User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 2 out of 15

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  1. Oct 26, 2014
    9
    I'm a huge documentary fan, and this has to be in my top 20 of all time. Its honest and doesn't pontificate, it presents grueling scenarios with enough force to sicken you, but never revels in the pain it presents. The careful balance of the films production is even more striking when you realize the depth of the filmmakers personal involvement in the story. Finally, with all the dysfunction and harrowing scenes, it still steers clear of the simple option of painting those onscreen as simple 'victims' or 'bad people'. An unflinching, heartbreaking and deeply moving film. Highly recommended. Expand
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 2 out of 23
  1. Despite good reviews at this year's Sundance Film Festival, this is the kind of squishy lost cause that gives liberal guilt a bad name.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    60
    Can one recommend this unblinking film to the average moviegoer, out for a good time? Only in this way: if James and his crew can spend years with these blighted souls, surely you can spend two hours with them, exploring compassion's outer limits.
  3. It's no accident that this movie is named after both the filmmaker and his subject. It stands with the most thoughtful releases of recent months, and will linger in memory.