Stevie (2003)


Critic Consensus: Poignant documentary that's hard to forget.


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Documentarian Steve James, who directed "Hoop Dreams" in 1994, embarked on a new mission the following year. In 1995, he returned to rural Southern Illinois to reconnect with Stevie Fielding, a troubled young male to whom he had served as mentor and Big Brother, ten years earlier. James intended to capture the happy reunion on camera. What he discovers, instead, is a grown-up, Stevie, who is utterly impoverished and living in a trailer park. The filmmaker embarks on a quest to uncover what exactly happened to Stevie over the past ten years; as well, James tries to understand the forces that ultimately shaped Stevie's life and turned it into the dour existence that it has become. Part way through the filming, Stevie is arrested and charged with a serious crime that rips his family apart. That which was intended to be a modest profile turns into an intimate four-and-a-half-year chronicle of Stevie, his broken family, the criminal justice system, and the filmmaker himself--as they all struggle with accepting the crime that Stevie has committed, while trying to understand the person who has become.

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Critic Reviews for Stevie

All Critics (75) | Top Critics (29)

Stevie is a tough movie to watch and an even tougher one to leave, because once you're involved you're implicated.

Aug 14, 2003 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A spectacle of suffering and liberal guilt.

May 9, 2003

A powerful chronicle of a human life.

May 9, 2003

A haunting documentary/ personal essay that provokes violently mixed feelings toward both subject and filmmaker.

May 1, 2003 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Filmmaker James -- whose wife is a social worker -- should be applauded for his courage and commitment.

Apr 24, 2003 | Rating: 3/4

The road of Stevie is a rough ride, and at 145 minutes, it's a long one. But in an age of so-called reality shows that are no more than hyped entertainment, it is a rewarding if distressing look at flawed but genuine human beings.

Apr 18, 2003 | Rating: B+

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