Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Feb 28, 2013
    100
    As important and eye-opening a documentary as you’ll see this year, A Place at the Table makes it impossible to think of hunger as merely another symptom of a shredded social safety net.
  2. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Feb 28, 2013
    90
    The filmmakers vividly illustrate the power and depth of the long-spiraling problem of "food insecurity" by immersing us in the hardscrabble lives of a cross section of our nation's poor.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Feb 28, 2013
    88
    The problem, as “Table” shows, isn’t that the next meal never comes. It’s that when it arrives, too often it is filled with empty calories.
  4. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Mar 1, 2013
    83
    A Place at the Table is a fairly no-frills effort, but the ideas behind it are sound.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Mar 1, 2013
    83
    One thing is clear from A Place at the Table: You cannot answer the question “Why are people hungry?,” without also asking “Why are people poor?”
  6. 75
    Says the actor Jeff Bridges, a long-time and articulate soldier in the campaign against hunger: “It’s a problem that our government is ashamed of acknowledging. We’re in denial.”
  7. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Mar 1, 2013
    75
    The film bolsters its case with plenty of facts, charts and expert testimony - evidence typical of this sort of advocacy documentary. But what makes the movie compelling is its focus on a handful of victims, who make the statistics painfully real.
  8. Reviewed by: Bill Stamets
    Feb 27, 2013
    75
    A good documentary that is good for you. The bad news is that broccoli and bananas are neither available nor affordable for many Americans. That's the message of Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush's A Place at the Table, a necessary report on the national issue of hunger.
  9. 75
    It’s a beautifully shot and reasonably balanced film, but one that struggles to find a hopeful note to end on.
  10. Reviewed by: Tomas Hachard
    Feb 23, 2013
    75
    More difficult to convey are the web of moral and political issues that surround the hunger crisis, and A Place at the Table proves its worth most by how it treats this wider set of problems.
  11. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Mar 4, 2013
    70
    The movie is called A Place at the Table and it specifically addresses our country’s hunger crisis. But it also speaks to larger hungers. Hungers for independence, a dignified life, a better chance for ones children — in short, the American dream. See it and weep.
  12. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Feb 28, 2013
    70
    In addition to the dismaying facts and figures is a fuller sense of what hunger can look like, and feel like, among the millions of Americans classified as "food-insecure" — those who may not know, for themselves or their children, where the next meal will come from.
  13. Reviewed by: Chris Packham
    Feb 26, 2013
    70
    A Place at the Table attempts to document its subject with the progressive angle and emotional effect of such docs as "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Waiting for Superman."
  14. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Feb 22, 2013
    70
    A useful, engaging and enraging movie that will enlist supporters for its cause.
  15. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Mar 6, 2013
    67
    Few are willing to publicly confess their hunger or undernourishment or place it on display. And the problem is kept hidden as long as charitable food banks and soup kitchens continue to disguise the depth of the hunger. A Place at the Table confronts the issue head-on and offers some solutions.
  16. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Feb 28, 2013
    50
    Though the directors, Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush, smartly choose examples from among the working poor — reframing obesity as chronic malnourishment in areas where it’s easier to find a burger than a banana — they’re reluctant to get down in the political dirt.
  17. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Feb 27, 2013
    50
    It makes a persuasive argument — which it makes easier by not allowing any counterargument — but it’s unpersuasive as a piece of filmmaking. In laying out its case, it’s manipulative and dull by turns.
  18. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Feb 26, 2013
    40
    As an info dump, Table is admirably efficient, addressing everything from obesity to the limits of charity. As a film, it’s less compelling, with only one subject — Philadelphia single mom Barbie Izquierdo — getting enough screen time to put a human face on the crisis.
  19. Reviewed by: Mark Feeney
    Feb 28, 2013
    38
    As morally engaged as the movie is, it’s also argumentatively slack. Precisely because it’s so easy to agree that hunger is bad, it’s hard to agree what to do.

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