Critic Reviews



Based on 13 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Miller hit documentary gold when he met Levitch. But this marvelously structured, sensitively edited, deep and compassionate portrait (in atmospheric, made-for-Manhattan black and white) of one man hopscotching a fine line between verbal genius and psychological miswiring is Miller's own jewel, the work of a gifted filmmaker.
Miller has somehow, inadvertently by his own admission, managed to capture the essence of the human throng, in all its maddening, scintillating permutations. It's a tour unlike any you have ever taken.
Even if you have no interest in documentaries or the facade that is New York City, The Cruise transcends its artistic boundaries to becomes something strange and unique.
As much as Mr. Levitch's voice grates, you can't help but admire the zest for life of this heroically independent but impossibly self-centered crank.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Most of the credit for this successful effort goes to Miller, who simply pointed a camera at Levitch for hours and stayed out of the way. This laid-back direction helps Miller avoid that self-conscious "documentary" seriousness, edgy shots and editing that tells the audience that this is all so very important. [18 Dec 1998, p.E3]
I get letters from people who would like to make a movie. My advice could be, find a subject like Speed Levitch and follow him around with a video camera. That's what Bennett Miller did--directing, producing and photographing The Cruise.
Because of the dominance of the central figure and the way in which The Cruise has been assembled, it functions more as a character study than a travelogue, and that makes for an engaging time in a darkened theater.
There is unquestionably enough lively material here to snare one's attention but, even at just 76 minutes, many will feel that this cruise has gone on plenty long enough.
The movie's strength is that it makes us want to know more about Levitch, and we pay attention as the tidbits are dropped -- that he's from a middle-class Jewish family in upstate New York, and that he did time in prison. The movie's flaw is that, having gained our attention, it fails to tell us what we want to know.
The Cruise is being hailed as a harbinger of a future in which indie film will be liberated by low-cost technology. If this is where we're going, I want off the bus.

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