Waste Land Reviews

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Top Critic
Mary Abbe
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 11, 2010
"Waste Land" is a must-see PBS-style Cinderella story with true grit, a brilliant cast and an improbably big heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Jason Goodyer
Little White Lies
February 24, 2011
Perhaps not life-changing but certainly life-affirming.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Stephanie Merry
Washington Post
December 3, 2010
"Waste Land" is a testament that things can go from good to bad in an instant. But they can also improve just as quickly.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Eric Hynes
Village Voice
October 26, 2010
A fascinating look at the complex intersections of art and charity, reality and perception.
Christopher Campbell
Cinematical
October 27, 2010
I can't help but want people to see it ... there is some discussion in the film concerning certain ethics of involvement and interference with subjects through art
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Graham Young
Birmingham Post
April 13, 2011
Waste Land fuses the design concepts behind two of the most high-profile animations of recent years, Rio and the Oscar-winning Wall-E, into an essay about how hard some people are prepared to work.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
February 10, 2011
I do not mean to make their lives seem easy or pleasant. It is miserable work, even after they grow accustomed to the smell. But it is useful work, and I have been thinking much about the happiness to be found by work that is honest and valuable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Simon Foster
sbs.com.au
November 30, 2011
The breadth of gratitude these catadores feel towards Muniz and the life-experience they undertake makes for an intelligent, emotional movie.
Henry Fitzherbert
Daily Express
February 28, 2011
It's inspiring, humbling and beautifully made.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Nora Lee Mandel
Film-Forward.com
February 7, 2011
Walker creates indelible documentary portraits of six workers that round out Muniz's very unusual physical portraits. [Not] the usual saccharine shock at poverty.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Mike Scott
Times-Picayune
January 17, 2011
An entirely immersing documentary, one of those movies whose real value comes in the way it envelops viewers in a world they never knew existed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Kimberly Gadette
Indie Movies Online
January 4, 2011
A fascinating film, offering a glimpse of a world we've never seen before ... allowing us to savor the unexpected power in the phrase, 'Recycle yourself.'
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Avi Offer
NYC Movie Guru
October 31, 2010
Captivating, inspirational and profoundly eye-opening. It's a testament to the true healing power of art.
Full Review | Original Score: 9.66/10
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
November 12, 2010
It's an unexpectedly beautiful film not only because Muniz's work is lovely but also because the film is so thoughtfully composed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Sophie Ivan
Film4
February 25, 2011
More self-conscious, subtle exploration than the dubious bleeding-heart PR stunt implied by its premise.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Chris Barsanti
Filmcritic.com
October 29, 2010
...a dazzling thing to behold.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Joseph Jon Lanthier
Slant Magazine
October 31, 2010
Rather than issuing a warning blow to either our guts or our hearts, it's something of a soft wakeup nudge aimed somewhere in-between.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Sarah Boslaugh
Playback:stl
December 10, 2010
... Muniz has found the sweet spot of being just original enough to cash in with the moneyed individuals and institutions that constitute the international art market.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Jennifer Merin
About.com
October 16, 2010
Lucy Walker is an extraordinarily sensitive and caring filmmaker, and Waste Land is a testimony to the transformational nature of art in people's lives.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
November 24, 2010
Waste Land is inspirational without seeming self-righteous, and moving without being hackneyed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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