Battle for Brooklyn Image
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71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Battle for Brooklyn is an intimate look at the very public and passionate fight waged by residents and business owners of Brooklyn’s historic Prospect Heights neighborhood facing condemnation of their property to make way for the polarizing Atlantic Yards project, a massive plan to build 16Battle for Brooklyn is an intimate look at the very public and passionate fight waged by residents and business owners of Brooklyn’s historic Prospect Heights neighborhood facing condemnation of their property to make way for the polarizing Atlantic Yards project, a massive plan to build 16 skyscrapers and a basketball arena for the New Jersey Nets. The film focuses on graphic designer Daniel Goldstein whose apartment sits at what would be center court of the new arena. A reluctant activist, Daniel is dragged into the fight because he can’t accept that the government should use the power of Eminent Domain to take his new apartment and hand it off to a private developer, Forest City Ratner. The effort to stop the project pits him and his neighbors against Ratner and an entourage of lawyers and public relations emissaries, the government, as well as other residents who want the construction jobs, the basketball team, and the additional housing that the project might produce. (RUMUR Inc.) Expand
  • Director: Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley
  • Genre(s): Drama, Documentary
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Runtime: 93 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Jun 16, 2011
    90
    A documentary about the unending mess that is the Atlantic Yards project, is unabashedly slanted and as a result will probably be dismissed by those it portrays unflatteringly. That's unfortunate, because this film should be discouraging and dismaying for people on all sides of the project, for what it says about oversize expectations and missed opportunities.
  2. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Jun 17, 2011
    85
    The Empire State's eminent domain laws are unusually loose, but most of the rest of this story is pertinent far beyond New York. Change a few names and add the next credit bubble, and a Brooklyn-style Battle could be headed to a neighborhood near you.
  3. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Jun 16, 2011
    83
    Most viewers should find the documentary Battle For Brooklyn gripping and provocative, no matter their opinions about eminent domain, historic preservation, or public dollars going to support private development.
  4. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Jun 18, 2011
    70
    "It's un-American," Goldstein says about the abuses of power at the heart of the film, before correcting himself: "No -- you know what? It is American." That's precisely the message that Battle for Brooklyn doesn't sufficiently explore.
  5. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Aug 19, 2011
    70
    Although not exactly even-handed, the movie proves a deft look at a reluctant crusader and how financial sway and political override can so effectively trump the power of the average citizen.
  6. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jun 23, 2011
    70
    Tells the story of a love affair and a new family, and reminds us that even billionaires are not omnipotent.
  7. Reviewed by: Benjamin Mercer
    Jun 14, 2011
    50
    Battle for Brooklyn provides a useful primer on the opposition to Atlantic Yards, but figures who might have made more compelling documentary subjects than the always on-message Goldstein crowd the sidelines.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jun 28, 2011
    10
    Battle for Brooklyn is an engrossing documentary film that shows how a major real estate developer was able to co-opt state and cityBattle for Brooklyn is an engrossing documentary film that shows how a major real estate developer was able to co-opt state and city politicians in order to launch a $4 billion real estate project. Atlantic Yards was supposed to contain a basketball arena for the Nets and 16 huge office and residential skyscrapers. Besides being the nationâ Expand