Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (11)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (11)
| Rotten (0)
Few documentaries are as personal as Darius Clark Monroe's moving "Evolution of a Criminal," in which the filmmaker turns his camera on himself and members of his family to retell a painful story.
The film is testament to how soul-sucking poverty and good intentions can inspire wrong, dream-ending moves.
Often-intriguing if not completely absorbing viewing.
Raising significant questions about the psychological effects of poverty on young children, this unsettlingly direct stab at atonement feels genuine.
Vital, thoughtful, and deeply personal, first-timer Darius Clark Monroe's autobiographical doc stands as a testament to the power of movies to stir empathy.
The film can certainly stand alone as well as a truly unique first person account of a situation that affects millions but is all too rarely spoken about, much less with such insight.
Without minimizing Monroe's crime, the movie becomes a de facto argument in favor of justice tempered with mercy and understanding rather than mandatory and draconian sentencing.
'Evolution of a Criminal' is a documentary and a provocation, a movie and a bitter truth to swallow.
...as honest and raw a self-portrait as you're likely to get. Monroe doesn't seek pity, but instead presents himself as a cautionary tale.
But the crisp confidence shown in so much of the film, as well as its all-too-rare moral intelligence, marks Evolution of a Criminal as a highly worthy debut from a filmmaker who hopefully has more stories to tell besides his own.
However muddled the line between reality and fiction stands in any documentary, an extra pause for skepticism occurs when the filmmaker steps in front of the camera.
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