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Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The University of California at Berkeley, the oldest and most prestigious member of a ten campus public education system, is also one of the finest research and teaching facilities in the world. The film, At Berkeley, shows the major aspects of university life, its intellectual and social mission, its obligation to the state and to larger ideas of higher education, as well as illustrates how decisions are made and implemented by the administration in collaboration with its various constituencies. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Nov 11, 2013
    100
    I can’t think of another film portrait of higher education that matches this one for comprehensiveness, intellectual depth, and hope.
  2. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Sep 30, 2013
    100
    One of Wiseman’s best, a summation of sorts of a career’s worth of principled filmmaking from a director in his ninth decade.
  3. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Nov 8, 2013
    100
    A documentary necessarily conveys a point of view, and although Mr. Wiseman, as is his wont, is neither seen nor heard in a film that proceeds without commentary or subtitles, his spirit is palpable. Without overtly editorializing, the film quietly and steadfastly champions state-funded public education available to all.
  4. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Nov 5, 2013
    80
    Wiseman's generally static camera spends prolonged periods of time in the classroom, at student gatherings, and in the halls of educational power, training a multifaceted gaze on opinions regarding an economic shift affecting faculty salaries, subsidized programs, student tuition, and the university's fundamental "public" character.
  5. Reviewed by: David Parkinson
    Sep 8, 2014
    80
    At the venerable age of 84, documentary maven Wiseman hasn't lost his touch.
  6. Reviewed by: Bill Stamets
    Jan 2, 2014
    75
    At Berkeley earns credit for documenting a distinctly articulate community.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Nov 8, 2013
    50
    At Berkeley casts a nonjudgmental eye on everyone from cement layers to students discussing Thoreau to administrators complaining about budgeting. If only everything were interesting.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. Jan 21, 2014
    8
    Very good, classic Wiseman fly-on-the-wall documentary that covers many different aspects of UC-Berkeley. I wasn't very familiar with the instituation and now have a good feeling for it. I love that Wiseman doesn't restrict himself by making films too short, however this one is just SO long. It doesn't feel bloated, but unfortunately I just don't have the time/patience for one four-hour sitting. Overall very good film that is limited by time-based inaccessibility. Definitely a top 4 doc of the year for me (At Berkeley > The Square, Leviathan, Stories We Tell, We Steal Secrets, First Cousin, Cutie and the Boxer, Dirty Wars, The Gatekeepers, God Loves Uganda, After Tiller, Inequality for All, etc -- the only 3 I liked better: The Act of Killing, The Crash Reel and A Place at the Table) Expand
  2. Nov 21, 2013
    3
    I don't know whether it's because those who reviewed this movie feel inadequate because they didn't go to college, but never have I seen a movie that is four hours in length actually seem like it was four years long, the duration of the undergraduate program there. This could EASILY have been a 90 minute infomercial, but instead they must have used every single frame and B roll that was shot. Nothing was additive about scenes of lawn mowing, bike riding, empty hallways, or people sweeping or blowing leaves... Expand

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