Metascore
94

Universal acclaim - 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. Reviewed by: Eve Barlow
    Nov 21, 2011
    80
    A moving look behind the curtain of a rarely-explored community.
  2. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Sep 15, 2011
    100
    An extraordinarily moving examination of how the AIDS epidemic both devastated and transformed San Francisco's gay community, this clear-eyed and soulful documentary brings us inside the contagion in a way that is so intimate, so personal, you feel like you're hearing about these catastrophic events for the first time.
  3. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Oct 13, 2011
    91
    It's a horrific tale, filled with fear, confusion, anger, disfigurement, and loss. Weissman and Weber don't milk the pathos and they don't have to. Their interview subjects are brilliantly chosen, not only for their specific vantage points on the events but for their eloquence and depth of feeling. Time and again, the spoken and visual record of what happened overwhelms you.
  4. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Sep 5, 2011
    100
    There is no turning away from the screen.
  5. Reviewed by: Bill Weber
    Sep 6, 2011
    75
    Simply and devastatingly letting five residents of San Francisco share their reminiscences of that city's nightmarish "war zone" in the early, horrific years of AIDS, We Were Here creates a harrowing, streamlined oral history.
  6. 100
    The most gripping war movie you'll see this year, We Were Here tells first-hand the story of how AIDS attacked San Francisco, killing more than 15,000. Whole peer groups were happy, healthy, and then dead in months.
  7. Reviewed by: Stephen Farber
    Sep 5, 2011
    90
    Director David Weissman brings a rewardingly fresh and personal perspective to the subject.
  8. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Sep 8, 2011
    100
    Throughout We Were Here there is not a hint of mawkishness, self-pity or self-congratulation. The humility, wisdom and cumulative sorrow expressed lend the film a glow of spirituality and infuse it with grace.
  9. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Sep 6, 2011
    80
    It's far from a definitive statement-why does ACT UP, a seminal presence in SF, get such short shrift? - but this oral history provides a righteous cri de coeur for those who perished in the precocktail era.
  10. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Sep 5, 2011
    80
    We Were Here concentrates on the impressive way a collective of disenfranchised individuals came together to support one another in this time of crisis. In that respect, the title has dual meanings, referring to both the film's "Shoah"-like survivors' testimony and the fact that the gay community was there for one another at a time that government and medicine were slow to respond.
  11. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Sep 6, 2011
    90
    A simple, powerful act of bearing witness, We Were Here is a sober reminder of the not-too-distant past, when gays were focused not on honeymoon plans but on keeping people alive.
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Jun 18, 2012
    10
    t is already hard to find a good documentary and it's even miraculously harder for me to find such cheerful, heartbreaking and such accomplished documentary such as this piece of work. The story was uniquely shocking..yet lying so near to us. The film told both from the individual to a bigger picture as the community in their fight aginst HIV in such emotional ugly-passionate expression.
    Too Great to be missed.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 1, 2011
    10
    Astonishingly powerful film about Aids in San Francisco in the 80s and the Gay community's response.
    I strongly urge everyone to cast
    trepidation aside and go see this film. Your heart will thank you. Full Review »
  3. Nov 20, 2011
    10
    What it lacks in revelation it makes up for in sheer gut-punching emotion, proving that just because a movie is a documentary doesn't mean it can't be as involving and as utterly compelling as the best fiction. Full Review »