Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 11 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 45 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father is a uniquely intense and personal documentary about the murder of Kurt’s oldest friend and the unbelievable legal and emotional madness that ensued. (Oscilloscope Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: Jenni Miller
    100
    Masterfully put together.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Mendelson
    90
    The film's overall result is a document of towering, devastating emotional impact.
  4. 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.
  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: Martin Tsai
    80
    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.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    50
    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.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. May 31, 2011
    10
    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. Collapse
  2. EmilyS
    Jul 30, 2009
    10
    I am a docu buff and have lately been on a roll, watching all of Metacritic's highest rated documentaries (its taking a while!) This film is truly exceptional. In my opinion, though the editing style is unusual, I believe it fits the film perfectly--an emotional style for a movie that cries from the heart. Its one of the better-made documentaries that I've seen. Julie P is absolutely right in that after I saw this film, I cried on and off all night...I felt as though I couldn't have any fun because it was all so horrible. This is completely unusual for me--I'm not generally a crier, and I usually like sad emotional movies. If you dislike all films with sad endings, skip this one. However, everyone else should see it. It will stay with you, for better or for worse. Expand
  3. SamJ
    Nov 18, 2008
    10
    Dan, you are a complete asshole. This is one of the greatest documentaries ever made!!! SHATTERING!!!!
  4. Apr 25, 2012
    10
    A very engrossing, spine tingling film. It's definitely not an easy watch, as the film changes gear more than most professional race car drivers, but to that point, it may be just as thrilling. To add to that, the subject matter is unsettling. However, Keunne captures a nearly unbelievable story in a way that makes it nearly impossible to look away. It can be a bit too much to handle at times, and by the end of the film you will be emotionally exasperated, but maybe Keunne made the film this way so that viewers would feel the pain of the tumultuous story vicariously through his storytelling. It won't appeal to all, but those who can get everything out of it that was put into it will be thinking about it for some time to come. Expand
  5. JayH
    Feb 19, 2009
    9
    It is impossible not to be moved by this documentary. It's very well edited and the footage used is outstanding. Thorough and detailed. An incredible story that you will not soon forget. Expand
  6. Jun 18, 2012
    8
    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)
    Expand
  7. DylanL
    Jul 25, 2009
    2
    The story here needed to be told: it is tragic and saddening. The storytelling is simply the worst I have experienced in years. Why this guy thought he had to create this pathetic atmosphere with the editing and music and the questions he asked is beyond comprehension. At moments where the story is genuinely shocking and you need some time to reflect on the enormity of what has happened this director is making a collage of soppy pictures in embarrassing sequence with terrible fake music and at one point trying to make his crap editing evoke rage when everyone needs a moment to take in something quite incredibly shocking. A very important story, ruined. Read the book by the Mr Bagsby instead. Expand

See all 19 User Reviews