October Country

  • Release Date: Feb 12, 2010

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
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  1. Reviewed by: Kevin B. Lee
    Jersey Shore may be the hyped example of trashy onscreen “reality,” but this portrait of an upstate working-poor family forsakes guilty-pleasure exploitation and simply wows you in every other way.
  2. 83
    Manages to excavate enough universal pathos from the mundane to find something truly extraordinary in the ordinary.
  3. 75
    October Country doesn't really have a point, or a story, but it's an almost unbearably vivid portrait of four generations in a single working-class family.
  4. The beauty of October Country, beside its artful images, is how it compresses the windblown fortunes of working-class America into the fallen leaves of one forlorn family.
  5. 75
    This is the face of dysfunction. Apparently alcohol and drugs are not involved, except perhaps with some of the missing men. The drug here is despair. They seem to treat it with cigarettes.
  6. 70
    October Country feels at once personal and objective, a fascinating hybrid of two important tendencies in the modern documentary.
  7. A beautiful evocation of a time and place -- Mohawk Valley in upstate New York, spanning from one Halloween to the next -- and a loving but unflinching probing of the lives of Mosher's family in the course of a year.
  8. 70
    There's rancor here, but also unexpected tenderness.
  9. 67
    In digging deeper into the stories behind the junk--many of which involve the drug problems, legal problems, custody battles, cycles of abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorders of Mosher’s own family--October Country veers awfully close to exploitation.
  10. 63
    What results is both real and surreal, giving and self indulgent. That’s the country we all live in.
  11. With the nation’s unemployment rate hovering around 10% and home foreclosure numbers stubbornly high, Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher’s haunting documentary of multigenerational troubles is either a case of great timing or, possibly, the worst timing ever.
  12. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Best understood as a work of creative nonfiction. The directors employ art-film techniques to aestheticize a swamp of big issues--the military, poverty, madness, family planning, spousal and child abuse--and give a family's (and America's) angst a clear voice and seductive form without leveling judgment.
  13. Family dysfunction has proved a rich resource for documentary filmmakers in recent years, but "October" lacks the narrative drive and emotional resonance of such examples of the genre as "Tarnation" and "Capturing the Friedmans."
  14. Reviewed by: Andrew Barker
    A feel-bad film through and through. Chronicling a year in the life of a low-income Mohawk Valley family beset by external hardships and shockingly bad decision-making, the docu straddles the line between unflinching intimacy and invasive exploitation.

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