Waste Land - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Waste Land Reviews

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
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
January 31, 2011
It shows us how artists find ideas and concepts for their work from the most unlikely sources, and it demonstrates the power of art to spark curiosity and cultural awareness in even the poorest, most underprivileged people.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 10, 2010
While we await the definitive documentary about the glut of garbage, "Waste Land" reduces this global catastrophe to touchingly human scale.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
December 3, 2010
It's sheer pleasure watching Muniz work -- seeing him seized by mad impulses of delight.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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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
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 2, 2010
It's not a very good title, Waste Land - this isn't a bleak film, at all - but just about everything else in Lucy Walker's documentary works, and illuminates.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
November 19, 2010
"Waste Land" is a film about recycling, but it's far more intriguing than the average eco-documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
November 18, 2010
"Waste Land'' is just what the film's website says it is: "stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit.''
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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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
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Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
November 4, 2010
That a beautiful film could be set in the world's largest garbage dump sounds like an oxymoron, but acclaimed documentarian Lucy Walker has pulled off precisely that feat in her profoundly moving "Waste Land."
| Original Score: 4/5
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
November 3, 2010
[An] inspiring documentary.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
November 1, 2010
[Muniz's] intention to have them re-create photographic images of themselves out of garbage, while it may not pass muster as high art, has the effect of raising their spirits. At least for a while, their lives, and ours, have been transformed.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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V.A. Musetto
New York Post
October 29, 2010
Walker's breezy film turns Muniz into a folk hero. And who am I to argue?
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
October 28, 2010
Waste Land travels to an island populated by society's discards, and finds a piece of salvation.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
October 27, 2010
Given that it's about garbage, Lucy Walker's documentary is impressive for having only the faintest whiff of lefty handwringing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Eric Hynes
Village Voice
October 26, 2010
A fascinating look at the complex intersections of art and charity, reality and perception.
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Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
October 25, 2010
Despite Muniz's evident sincerity, the real star of the show is the artist and art -- not the struggles of his subjects. And that story, unlike "Pictures of Garbage" itself, is fairly second-rate.
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John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
August 23, 2010
A joy to watch despite the abject poverty it contains.
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Peter Debruge
Variety
August 23, 2010
One of the powers of great portraiture is its ability to make us wonder about the complete strangers captured within enigmatic works of art.