Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. 80
    Amid the dozens of documentaries made about various aspects of '60s society and culture, Commune stands out for its ambiguity, honesty and sheer human clarity.
  2. Reviewed by: Greg Burk
    80
    A nice counterpoint is the soundtrack, with psychedelic trip music and bottleneck blues by noted wild-ass guitarist Elliott Sharp. It’s good to hear people talking about openheartedness without irony.
  3. A breezy, informal history of the Black Bear Ranch, a long-running California commune begun in the summer of 1968 and still in existence, offers the fascinating spectacle of observing people then and now.
  4. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    80
    Often mocked and rarely understood, the movement in communal living that blossomed with Flower Power in the '60s gets its most honest appraisal yet on film with Jonathan Berman's Commune.
  5. Jonathan Berman's documentary about California's famous Black Bear Ranch is a trip.
  6. 75
    As we learn in director Jonathan Berman's fun documentary Commune, the ranch was financed by people such as musician Frank Zappa and actor James Coburn.
  7. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    75
    Black Bear Ranch's legacy of environmentalism (the residents were on the forefront of the anti-deforestation movement), and the endearing long-term relationships it engendered, endure.
  8. 75
    The only famous person in the film, actor Peter Coyote, is an eloquent spokesman, but he was only a visitor to Black Bear; the stars are the full-timers, and their willingness to share their rich and sometimes painful memories is captivating.
  9. 75
    It's fascinating to see how the Black Bears got onto their current path, but we don't see enough of the journey.
  10. 70
    Celebrating the desire to immerse oneself in a collective, world-changing enterprise, Commune is unavoidably nostalgic.
  11. Reviewed by: Michael Ordona
    60
    Unfortunately, producer-director Jonathan Berman only scratches the surface of daily life at Black Bear. We're left with many unanswered questions about the nuts-and-bolts of the place, even the basic social interactions and what it's like today. There are so many voices in the piece that we never get to know any of them; it's a dizzying array of opinions.

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