Critic Reviews

82

Metascore

Based on 11 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Premiere
Masterfully put together.
90
Among the most enraging (documentaries) I've ever seen, and while it's fine and heartfelt and I commend it to those of you with strong constitutions, it is the film that has finally broken me.
90
An undeniably shattering story, if forgivably shaky in its impassioned, therapeutic unfolding.
83
You can't help getting emotionally involved, and as the central outrage -- a case of judicial negligence that would seem unbelievable in a work of fiction -- plays out, you feel the pain and anger that Bagby's family and friends experienced. Then the story takes a final, horrible twist that's almost too much to endure.
80
Village Voice
Kuenne lovingly assembles home-movie footage and new interviews, while deftly borrowing a narrative trick from fiction--the plot twist--to create a true-crime story so gripping, devastating, and ultimately unforgettable that it easily trumps any thriller Hollywood has to offer this year.
80
Without becoming a screed for victims' rights, the riveting film shows how in the face of terrible events a grieving parent is galvanized into activism.
80
It is impossible not to be fired up by Kurt Kuenne's incendiary cri de coeur, Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father.
75
A gut-wrenching experience.
67
The facts are so awful that Dear Zacharycan be forgiven much of its antsiness--as a memorial, as a condolence to Bagby’s parents (who became activists for judicial reform in their late son's honor), and as a howl of grief.
50
Variety
The way Kuenne presents the material, with an aggressive style that lingers less than a second on most shots, it's impossible not to feel emotionally exhausted.

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