Critic Reviews



Based on 32 critic reviews provided by
Creates a cinematic mosaic of American lives unprecedented in its range, balance, subtlety and even-handedness.
Washington Post
The scenes unfold with such unhurried delicacy, and the characters are so intriguing, you can ignore the editorial bluntness and savor the smaller, sweeter details.
Austin Chronicle
The dialogue is scattered with so many beautiful gems that conversations glitter.
Chicago Sun-Times
Sayles' film moves among a large population of characters with grace, humor and a forgiving irony.
Rolling Stone
You can feel the heat that ignites this gripping tale, and the humor and humanity that root it in feeling. Sayles knows how to use his social conscience: He lets it rip.
The A.V. Club
Unlike in similar past efforts, Sayles never finds a way to bring it all together. Individual moments of considerable impact alternate with stretches that go nowhere.
New York Magazine (Vulture)
The usual Sayles mix of torpor and talent prevails here.
Portland Oregonian
It's ambitious, sharply observed and spectacularly well-acted like so much of Sayles' canon. But it's also overstuffed and underdeveloped.
An attempt at an epic. Sayles assembles a big cast and creates a mosaic of interweaving characters and story lines. But the stories are bland, the connections are incidental and the dramatic payoff is nonexistent.
Sodden and glum, even in those moments where it's supposed to feel funny and light. It makes you feel trapped and flailing as the minutes tick by. If it encapsulates anything, it's the experience of drowning, not waving.

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