon.net
November 10, 2009
Particularly effective in showcasing the good Kunstler did for so many people and that tends to overpower all the bad stuff for which the majority probably remember Kunstler for later in his life.
Full Review | Original Score: 8.5/10
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Todd Gilchrist
BitterLawyer.com
November 20, 2009
...an in-depth but deeply emotional chronicle of their father's fascinating life.
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
Kam Williams
NewsBlaze
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
Kyle Smith
New York Post
November 13, 2009
It is said that everyone either loved or hated radical defense lawyer William Kunstler. A documentary by his daughters asks, "Why choose 'or' instead of 'both'?"
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
November 12, 2009
William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe is indeed about the radical-leftist attorney. But this engrossing and provocative documentary is also about a tragic kind of liberal guilt.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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.
| Original Score: 3/5
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
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
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.
| Original Score: 3/4
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