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All Critics (10)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (6)
| Rotten (4)
In the engrossing, exasperating, exquisitely shot documentary Loot, a search for buried treasure becomes an unlikely trigger for emotional catharsis.
Undoubtedly, everything documentarian Darius Marder shows in his debut film Loot actually happened, but Marder's approach to this "truth is stranger than fiction" story is so forced that the movie feels phony.
The bleakness and resignation running through the film can be gut-wrenching.
It's a gut-wrenching yet redemptive tale of fathers, sons and the horrors of war, which Marder allows to unfold with minimal intrusion or manipulation.
The loot here is much more valuable that the items buried, and their recovery once again-priceless.
Initially intriguing, but ultimately lazy, half-baked, unfocused and not nearly as provocative as it could have been.
Patient as-it-happens direction intertwines two startling stories of how treasures were obtained and hidden with the horrors of war experienced by then-young soldiers.
As periodically enticing as the film's mysteries may be, it's hard to escape the feeling that the real story lies in what Marder has left off the screen.
A treasure hunter who has travelled far and wide looking for long-lost fortunes, Lance Larson's questing serves as point of departure for the beguiling documentary, Loot.
"Loot" is a documentary wherein self-professed treasure hunter Lance Larson seeks to help two World War II veterans locate long lost caches of valuables they left behind. For Darrel Ross, it involves stolen jewelry in Austria whose search is complicated by his blindness. For Andrew Seventy, it is a cache of samurai swords and other goodies in the Philippines that is complicated by his being a pack rat and faulty memory.
And there is a possibly fascinating documentary to be made from this material and sadly "Loot" is not it. Even compared to the reportedly loose standards of reality television, this is amateurish both in how it is edited and filmed.(Admittedly, Utah does look like a nice place to live with its mountains and In n Out burgers.) The movie is less interested in the former soldiers than with Lance who seems particularly unequipped for his chosen task, especially when it comes to other languages. The only valid point made in the whole documentary is about World War II soldiers not all being boy scouts; not a surprise considering how things can get muddled in wartime. Otherwise, I'm glad if Lance found out what is truly valuable in his life, without having to buy a psychologist a home in the Hamptons.
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