Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
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  1. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    Elegantly constructed, deceptively complex documentary.
  2. Reflect the robust status of Yiddish theater in the early 20th century, and its post-Holocaust decline.
  3. 80
    A linguistic stew with a zesty, homemade flavor that belies its carefully researched preparation.
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    It's both funny and harrowing in the way that only a childhood nightmare come to life can be.
  5. The movie is more a family album than a historical study, but you'll learn a lot and your toe will tap, tap, tap.
  6. Works on two levels: Goldfinger does a terrific job exploring the broader history of Yiddish theater, while also homing in on the compelling story of the Burstein family itself.
  7. It is impossible to watch this warm, wonderful film without becoming aware of the enormous impact the Yiddish theater has had on every aspect of American show business.
  8. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    The Komediant's most deeply moving aspect lies in its misty memories of the glory years of the Yiddish theater, when an ethnic group rallied against its attempted decimation by forming allegiances and openly celebrating its culture.
  9. Able to provide insight into a fascinating part of theater history, spanning from Russia to the New York Catskills.
  10. As informative and packed with cultural lore as it is, The Komediant is dramatically diffuse.
  11. While nostalgically recalling the past, this is a clear-eyed look at Jewish history that should prove compelling even to those who've never heard of the Yiddish theater.
  12. 50
    Goldfinger touch on many grand issues (theater rivalry, anti-Semitism, child labor, the generation gap, Israelis' hostility toward the Yiddish tongue) but stop short of exploring them, focusing instead on a family that personifies a dying tradition.
  13. 50
    Slight but enjoyable documentary.
  14. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    Even if you love all things Yiddish, there is precious little to embrace here.
  15. 25
    The documentary's director, Arnon Goldfinger, may have had a chance of expanding on the limited audience for such a film if said clan, the Bursteins, exhibited either talent or likability.

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