Medora

Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Nov 5, 2013
    100
    This stellar, incisive slice-of-life doc centers on the kind of crowd-pleasing competition story that lures in audiences and then lays bare heartsick truths about small-town America today.
  2. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Nov 8, 2013
    70
    Using the plight of the hapless team and its troubled young players as a microcosm of American society in decline, Medora, inevitably bound to be compared to the more ambitious and accomplished Hoop Dreams, nonetheless scores some winning points in powerful fashion.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Nov 8, 2013
    70
    Filmmakers Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart uncover and illuminate a strain of stoic resilience that could be the last best defense against bottomless despair. Unfortunately, as Medora repeatedly suggests, that invaluable resource may not be inexhaustible.
  4. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Nov 7, 2013
    70
    A mournful Midwestern ballad devoid of grace notes.
  5. Reviewed by: Kevin Jagernauth
    Nov 13, 2013
    67
    It may not strike the political notes it wants to hit completely, and may fall just short of the impact it would like to achieve, but Medora provides a sweet, small tale of survival, not just of a high school basketball team, but of a town trying not to get eaten up by supposed progress.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Nov 7, 2013
    60
    Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart’s doc, exec-produced by Steve Buscemi and Stanley Tucci, is one more sad, serious eulogy for a way of life.
  7. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Nov 7, 2013
    60
    As in Hoop Dreams, troubles at home raise the stakes hugely on the court, though the dream here is far more modest: to slake their thirst for just one victory, and to know, for once, what winning feels like. Their pursuit of this elusive goal gives Medora a strong narrative through-line, but Cohn and Rothbart cling to it too fervently.
  8. Reviewed by: Eric Hynes
    Nov 6, 2013
    60
    Though it’s culled from 600 hours of footage, Medora feels thin in terms of memorable imagery, and bounces a little too hastily between scenes. But it’s utterly impossible not to pull for these boys, or for a film that sees them as complex individuals rather than sociological evidence.
  9. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Nov 7, 2013
    50
    Honest and unadorned though the film may be, it's ultimately just not that involving.
  10. Reviewed by: Kelvin Henely
    Nov 6, 2013
    38
    It feels as if it set out to be an inspirational tale about underdogs beating the odds, but instead of giving color to the story, the filmmakers presented it with black-and-white ideas.

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