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Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: In a small Midwestern town, when generations of men march off to the local steel mill every morning and find reprieve every night at the local tavern, the men of the Lee family are tormented their lives in stagnation. When the patriarch is out on a short furlough from jail, he must try and bring his damaged family back together, unburdening them of the decades of hurt and resentment he's caused. What he learns is you can never take back the past, but you can let go of it. (Truly Indie) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  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. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    70
    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.
  5. It has vivid characters, a strong sense of place, and a free-floating hopelessness that never precludes the possibility of meaningful action.
  6. 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.
  7. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    50
    Whatever Steel City lacks in oomph or even originality, it at least breaks even with its working-class authenticity and unexpectedly well-rounded ensemble.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. tomc
    Jun 24, 2007
    9
    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. Expand
  2. JayH
    May 24, 2009
    6
    Well acted, evenly paced drama. It's nothing outstanding, but I never lost interest. The characters are richly developed and it's believably told. Expand

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