The Overnighters Reviews

  • Mar 28, 2018

    It is a very thought provoking film that broadens questions  like "should the government consider allocating funds to economically devastated states for the purpose of expanding privately owned prisons , so that the states can be economically stimulated by a new prison work force, or should another less expensive option be considered... It also broadens questions such as " beside John 3: 16, what was the meaning of jesus parables and sermon on the mount? in an apathetic, deregulated world, these questions seem hard to answer. Excuse unedited grammar and sentences

    It is a very thought provoking film that broadens questions  like "should the government consider allocating funds to economically devastated states for the purpose of expanding privately owned prisons , so that the states can be economically stimulated by a new prison work force, or should another less expensive option be considered... It also broadens questions such as " beside John 3: 16, what was the meaning of jesus parables and sermon on the mount? in an apathetic, deregulated world, these questions seem hard to answer. Excuse unedited grammar and sentences

  • May 20, 2017

    Absolutely stunning.

    Absolutely stunning.

  • Mar 17, 2017

    Powerful, heartbreaking stuff.

    Powerful, heartbreaking stuff.

  • Feb 23, 2017

    Intricately, this multi-layered film details small town perceptions, prejudices and woes, and what happens when good Christian values mix with these and an endless stream of migrant workers, seeking a supposedly better life in the Dakota territory. Furthermore, at the end, this film contains one of the hardest scenes to watch, ever.

    Intricately, this multi-layered film details small town perceptions, prejudices and woes, and what happens when good Christian values mix with these and an endless stream of migrant workers, seeking a supposedly better life in the Dakota territory. Furthermore, at the end, this film contains one of the hardest scenes to watch, ever.

  • Feb 26, 2016

    Both depressing and uplifting, with a stunner of an ending.

    Both depressing and uplifting, with a stunner of an ending.

  • Feb 08, 2016

    This movie would have received five stars from me were it not for the gaping omission of the oil company's part in not only fracturing the earth but the community as well. It does do a wonderful job of portraying our fears -- the socially- and politically-generated fears of people who have made mistakes, and the very real fears of ostracism. There is such a parallel between these men and Pastor Reinke that the revelation at the end is more like an epiphany than a surprise. I naturally wonder about Williston's water. It is highly probable that the oil company has not yet wreaked all of its havoc on this town. Perhaps then the town will refocus its fears and angers and direct them towards the true culprits.

    This movie would have received five stars from me were it not for the gaping omission of the oil company's part in not only fracturing the earth but the community as well. It does do a wonderful job of portraying our fears -- the socially- and politically-generated fears of people who have made mistakes, and the very real fears of ostracism. There is such a parallel between these men and Pastor Reinke that the revelation at the end is more like an epiphany than a surprise. I naturally wonder about Williston's water. It is highly probable that the oil company has not yet wreaked all of its havoc on this town. Perhaps then the town will refocus its fears and angers and direct them towards the true culprits.

  • Jan 22, 2016

    Beautiful movie! Very sad, very dramatic, and very real. Let's you see both the good and bad of mankind and the people who try so hard to help.

    Beautiful movie! Very sad, very dramatic, and very real. Let's you see both the good and bad of mankind and the people who try so hard to help.

  • Jan 13, 2016

    The Overnighters is a succinct, hard hitting documentary that concern a small oil boom town in North Dakota whose high paying jobs bring people from all over the country, in search of a new start, financially and otherwise. When they arrive though they discover that the town is sorely under resourced for places to sleep. A local Lutheran pastor opens the doors of his church to allow these men a place to sleep. He calls them 'the overnighters.' The community doesn't think this is such a good idea though and with their families safety in mind, they lobby to have the overnighters program stopped. As the documentary unfolds filmmaker Jesse Moss is blessed with something every documentary filmmaker prays for when he decides to shoot a subject: unexpected twists, turns and deeper levels of drama and revelation that all conspire to create something dark, difficult and true. The movie's been described by many as a real life 'Grapes of Wrath' and with good reason, but it's more than that. It's a portrait of the mirage that is the American Dream. And it's a look at broken men. Spiritually and emotionally. It's a fascinating and polarizing portrait of middle America and the human condition. Highly recommended.

    The Overnighters is a succinct, hard hitting documentary that concern a small oil boom town in North Dakota whose high paying jobs bring people from all over the country, in search of a new start, financially and otherwise. When they arrive though they discover that the town is sorely under resourced for places to sleep. A local Lutheran pastor opens the doors of his church to allow these men a place to sleep. He calls them 'the overnighters.' The community doesn't think this is such a good idea though and with their families safety in mind, they lobby to have the overnighters program stopped. As the documentary unfolds filmmaker Jesse Moss is blessed with something every documentary filmmaker prays for when he decides to shoot a subject: unexpected twists, turns and deeper levels of drama and revelation that all conspire to create something dark, difficult and true. The movie's been described by many as a real life 'Grapes of Wrath' and with good reason, but it's more than that. It's a portrait of the mirage that is the American Dream. And it's a look at broken men. Spiritually and emotionally. It's a fascinating and polarizing portrait of middle America and the human condition. Highly recommended.

  • Dec 20, 2015

    This documentary is well worth watching but the take-home message is not pleasant, and won't be popular with those who want to shut down government assistance programs in favor of private charity. No one who is not a professional, with a large staff, should attempt to serve thousands of people in one place and time. Jay Reinke had his own internal problems, but his biggest external problem was that he had no backup. He put himself in a position of running something too big for him with no guidelines, little support and no professional staff - ultimately relying on current clients to help run the service. And it eventually came crashing down on his head. He would have done well to consult with experienced people such as the Gospel Rescue Mission network. And to get his congregation solidly behind him. What moved me the most was Reinke's emotional defenselessness, and the way disgruntled clients used that to destroy him.

    This documentary is well worth watching but the take-home message is not pleasant, and won't be popular with those who want to shut down government assistance programs in favor of private charity. No one who is not a professional, with a large staff, should attempt to serve thousands of people in one place and time. Jay Reinke had his own internal problems, but his biggest external problem was that he had no backup. He put himself in a position of running something too big for him with no guidelines, little support and no professional staff - ultimately relying on current clients to help run the service. And it eventually came crashing down on his head. He would have done well to consult with experienced people such as the Gospel Rescue Mission network. And to get his congregation solidly behind him. What moved me the most was Reinke's emotional defenselessness, and the way disgruntled clients used that to destroy him.

  • Dec 05, 2015

    When North Dakota experienced a shale oil boom, men from all over America started converging on a small rural town called Williston. Many of them, not immediately finding jobs, needed a place to stay. A pastor in a local church decided to let large numbers of men stay at the church, and some, even in his home, as they tried to establish a foothold in the town. He called this program "The Overnighters". Many of these men came from complicated backgrounds and had criminal records. Needless to say, the city council, the local paper and the community turned against the pastor and his Overnighters program. All of this is reaching a crescendo, when it is revealed that the pastor has a big secret of his own. Terrific documentary about a geographical part and a societal aspect of America that is rarely seen in movies.

    When North Dakota experienced a shale oil boom, men from all over America started converging on a small rural town called Williston. Many of them, not immediately finding jobs, needed a place to stay. A pastor in a local church decided to let large numbers of men stay at the church, and some, even in his home, as they tried to establish a foothold in the town. He called this program "The Overnighters". Many of these men came from complicated backgrounds and had criminal records. Needless to say, the city council, the local paper and the community turned against the pastor and his Overnighters program. All of this is reaching a crescendo, when it is revealed that the pastor has a big secret of his own. Terrific documentary about a geographical part and a societal aspect of America that is rarely seen in movies.