Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. As Madeleine Sackler's absorbing, often tender documentary The Lottery shows, when it comes to the world of charter education, no seemingly good deed may go unpunished -- or at least undercut.
  2. Every parent in New York should see this movie and then ask why, when solutions exist, our woefully broken school system has yet to be fixed.
  3. 50
    The film has no ready answers, although it becomes abundantly clear that both those for and against charter schools are more concerned with covering their own asses than with helping students get a quality education.
  4. The documentary shows the stranglehold that the teachers union has on politicians, particularly Democratic politicians. The arrogance and ignorance of some of these politicians is galling.
  5. With fierce arguments, often drawn on partisan lines, raging across the country, The Lottery will be of vital interest to anyone interested in the topic, especially the parents of young children.
  6. Ignoring critical issues like financial transparency, Ms. Sackler sells her viewpoint with four admirable, striving families, each of whose tots could charm the fleas off a junkyard dog.
  7. 60
    Director Madeleine Sackler favors an agenda of advocacy over complexity, making The Lottery an effective, if unapologetically one-sided, piece of agitprop.
  8. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Advocacy to the point of propaganda.
  9. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    An electrifying community meeting finds Harlem Success president Eva Moskowitz both vilified and heralded as "our Obama" by local parents, as the unions depend on such poorly understood class and neighborhood tensions to maintain the status quo.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Nov 29, 2010
    This already Oscar contender documentary hits hard on the public/charter education problems of Harlem. Combining facts and parents' emotions, Madeleine Sackler was able to pull off a gripping documentary about our childrens' future. At times the feature becomes bias and unbalanced, but The Lottery was good enough for the Oscar semifinalist list. Full Review »