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Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Sam Shepard and Johnny Dark met in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s and, despite leading very different lives, remained close friends ever since. Shepard became a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and an Academy Award-nominated actor, while Dark was a homebody who supported himself with odd jobs. Through the decades, they stayed bonded by family ties. Dark married an older woman named Scarlett and Shepard married her daughter. For years, the two couples lived together, until Shepard broke away for a relationship with Jessica Lange in 1983, leaving Johnny to help father his first son. Nevertheless, he and Dark continued writing to each other, amassing hundreds of letters. [Music Box Films] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Sep 25, 2013
    83
    [The] aesthetic structure creates a haunting sense of the simultaneously wonderful and sad feelings both men have about lives and loves now gone, never to be recaptured.
  2. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Sep 21, 2013
    80
    The ups and downs of a decades-long friendship are charted with warmth and sensitivity in Shepard and Dark.
  3. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Sep 24, 2013
    80
    The more Shepard & Dark rewinds through their shared history, the more the film blossoms into something far richer than a simple tribute to a long, beautiful friendship—it becomes an ode to a long-lost era of bohemia, an insightful look into male psychology and pathology, a valentine to the art of letter writing and an illustration of how the past is never dead, because it’s not even past.
  4. Reviewed by: Nick McCarthy
    Sep 21, 2013
    75
    Treva Wurmfeld's documentary addresses, and acutely analyzes, the way friendship can bend, and occasionally snap, over time.
  5. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Oct 23, 2013
    67
    There’s tension as the two hole up in Santa Fe to work on the book, but the bottom-line feeling is of two old friends, now two old men, who have found their place in each other’s complicated lives.
  6. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Sep 30, 2013
    63
    A disarming but low-impact documentary that amounts to an odd dual biopic, Shepard & Dark can feel a bit like intruding on a conversation between two old friends.
  7. Reviewed by: Lily Janiak
    Sep 24, 2013
    40
    Despite its unusual beginnings, the friendship doesn't offer much narrative juice.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

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