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63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Reel Paradise tells the story of John Pierson's family at the end of a year-long adventure on a remote island in Fiji where they ran the 180 Meridian Cinema, showing free movies to the locals. (Wellspring Media)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    88
    Since Reel Paradise doesn't make the mistake of lionizing Pierson while it keeps up with him and his family, the results stay with you, like memories of an unexpected and surprising vacation.
  2. 78
    True, the melodrama on display here can't compare to the likes of Larry, Moe, Curly, and the cannibals, but then this goofily charming quartet of Western outsiders is far more real than reel.
  3. 75
    While type-A Pierson worries about his projectionist showing up and a break-in at his family's home, his wife frets that the mass importation of American films will contaminate the local culture.
  4. The film is absorbing enough as an intimate family portrait, complete with friction.
  5. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    70
    Overlong at nearly two hours but still a sharp and amusing and subtle piece of filmmaking.
  6. 60
    The Piersons are warm, funny people, and most of Reel Paradise shows them comically bickering with each other and laughing at the absurdity of the whole project.
  7. Pierson is a high-powered egotist with appalling tastes and a great-white-father complex, and his whiny family is about as much fun as fingernails on a blackboard.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of

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