Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. 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.
  2. 88
    This is a loving, moving, inspiring, quirky documentary that was made while the lives it records were being lived.
  3. In many ways, it's a painful story, but it's also full of curious triumphs and outlandish redemptions.
  4. 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.
  5. A loose, amiable documentary tracking several decades in the life of this most unusual farmer.
  6. 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.
  7. Reviewed by: Julia Wallace
    80
    At times, the film plays like an extended infomercial for John's new company, Angelic Organics, but the agrarian fantasy is so compelling here that the revitalization of the American family farm begins to seem not just possible, but probable.
  8. 80
    Though its title suggests an exposé on Dodger Dogs, the movie is the moving, inspirational account of John Peterson's discovery of an almost divine calling in the land beneath his feet.
  9. 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.
  10. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    70
    Examines 50-odd years in the life of its eponymous subject -- a most compelling character -- and in doing so literally provides the viewer with food for thought.
  11. 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.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User 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
    10
    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
    8
    An extremely interesting documentary. Well done,well paced And if you enjoy documentaries,see this!!