The Real Dirt on Farmer John Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Summary: The epic tale of a maverick Midwestern farmer. An outcast in his community, Farmer John transforms his world amidst a failing economy,vicious rumors, and violence. By melding the traditions of family farming
    with the power of art and free expression,this quintessentially American story
    heralds a resurrection of farming in America. (Slow Hand Releasing) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. 100
    We've seen documentaries with more daring themes, greater drama, sharper craft and timelier subject matter. But few have been as affecting as The Real Dirt on Farmer John.
  2. 88
    This is a loving, moving, inspiring, quirky documentary that was made while the lives it records were being lived.
  3. Offers one man's extraordinary life as a gateway to a larger history of tragedy and transition. It's an unflinching account of what farming takes -- and, more important, what it gives back.
  4. 80
    It’s fascinating that this portrait of the rise, fall and rise of Midwestern organic farmer John Peterson can be read in so many different ways, only some of which appear intentionally in Taggart Siegel’s sympathetic documentary about his friend and fellow artist.
  5. Despite the movie's intimate nature, Siegel deftly broadens his view to observe the culture and conditions of contemporary American farming. Don't be surprised if, by the finish, you wind up fantasizing about your own rural homestead.
  6. In many ways, it's a painful story, but it's also full of curious triumphs and outlandish redemptions.
  7. 70
    A beguiling combination of agrarian ode and “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,” deepened by Peterson's square sincerity as he struggles to find himself in relation to his family's land.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. SteveL.
    Feb 17, 2006
    The film reflects the struggles of American family farmers over the last fifty years and, more importantly, the universal Hero
  2. Sandy
    Jan 21, 2006
    An extremely interesting documentary. Well done,well paced And if you enjoy documentaries,see this!!