Metascore
83

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

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Summary: Alejandro spends his days in an adult world, running errands and convincing customers to come to his boss's garage instead of a competitor's garage. He's also learning how to paint and repair cars. Although conditions are harsh, his life is sprinkled with moments of happiness as he carves out a life for himself in the wasteland of the Iron Triangle. The brightest of these moments is the arrival of his sister Isamar, who moves in with him in the tiny room that he has found for them perched in the back of the shop where he works. Knowing that creating a better life for the two of them is their best bet at staying together, Alejandro finds her a job in a food van cooking and selling meals to the workers in the Iron Triangle. With a mixture of childlike naiveté and adult ambition, Alejandro begins obsessively saving his money to buy a mobile food van. The two dream about owning and running a small business of their own. But when their dream--as well as their loving relationship--is threatened by the hard truths of life, work, and one another, the children find themselves forced to make the kinds of difficult decisions that most adults never have to face. (Koch Lorber) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. 100
    Now we have an American film with the raw power of “City of God” or “Pixote,” a film that does something unexpected, and inspired, and brave.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    100
    Bahrani's willingness to expose the shameful reality of third-world conditions in the Land of Plenty while telling a crackling good story marks him as a filmmaker as important as he is accessible.
  3. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    90
    The director has created a not-to-miss gem for the discriminating viewer.
  4. 80
    There is nonetheless a lyricism at its heart, an unsentimental, soulful appreciation of the grace that resides in even the meanest struggle for survival.
  5. Iranian-American filmmaker Ramin Bahrani has followed up his well-received Man Push Cart with another penetrating portrait of life on the outskirts of New York.
  6. Reviewed by: Nathan Lee
    80
    Authentic as all this feels (and smells, and tastes), Chop Shop gives off a heightened sense of reality, a faintly idealized atmosphere akin to the Lower East Side milieu of "Raising Victor Vargas," a close relative in the New York branch of neo-neorealism.
  7. It is ironic that the core audience for Chop Shop is that very crowd that has recently taken steps to redevelop the Iron Triangle into something more Manhattan-friendly.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. Dec 31, 2013
    9
    The sad life of these orphan siblings is heartbreaking. From the same director who gave us Goodbye Solo, this film is a strong dose of realism. A very beautiful, yet tragic film. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews

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