(2007)

Critic Reviews

83

Metascore

Based on 20 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Now we have an American film with the raw power of “City of God” or “Pixote,” a film that does something unexpected, and inspired, and brave.
90
Salon.com
Announces the arrival of a director radically out of step with the dominant conventions of American moviemaking, one who blends a social-realist vision and a passion for cinematic poetry.
83
The A.V. Club
Though Chop Shop is an American film, it feels more like an Iranian movie or the Dardenne Brothers’ "Rosetta"; Bahrani introduces something like a plot point in the late-going, but he mostly focuses, to riveting effect, on how his young hero hustles and claws through everyday life.
80
The Hollywood Reporter
Iranian-American filmmaker Ramin Bahrani has followed up his well-received Man Push Cart with another penetrating portrait of life on the outskirts of New York.
80
Bahrani’s concentration is close to supernatural as he tracks the young, prepubescent Ale (Alejandro Polanco) from job to soul-numbing job, some legal, some extralegal, to the point where you’re forced to suspend altogether your moral judgments and watch with a mixture of pain and awe.
80
Village Voice
Authentic as all this feels (and smells, and tastes), Chop Shop gives off a heightened sense of reality, a faintly idealized atmosphere akin to the Lower East Side milieu of "Raising Victor Vargas," a close relative in the New York branch of neo-neorealism.
80
There is nonetheless a lyricism at its heart, an unsentimental, soulful appreciation of the grace that resides in even the meanest struggle for survival.
75
Bahrani's unsentimental film is perhaps most interesting as a look at a colorful, little-known world that has recently been targeted for urban renewal.
70
Ultimately, the pic will be noted and remembered not for any inherent drama or analysis but for its simply having so thoroughly documented a strange place most people have never seen and never knew existed.
67
As he did in his striking 2005 first feature film, "Man Push Cart," about a Pakistani street vendor in New York, perceptive indie filmmaker Ramin Bahrani looks at what others overlook and finds drama in everyday details.

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