Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. 90
    Dense, contradictory and distressingly honest, Valley of Tears is that rarity among political documentaries: a genuinely thought-provoking film.
  2. The movie peaks about halfway through, when town officials try to stop Perry from revealing what's going on.
  3. The town's entrenched racism is impossible to ignore, but the efforts toward change make a compelling history.
  4. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    An ultimately moving effort that well illustrates the often hopeless situation faced by the people whose lives it depicts.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Perry's careful juxtaposition of images showing the town's sad present with footage of what it's long ceased to be is positively haunting.
  6. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    Fascinating assemblage combines strike footage first shot in 1979 by Perry when he was working for the Texas Farm Workers Union with film and video lensed over the ensuing 20-plus years.
  7. 60
    Not everything Perry's voices say seems relevant to his central thesis, but they speak fervently and colorfully, and their intensity is compelling even when their message is lacking.
  8. Reviewed by: Joshua Land
    Most of the best moments in Hart Perry's latest documentary can be found in its opening half-hour, a vivid record of a 1979 strike by Mexican American migrant farmworkers in the onion fields of Raymondville, Texas.
  9. 50
    That's all laudable - but Perry, a longtime filmmaker, should have given the doc more urgency and punch.

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