Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: 1864: as war ravages the nation, on the outskirts of the Civil War business as usual continues for slave-owners and traders. Will, a fatherless 13 year-old boy, survives by working with a white bounty hunter gang who sends him to earn the trust of runaway slaves in order to lure them back to the South. On a dangerous mission into the free North to find Nate, a fugitive freedman, things go wrong and Will and Nate find themselves on the run. As the bond between them unexpectedly grows, Will becomes consumed by conflicting emotions as he faces a gut-wrenching final decision. Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Mar 28, 2014
    Equal parts suspenseful road movie, persuasively detailed period drama and emotionally resonant coming-of-age story, The Retrieval is an outstanding example of regional indie filmmaking accomplished with limited resources and an abundance of skill.
  2. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Apr 24, 2014
    It is indeed a beautiful film, but with each horizon tinged with sadness.
  3. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    May 15, 2014
    The Retrieval comes at you like a haunting slip of a memory, one that writer-director Chris Eska retrieves from a mostly forgotten era in unforgettable ways.
  4. Reviewed by:  Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Apr 1, 2014
    Despite its meager budget, The Retrieval is characterized by its authenticity. The dialogue and attitudes are persuasive in creating both a consistent psychology and a sense of the historical past, without ever lapsing into a flowery 19th century-ness.
  5. Reviewed by: Godfrey Cheshire
    Apr 3, 2014
    More than any film in recent memory, The Retrieval made this reviewer yearn for the subtle softness and subliminal flicker of celluloid, as opposed to digital's sometimes overbearing brightness and clarity.
  6. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Apr 2, 2014
    The film’s reckoning, when it comes, is fully as heartbreaking as it should be.
  7. Reviewed by: Clayton Dillard
    Mar 28, 2014
    Less old-fashioned than demure and passé, evoking the visual style and rhythms of a 1990s made-for-TV movie rather than a daring, revisionist independent feature.

See all 12 Critic Reviews