Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Steel City may be the only movie released this year that's so observant you can hear what the characters AREN'T saying.
  2. Reviewed by: Joshua Katzman
    Jun, a downstate native, has an ear for plainspoken dialogue and neither glamorizes nor patronizes his characters.
  3. One of the most hopeful movies I've seen recently--not just for its humane, realistic story line, but in its very being.
  4. Steel City could have used more rhythmic drive, but if Jun keeps weaving together characters this compelling, he could be a major film artist in the making.
  5. 60
    The movie's strength is in the performances. And they're enough to make Steel City worth a look.
  6. A shaky but promising debut, Brian Jun's downbeat family drama is likely to make you feel a whole lot better about your own life.
  7. It has vivid characters, a strong sense of place, and a free-floating hopelessness that never precludes the possibility of meaningful action.
  8. 50
    Excellent performances by a good cast and a fairly authentic look at working-class struggles go only so far.
  9. Reviewed by: Justin Berton
    Steel City makes a valiant attempt to add some new tweaks to the genre best described as life-sucks-growing-up-in-a-mill-town.
  10. A quietly, somberly effective American indie drama.
  11. 75
    For the most part, they live life convincingly, in a refreshingly inward-looking, well-made film that's smart enough to stay small, and leave the car crashes to the big summer action movies.
  12. The only misstep Jun makes, and it's hard to fault him given the budget, is the mediocre and at times heavy-handed use of music. Still, it's an unqualified success from the heartland.
  13. Mostly Mr. Jun's script is sharp, and Laurie Metcalf, James McDaniel, America Ferrera and Raymond J. Barry in supporting roles help keep the tale mesmerizing, in a small-scale sort of way.
  14. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Its honest, unshowy performances and textured depiction of life in a working-class community in a nowhere Southern Illinois town make this modest indie feature an affecting experience.
  15. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    Whatever Steel City lacks in oomph or even originality, it at least breaks even with its working-class authenticity and unexpectedly well-rounded ensemble.
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. JayH
    May 24, 2009
    Well acted, evenly paced drama. It's nothing outstanding, but I never lost interest. The characters are richly developed and it's believably told. Full Review »
  2. tomc
    Jun 24, 2007
    Yhis movie explores non sexual relationships between men as few movies ever have. It is slightly slow paced at times but otherwise a highly effective drama. A shame that apparently very few have seen it. Full Review »