Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Oct 19, 2011
    83
    Perhaps it's a tribute to the breadth of Goodman's life that even after 90 minutes, it feels as if we've just scratched the surface.
  2. Reviewed by: Mark Holcomb
    Oct 18, 2011
    80
    As bluntly humanist and free-ranging as its subject, this brisk take on the life of poet, sociologist, educator, psychologist, and general pain-in-the-ass gadfly Paul Goodman is as much endangered-species doc as biography.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jan 5, 2012
    75
    Filled with abundant evidence of Goodman as a public intellectual, assembled by its director Jonathan Lee, who believes the time is here for a rediscovery of his ideas.
  4. Reviewed by: Bill Weber
    Oct 17, 2011
    75
    This bio-documentary of a New Left godfather presents a formidable character simpatico with today's zeitgeist in his championing of "spontaneous uprising."
  5. Reviewed by: Andrea Gronvall
    Jan 5, 2012
    70
    In this heady documentary, TV footage of left-wing social critic Paul Goodman being interviewed by conservative host William F. Buckley Jr. in 1966 makes one realize how low public discourse in America has sunk since then: despite the men's political differences, their freewheeling discussion, touching on topics from education to pornography, is playful instead of rancorous.
  6. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Oct 18, 2011
    70
    I suspect that he would have approved of Mr. Lee's film, and not only because it approves so unreservedly of him. Paul Goodman Changed My Life may not have that effect on every viewer, but it has a passionate, almost prophetic sense of the impact that a writer and thinker can have on his times and the future.
  7. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Oct 16, 2011
    70
    Reminiscences about Goodman and readings of his poetry are played over old pictures that capture his singularly seductive appeal and lively sense of humor.
  8. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Oct 18, 2011
    60
    Mostly though, it feels like we're watching a superficial gloss on Goodman's CV rather than a probing interrogation of his legacy. For the choir only.
  9. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jan 5, 2012
    50
    As documentaries go, it's an able introduction that doesn't make its subject nearly as relevant to our current discontents as it could.

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