Men at Lunch (2013)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Part homage, part investigation, Men at Lunch is the revealing tale of an American icon, the unprecedented race to the sky and the immigrant workers that built New York in the throes of the Great Depression. (c) First Run
Documentary , Special Interest
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Critic Reviews for Men at Lunch

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (4)

Regrettably, "Men at Lunch" obsesses over disappearing ghosts instead of the records we already have and the history we should know.

Full Review… | October 3, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The film feels meandering. Not only does it offer a jumble of ideas that aren't followed through, but it's also structured oddly.

Full Review… | September 19, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic


Full Review… | September 19, 2013
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Shots of modern men rebuilding One World Trade Center stirringly evokes the majestic photo's continuing connection to the present.

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

Men at Lunch loses sight of its lede and fumbles away viewer interest. The photo itself says more than this muddled documentary.

Full Review… | October 14, 2013
Shared Darkness

Few New York City photos are as familiar or evocative as the one that inspired the documentary "Men At Lunch."

Full Review… | October 4, 2013
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Audience Reviews for Men at Lunch


Men At Lunch is one of interesting documentaries I have ever watched. It's history that we all should respect.

Lanky Man Pat
Lanky Man Pat

For the record, watching a documentary try and describe New York City while watching it within the city limits is sort of odd but at least we get said descriptions in the dulcet tones of Fionnula Flanagan in the documentary "Men at Lunch." And as maddeningly vague as it is with the identities of the 11 men photographed having lunch on September 20, 1932(two definite and two more probables from Ireland) 800 feet above the ground at the construction site of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, that's not really the point here.(There is a valuable reminder here of the photographers who were also risking life and limb to get those photos, however staged they might have been.) What the documentary is really after and does so in fine form is to salute the work and lives of all of the anonymous ironworkers who still put their lives on the line everyday to build the city.(Of the two Irish workers identified, one died back in Ireland at a ripe old age, the other one not so much in New York City.) So, after the movie was over and I was walking south down Sixth Avenue, I tipped my hat towards the new One World Trade Center and all the workers there.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer


By indulging (at length) the fantasies of participants who claim connections to the iconic photograph; whether by descent, or heritage, or - most tenuously - by being photographer for a current skyscraper project, the movie undermines the value it could have found by taking a different and deeper approach. Cut to half an hour this might be good filler for The History Channel.

Michael Harbour
Michael Harbour

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