When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts Reviews

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Globe and Mail
September 23, 2006
The same didactic instincts that sometimes mar Lee's fictional filmmaking serve him well as a documentarian and eulogist.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
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David Denby
New Yorker
August 28, 2006
Surely the most magnificent and large-souled record of a great American tragedy ever put on film.
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
August 22, 2006
What breaks your heart is the film's accumulated firsthand stories of New Orleans residents who lost everything in the flood after Hurricane Katrina, and the dismaying conclusion that a year after the disaster, the broken city has been largely abandoned.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Paul Brownfield
Los Angeles Times
August 22, 2006
When the Levees Broke is like the New Orleans jazz funeral -- a dirge on the way to the cemetery, an up-tempo parade in the deceased's honor on the bittersweet walk back home.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Robert Abele
L.A. Weekly
August 22, 2006
An exhaustive, ruminative, angry and even occasionally gallows-humorous account of the strange domino effect of tragedy compounding incompetence compounding tragedy that dealt a critical blow to one of America's great cities.
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Charlie McCollum
San Jose Mercury News
August 22, 2006
Do the flaws diminish Levees? To a degree. But the story Lee tells is so powerful, so important, that the lapses aren't a reason not to pay heed to what this passionate film has to say.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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David Bianculli
New York Daily News
August 22, 2006
It's something to make a point to see.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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David Wiegand
San Francisco Chronicle
August 22, 2006
The film asks many questions, implies answers for the easier ones, but ultimately concludes that some are simply beyond answering. Those are the questions posed in stories of incalculable human heartbreak.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Matt Zoller Seitz
Newark Star-Ledger
August 22, 2006
One of Lee's greatest and most deeply personal works.
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Joanna Weiss
Boston Globe
August 22, 2006
Lee makes a convincing case that, compared to 9/11, this is the far worse disaster.
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August 22, 2006
When the Levees Broke is a monument of oral history. Without fanfare, Lee orchestrates a multivoiced blues for the common man.
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Vinay Menon
Toronto Star
August 22, 2006
The most important lesson is this: we must never forget.
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Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
August 22, 2006
Even more than Do the Right Thing, until now Lee's major achievement, When the Levees Broke is simultaneously his most searing and topical movie and the one most assured of enduring.
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Barry Garron
Hollywood Reporter
August 22, 2006
Spike Lee's monumental look at Katrina is richly detailed and realistically complex.
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Cynthia Joyce
Salon.com
August 22, 2006
It's not necessarily the drama inherent in these stories that moved some to tears -- and it's possible that some audiences won't recognize the restraint Lee exercised in rendering them -- it's the heartbreaking matter-of-factness.
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Joe Leydon
Variety
August 22, 2006
Charged with profound sorrow, galvanizing outrage and defiant resolve.