Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 29
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 29
  3. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. 100
    As a documentary, The Agronomist, in its excitingly fractured, modern manner, does what Lawrence of Arabia and The Leopard do: It traces the upheaval of a civilization in the profile of a magnificent individual. It's a 90-minute nonfiction film with the impact and the greatness of an epic.
  2. Free speech isn't merely a shibboleth in The Agronomist. As embodied by Dominique, it's a fire-breathing force.
  3. 90
    Driven by Dominique's personal magnetism, The Agronomist is a haunting, inspirational valentine to free speech and human resilience.
  4. 90
    This affecting eulogy underscores not only Demme's own tribute to Dominique but also the film's homage to radio. This is a motion picture that's in love with the magic of airborne speech.
  5. Director Demme has done other potent and meaningful films, but The Agronomist defers to none of them in its effectiveness and its power.
  6. It seems almost unthinkable that such a charismatic, generous and lively man could be gone. It also makes you understand what it means for a country like Haiti to lose a citizen like Jean Dominique.
  7. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    90
    Demme's movie exuberantly crosses the border from documentary into hagiography and from hagiography into celebration.
  8. 88
    After his murder, Michele Montas goes on the air to insist that Jean Dominique is still alive, because his spirit lives on. But in this film Haiti seems to be a country that can kill the spirit, too.
  9. This film--one of the best and most memorable documentaries of the year so far--brings that truth-teller to us once again.
  10. 88
    Enlightening documentary.
  11. 83
    The film verges on hagiography as one interviewee after another testifies to Dominique's positive influence on his nation, but in this case the cynical notion that there must be another side to the story is easy to tamp down.
  12. A rousing celebration of a genuine people's hero and a timely reminder that a free press is the greatest weapon in the arsenal of democracy and freedom.
  13. Reviewed by: Marc Cooper
    80
    Although the film may be about 20 percent overweight, the human story of a man who -- for four decades -- spat in the eye of his tormentors and gleefully accepted his role as a latter-day Sisyphus commands the viewer's attention.
  14. Reviewed by: Melissa Levine
    80
    Demme's film is as inspiring and moving as its subject, a man who brought critical news and information to the people of Haiti even as a series of dictatorships sought violently to shut him down.
  15. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    80
    Melds a great cause and Dominique's incandescent charisma with care using research from nine years of filming and reporting.
  16. We are left with vivid images of Dominique, whose desire to change his country, despite formidable intimidation, is an inspiration to any supporter of democracy.
  17. 80
    Has important things to tell viewers about global politics, and in an eerily resonant way.
  18. Reviewed by: Meredith Brody
    80
    Demme's moving documentary turns the story of his dead friend into the story of Haiti.
  19. 78
    Remarkable, melancholy, and ultimately hopeful documentary.
  20. Watching Demme's documentary is both a crash course in the nation's tumultuous past and a provocative visit with one of its most colorful citizens.
  21. Until he was shot to death in 2000, Haitian radio journalist Jean Dominique was a lone voice for truth and freedom in his politically riven country.
  22. 75
    The Agronomist uses archival footage and music to tell a moving story that's all too common in the Third World.
  23. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    Smartly filmed (aside from a few distracting editing fripperies), but it's so dazzled by its subject and saddened by his martyrdom that it never moves past the heroic politics of dissent.
  24. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    70
    Jonathan Demme gets personal with this affectionate tribute to courageously outspoken radio broadcaster Jean Dominique, the pro-democracy advocate whose unflagging support for president Jean-Bertrand Aristide eventually cost him his life.
  25. 70
    The film reveals a man whose wiry build, relentless passion, fearless guile, and bravery made him a beloved human rights activist in his strife-ridden country.
  26. As Demme's audienc we're at the mercy of political passion overshadowed by style.
  27. Not an extraordinary portrait, but it does portray an extraordinary man.

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