Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
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  1. It's an intriguing portrait, but it makes no pretense at objectivity, erring on the side of hero worship.
  2. Reviewed by: Erin Meister
    A thought-provoking and graceful portrait of a tenacious peace warrior whose frankness is his greatest weapon.
  3. 70
    Unfortunately, Rae's film is split down the middle, and the appeal of its latter half depends on your tolerance for earnest politico-poetry set to wailing rock guitar and Native American chants and extraneously endorsed by celebrity talking heads. The backstory portion of the film, though, is riveting.
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Rae's 80-minute film isn't able to answer every question or flesh out important details of these events, and she spends more time on Trudell's artistic endeavors than on his direct political action.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    More hagiography than history, Heather Rae's long-in-production portrait of Native American activist and poet John Trudell has the uncritically admiring feel of authorized biography.
  6. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    No one in the film has a bad word to say about Mr. Trudell, despite his 17,000-page F.B.I. dossier; and by the time Robert Redford assures us that meeting him is not dissimilar to meeting the Dalai Lama, you may feel that all this worship does not do justice to an unusually stormy and complicated life.
  7. 58
    Anyone looking for history lessons from Rae's documentary will have to be patient and alert enough to pick through the poetry.
  8. Rae does offer a riveting introduction to the American Indian civil rights movement.
  9. Unfortunately, absent a more objective context, Trudell's gnomic utterances do little to support those sentiments. By preaching so relentlessly to the choir, this film misses an opportunity to show what got them to sing in the first place.
  10. Feels padded in some places, truncated in others. It also feels too respectful, especially when its subject is such a deep thinker and questioner of authority.
  11. Reviewed by: Bob Westal
    While Trudell has a few interesting and emotional moments in its second half, from the start it is badly hobbled by its worshipful tone.
  12. Reviewed by: Tim Grierson
    How could a movie about someone with one of the nation's longest FBI files be this dull?
  13. The man whom the FBI described as "extremely eloquent, therefore extremely dangerous" here seems about as threatening as Mother Teresa.
  14. 25
    Politics aside, Trudell plays like an infomercial for its subject rather than a serious examination of the man and his beliefs.

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