Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Diego Costa
    Aug 5, 2013
    88
    It ever so subtly zeros in on the extreme particularities of a remote place to find something universal, or at the very least easily comprehensible about despair.
  2. Reviewed by: Aaron Cutler
    Aug 6, 2013
    80
    The slippages and contradictions between who people are, imagine themselves to be, and present themselves as being inform the structure of Machine, a kind of loose container into which people step and out of which they extract more ideal selves.
  3. Reviewed by: Tomas Hachard
    Aug 9, 2013
    70
    If it aims to be an inside story of life in Georgia, a kind of people's history of Georgian youth, this documentary sometimes feels like scattershot vox-pop journalism. Its individual threads resonate strongly, but the larger pattern never comes together; the social tapestry meant to be on display seems, to the end, to have holes in it.
  4. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Aug 8, 2013
    70
    The film produces moments that catch in the throat.
  5. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Aug 7, 2013
    70
    This is a film about people whose stories are still being written, and who, despite their palpable sense of exhaustion, are still seeking healing and hope. There are no Hollywood endings here. That’s just the truth, which Gurchiani has proved she’s committed to capturing.
  6. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Jul 29, 2013
    70
    Those already well-versed in Georgia’s recent history will get the most from a series of real-life character sketches occasionally cryptic for their lack of contextualizing explanation. But the docu’s ample human interest and handsome lensing, despite much visual evidence of a struggling economy, will hold interest for most viewers.
  7. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Aug 6, 2013
    60
    The film captures a few surprising similarities to the West: One dead-eyed club kid says she’s “tired of everything,” while a hopeful young actor seems to be trying out for her own reality show, breaking down in front of her estranged mother. The experiment isn’t more than a slice of life, but at least it’s a generous one.
  8. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    Jul 29, 2013
    50
    As a National Geographic-style pictorial, The Machine is modestly engaging.
  9. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Aug 22, 2013
    40
    Unfortunately, there's a lack of structure, context and point of view to the largely gray, grim, hardscrabble world presented here.

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