Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Oct 28, 2010
    "We are not pickers of garbage; we are pickers of recyclable materials," Tião, an impoverished Brazilian catadore, or trash picker, declares to a talk-show host in Lucy Walker's inspiring documentary Waste Land.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jan 14, 2011
    The only waste would be if people didn't go see it.
  3. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Dec 7, 2010
    It's not a very good title, Waste Land - this isn't a bleak film, at all - but just about everything else in Lucy Walker's documentary works, and illuminates.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 12, 2010
    Despite his street cred, Muniz comes across as way too effete for these laborerers, many of whom have harrowing life stories to tell. But his intention to have them re-create photographic images of themselves out of garbage, while it may not pass muster as high art, has the effect of raising their spirits.
  5. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Oct 28, 2010
    Though narrower in scope and lacking the first-person angle, Waste Land resembles Agnès Varda's great 2000 documentary "The Gleaners & I," particularly in its awe of tough, creative, hard-working people who live on the margins.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Dec 28, 2010
    This is the best film that I have seen this year. Put away your fears that this is a guilt-driven movie. It is realistic and optimistic. The takeaway: when you see yourself as you really are, it transforms you in a second. Full Review »
  2. Jul 8, 2012
    A documentary about the international acclaimed Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, who reconstructs photos using garbage materials from Jardim Gramacho, the world Full Review »