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A naturalistic drama that quietly earns its emotional resonance, Songs My Brothers Taught Me further establishes writer-director Chloé Zhao as a gifted filmmaker and empathetic storyteller. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Johnny and his sister Jashuan live with their single mother on a reservation. When their absentee father dies, Johnny feels compelled to strike out for a new life in LA, but fears leaving his sister behind.

Cast & Crew

Irene Bedard
Lisa Winters
Dakota Brown
Dakota FIre Thunder
Cat Clifford
Cat Clifford
Jorge Dullknife
Jorge Iron Bear
Taysha Fuller
Aurelia Clifford
Travis Lone Hill
Travis Lone Hill
Chloé Zhao
Screenwriter
Joshua James Richards
Cinematographer
Alan Canant
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Critic Reviews for Songs My Brothers Taught Me

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (2)

  • A moseying tour of life on the Lakota reservation, circa right now: the empty beauty of the badlands, the ancient struggle with alcohol, and the persistent push of youth to make good and make sense of a bad old world that somehow keeps hope alive.

    April 7, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The slow-paced film includes all the expected social themes - drinking, poverty, broken families. Where Zhao excels is in the range of emotions she gets from a mostly nonprofessional cast.

    March 3, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The restrained performances and luscious location photography are enough to make this a film worth exploring, though it might not be a bad idea to down a few caffeine-rich drinks before settling in to watch.

    March 2, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • An earnest, smartly mounted film about life on a present-day reservation.

    March 2, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Viewers will be torn between admiring its laid-back naturalism and wishing it possessed just a little more oomph.

    March 2, 2016 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • Because her laissez-faire approach makes little effort to fit the fragmentary scenes into a tidy portrait of reservation life, "Songs My Brothers Taught Me" feels more authentic than if she had chosen to impose a tighter structure.

    March 1, 2016 | Full Review…

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