Gideon's Army (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

Gideon's Army (2013)



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Gideon's Army follows Travis Williams, Brandy Alexander and June Hardwick, three young public defenders who are part of a small group of idealistic lawyers in the Deep South challenging the assumptions that drive a criminal justice system strained to the breaking point. Backed by mentor Jonathan "Rap" Rapping, a charismatic leader who heads the Southern Public Defender Training Center, they struggle against long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads so common that even the most committed often give up in their first year. Nearly 50 years since the landmark Supreme Court ruling Gideon vs. Wainwright that established the right to counsel, can these courageous lawyers revolutionize the way America thinks about indigent defense and make "justice for all" a reality? Official selection 2013 Sundance Film Festival, winner Editing Award: US Documentary. An HBO Documentary Films presentation. Produced by Trilogy Films in association with Motto Pictures with funding provided by the Ford Foundation. (c) Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Gideon's Army

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (6)

For all the harrowing truth here, about race and poverty and justice, the film is brisk and tight, alive with everyday detail and flashes of humor.

Full Review… | October 17, 2013
Village Voice
Top Critic

Gideon's Army does what the best documentaries have always done: It makes us think about something we'd rather not.

Full Review… | October 17, 2013
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Like the film itself, Porter's handful of devoted, charismatic attorneys do a righteous job of reminding people that the accused are innocent until proven guilty, and that the criminal justice system seems otherwise disposed.

Full Review… | October 17, 2013
Top Critic

"Gideon's Army" is a bare film with no narrator and a minimal soundtrack. That's all it needs to grab you by the throat.

June 28, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

Dawn Porter's engrossing HBO documentary profiles three public defenders in the Deep South.

Full Review… | June 13, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Compelling insight into the staggering pressures faced by court-appointed public defenders.

Full Review… | January 24, 2013
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Gideon's Army


A wonderful documentary about a very important topic. Director Nyree Dawn Porter really cares about her subjects, and chooses to give us a human story rather than just focus on the bigger issues. Like any good "true story" the characters are at the forefront, and the issue of the documentary becomes clear as we care about the people involved. It's so much easier to care about an issue when you're emotionally invested in the lives of people who are affected by the issue. This is what Porter does so effectively in Gideon's Army, and it's a film everyone in America should see.

Nathan Martin
Nathan Martin

An inside look at public defenders. It will give you a newfound respect for these hardworking professionals.

Natalie Metzger
Natalie Metzger

Extremely well produced and directed documentary about public defenders in the Deep South. They have really opened up and you see just why they stay with the job. I was extremely moved.

Tracy Fortenberry
Tracy Fortenberry

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