Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. To their credit, directors Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer, both of San Francisco, poke gentle fun at the locals without ridiculing them. The film's playful spirit is underscored by catchy steel-guitar melodies (courtesy of the Friends of Dean Martinez) that perfectly suit the bone-dry setting.
  2. The late U.S. Rep. Sonny Bono and his widow and successor Mary Bono have spent a good deal of time trying to save it. It's a hard task, but the film does suggest there's more to the sea than meets the eye.
  3. 80
    Plagues & Pleasures is kinda like one of those travel videos, except it's offering you a vacation like you've never had before and it's not loaded with bulls---.
  4. Reviewed by: Steve Mikulan
    Narrated with surprising empathy by John Waters, is a historically thorough and thoroughly hysterical examination of the big, smelly desert lake's formation.
  5. Reviewed by: Michael Ordona
    Although ill-served by the lack of expert voices or elaboration on viable choices, Plagues and Pleasures is an often-fascinating document of change -- incremental as evaporation, or catastrophic as flooding.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Jaunty and fun for a while, with a cast of colorful locals who make the residents of "Vernon, Florida" seem normal, pic ultimately overstays its welcome and overstates its case.
  7. This is a startlingly funny portrait of Gothic Americana.
  8. 70
    Occasionally lighthearted but always affecting cautionary tale.

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