Universal acclaim - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. 75
    A gut-wrenching experience.
  2. It is impossible not to be fired up by Kurt Kuenne's incendiary cri de coeur, Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father.
  3. The facts are so awful that Dear Zacharycan be forgiven much of its antsiness--as a memorial, as a condolence to Bagby’s parents (who became activists for judicial reform in their late son's honor), and as a howl of grief.
  4. Among the most enraging (documentaries) I've ever seen, and while it's fine and heartfelt and I commend it to those of you with strong constitutions, it is the film that has finally broken me.
  5. Without becoming a screed for victims' rights, the riveting film shows how in the face of terrible events a grieving parent is galvanized into activism.
  6. Reviewed by: Jenni Miller
    Masterfully put together.
  7. Reviewed by: Scott Mendelson
    The film's overall result is a document of towering, devastating emotional impact.
  8. Reviewed by: Stan Hall
    You can't help getting emotionally involved, and as the central outrage -- a case of judicial negligence that would seem unbelievable in a work of fiction -- plays out, you feel the pain and anger that Bagby's family and friends experienced. Then the story takes a final, horrible twist that's almost too much to endure.
  9. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    An undeniably shattering story, if forgivably shaky in its impassioned, therapeutic unfolding.
  10. Reviewed by: Martin Tsai
    Kuenne lovingly assembles home-movie footage and new interviews, while deftly borrowing a narrative trick from fiction--the plot twist--to create a true-crime story so gripping, devastating, and ultimately unforgettable that it easily trumps any thriller Hollywood has to offer this year.
  11. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    The way Kuenne presents the material, with an aggressive style that lingers less than a second on most shots, it's impossible not to feel emotionally exhausted.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. Jun 18, 2012
    This piece of documentary is the most mind-blowing true-crime movie I have ever watched. It promotes not only the love in the family but also ones who're out there and truly love you for being you. This film shows how the devil like Sheril Turner still exists in the community and able to live with the normal people or the kindest people like Dave and Kate due to the rubbishness l of the legal system and public authorities in New Foundland.
    (Heartbreaking, Deavastating emotional impact, Gut-wrenching, Mind revolution)
    Full Review »
  2. May 31, 2011
    Few films could posses this much content to make you so angry, then show you how you can put a stop to it. Kurt Keunne tells a daring, personal story about a family. At first, it has nothing to do with you, but by the end, it will be your business. Full Review »
  3. Jan 15, 2014
    This should come with a warning. What can I say? I was deeply moved by this film but at the same time I was extremely disturbed. I have never before written a review for a movie, but even 3 hours after finishing this documentary...I cant move on. I cried like I have never cried before. And this film made me feel things that i have never experienced with a movie. I felt mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted after completing it. With all of this being said, it is just absolutely spectacular. It will change you, at least for the rest of your day. I have a feeling I wont be the same for the rest of the least. THE SADDEST AND MOST MOVING FILMS I HAVE EVER SEEN. Full Review »