Let the Fire Burn


Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Dec 5, 2013
    Directed with rigor and sensitivity by Jason Osder, this is the kind of nonfiction film that proves how powerful simple storytelling and a compelling through line can be.
  2. Reviewed by: David Lewis
    Oct 31, 2013
    Whatever you may feel about each side, it's hard to watch as city officials order explosives to be dropped on the MOVE house (which has a bunker on top) - and then sit idly by as the resulting fire burns the entire neighborhood. You'll keep asking yourself: How did it come to this? And hauntingly, no one has any answers.
  3. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Oct 2, 2013
    The brilliantly edited tapestry of actions and reactions exposes a pattern of prejudice and fear capable of infinitely repeating itself.
  4. 100
    Osder has made a documentary that’s astonishingly in the present tense.
  5. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Oct 17, 2013
    It earns its considerable impact by telling an unnerving story and leaving it, in ways both daring and effective, fundamentally unresolved.
  6. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    Oct 2, 2013
    Let the Fire Burn relentlessly sustains its tragic momentum.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Oct 31, 2013
    In his eloquent, evenhanded, and meticulously constructed debut documentary, Jason Osder stirs the ashes of this tragedy and sheds new heat and light on such timely issues as the abuse of authority and the violation of the rights of citizens, especially the marginalized and powerless.
  8. Reviewed by: Bill Weber
    Sep 30, 2013
    An unnerving, all-archival account of Philadelphia citizens suddenly terrorized by the unchecked violence of rogue "law and order."
  9. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 5, 2013
    Disturbing and extraordinary new documentary.
  10. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Oct 1, 2013
    Let The Fire Burn is a fascinating look at official overreaction, government overreach, and the corrupting effects of prejudice on powerful institutions.
  11. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Oct 1, 2013
    A first-rate piece of forensic filmmaking.
  12. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Nov 1, 2013
    Let the Fire Burn does not glorify MOVE. What it does do is force us to consider why and how this surreal event - a city bombing its own citizens, leaving innocent children dead - occurred. And ask, could something like it ever happen again?
  13. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Oct 4, 2013
    The closing subtitle says that no one was ever prosecuted for this madness. The pure-archive approach leaves a taste of despair; civic governance, it seems, can’t even promise not to kill you.
  14. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Oct 7, 2013
    The doc could benefit from more information about what led up to that day.

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