Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: In a country where 58% of African American 4th graders are functionally illiterate, The Lottery uncovers the failures of the traditional public school system and reveals that hundreds of thousands of parents attempt to flee the system every year. The Lottery follows four of these families from Harlem and the Bronx who have entered their children in a charter school lottery. Out of thousands of hopefuls, only a small minority will win the chance of a better future. (Variance Film) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. 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.
  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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    60
    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.
  6. 60
    Director Madeleine Sackler favors an agenda of advocacy over complexity, making The Lottery an effective, if unapologetically one-sided, piece of agitprop.
  7. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    30
    Advocacy to the point of propaganda.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Nov 29, 2010
    8
    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. Expand

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