• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Nov 18, 2012
The Dust Bowl Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Summary: The latest Ken Burns documentary uses images, diaries, and interviews of survivors to illustrate the 1930s ecological and agricultural disaster that plagued the Midwest for over a decade.
  • Genre(s): Documentary
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Nov 19, 2012
    100
    The heartbreak here--especially the cases of poor children who died of "dust pneumonia"--is tremendous. [26 Nov 2012, p.45
  2. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Nov 19, 2012
    100
    The drought-stricken, spirit-sapping Great Plains of the 1930s get the lyrical and learned Burns treatment.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Nov 19, 2012
    91
    Ken Burns' documentary about the "black blizzards" that swept across the Great Plains during the 1930s is at once rigorously sourced and heartbreakingly emotional.
  4. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Nov 19, 2012
    80
    Although the film ends on an odd note that seems to endorse near-subsistence farming as the only moral and sustainable form of agriculture, it makes an important record of a receding era.
  5. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Nov 19, 2012
    80
    The Dust Bowl sounds like a dry subject, no cheap pun intended, and Burns works hard to humanize it by talking with some of the now-elderly people who made it through.
  6. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Nov 19, 2012
    80
    The Dust Bowl is a powerful documentary about what human efforts can achieve and what short-term thinking can wreak.
  7. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Nov 19, 2012
    50
    It's in dire need of tighter editing, most of all. Yes, the images from the '30s are powerful, but after a while, their power is diminished by repetition.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Apr 28, 2013
    10
    It is difficult to believe that man can cause such a massive environmental disaster. Most people were in denial, then and now. Thank goodnessIt is difficult to believe that man can cause such a massive environmental disaster. Most people were in denial, then and now. Thank goodness for Ken Burns, and his unique ability to make a historic event extremely relevant to our times today. Expand