• Studio:
  • Release Date: Aug 1, 2014
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Aug 21, 2014
    100
    Rich Hill doesn’t just make you feel like you know these boys; it makes you care about them.
  2. Reviewed by: Godfrey Cheshire
    Aug 1, 2014
    100
    It emerges as an artistic statement as multi-faceted, nuanced and hauntingly original as any of its fictional counterparts.
  3. Reviewed by: Katie Walsh
    Feb 3, 2014
    91
    A truly moving and edifying film, Rich Hill is the type of media object that could and should be put in a time capsule for future generations.
  4. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    Aug 15, 2014
    88
    Their film would be even more compelling if it followed up with further reports, perhaps a few years apart, charting the three boys' fates.
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Aug 14, 2014
    88
    Rich Hill might fairly be called “Boyhood: The Documentary,” and, not surprisingly, it offers a reality harsher than — if just as compassionate as — Richard Linklater’s dreamy time-lapse drama.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Aug 7, 2014
    88
    Co-directors Andrew Droz Palermo and Tracy Droz Tragos let the painful stories emerge naturally, without prodding questions or talking-head experts who place the boys’ grim lives in the larger context of the post-industrial economy.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Aug 6, 2014
    88
    Frustrating, at times agonizing, the film is nonetheless dappled with a sad beauty. It’s one of the best documentaries of the year.
  8. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jan 27, 2014
    83
    There are moments when Tragos and Palermo run the risk of transforming their subjects into tools exploited for the sake of the movie's artistic vision, but the best part of Rich Hill is that its participants rise above the limitations of the material.
  9. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Aug 21, 2014
    80
    The brutally sparse documentary Rich Hill removes poverty from the realm of the abstract and makes it personal.
  10. 80
    This vital documentary gives you a world of hurt, prescribes nothing, and calls the ultimate questions you can ask as an American.
  11. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jul 31, 2014
    80
    Inside these average American lives are futures far too often passed over or, worse, written off. This terrific film gives the teenagers their due.
  12. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jul 29, 2014
    80
    Make no mistake: Rich Hill is a social document, and conclusions can and should be drawn from its beautiful, empathetic portrait of life on the fringes. But Tragos and Palermo content themselves with shining a light and leaving it at that.
  13. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Jan 28, 2014
    80
    Everything about the three principal teens registers as deserving of “human interest” to Rich Hill’s two helmers, whose generous attitude draws us into this deeply empathetic film.
  14. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    Jan 27, 2014
    80
    Often heartbreaking, Rich Hill presents real life as few filmgoers know it. In certain respects it’s almost as if cultural anthropologists descended on a foreign land, but, unfortunately, it’s a withered part of this nation that is rarely visited.
  15. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Aug 21, 2014
    75
    The confluence of poverty, dysfunctional parenting and poor educational prospects makes the oft-idealized small-town life look like an incubator for failure, no matter how high and spectacular the Fourth of July fireworks fly.
  16. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Jul 31, 2014
    75
    The movie exists mainly as an act of social advocacy, showing how one portion of the population lives and offering a sobering rebuke to pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps rhetoric.
  17. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    Jul 31, 2014
    70
    Regular hazily scored, gauzy interludes cut into the film’s immediacy and tone. But the filmmakers shade in humble, sympathetic portraits of these children.
  18. Reviewed by: Serena Donadoni
    Jul 29, 2014
    60
    Rich Hill does not add up to more than a series of vignettes. What it offers is a compassionate look at the intricacies of American poverty, where joblessness is only one factor.
  19. Reviewed by: Josh Kupecki
    Aug 20, 2014
    40
    Rich Hill attempts to lay bare these kids’ lives, striving for gentle intimacy, but the result feels more like arthouse pandering.
  20. Reviewed by: Clayton Dillard
    Jul 29, 2014
    25
    Rich Hill is poverty porn, examining lower-class spaces with pity as its operative mode and engendering little more than a means for viewers to leave the film acknowledging its sadness.

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