Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: A bigoted remark dissuades Pearl Fryar from moving into a white neighborhood. Told “Black people don’t keep up their yards,” Pearl creates an extraordinary topiary garden that conveys his philosophy of Love, Peace and Goodwill. (Shadow Distribution)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. 75
    This is moviemaking that honors the craftsmanship of its subject.
  2. 75
    The 66-year-old African-American, the subject of the inspiring documentary A Man Named Pearl, doesn't have scissors where his hands should be, but he turns trees and bushes into topiary sculptures every bit as amazing as the ones Johnny Depp's character crafts in the Tim Burton film.
  3. Assembled without frills or fuss, A Man Named Pearl is as much a portrait of a small Southern town as of an unassuming black folk artist.
  4. Reviewed by: Vadim Rizov
    Feature-length elaborations on quirky, inspiring human-interest stories are generally to be avoided, but I'll make an exception for A Man Named Pearl.
  5. Reviewed by: Josh Rosenblatt
    Pearl, in other words, is one of those guys put on earth to make the rest of us feel like we're wasting our lives.
  6. Reviewed by: Steve Winn
    A pleasant but mild-mannered experience.
  7. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    While Fryar is a charming man and his work clearly deserves recognition, A Man Called Pearl is an obvious case of building a three-story house on a one-story foundation. Really, can you make a feature-length film about a man who carves unique shapes out of trees, shrubs and bushes?

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Aug 12, 2010
    Uplifting portrait of a man in love with living, an artist who transforms topiary into a personal art. We cheer from the time we see the unlikely yard he has created in Bishopville, SC, and the tale continues to get better. Life-affirming without the custard sauce. Collapse