Critic Reviews



Based on 27 critic reviews provided by
Minding the Gap is more than a celebration of skateboarding as a sport and a subculture. With infinite sensitivity, Mr. Liu delves into some of the most painful and intimate details of his friends’ lives and his own, and then layers his observations into a rich, devastating essay on race, class and manhood in 21st-century America.
A tour de force of documentary filmmaking, Minding the Gap is a lively, often beautifully shot film about a pit of hopelessness–from dead-end jobs to drunken arguments to bad decisions. This is modern day John Cassavetes with tattoos and punk music.
Minding the Gap starts out as one story, suggesting one set of character arcs, and then flows in unexpected directions and underlines new sets of themes, without ever feeling haphazard or ill-considered.
Village Voice
The film is filled with lengthy, sensuous skateboarding scenes, which feel meditative, therapeutic; we sense that these kids skated not because it was fun, but because it helped them to survive.
Liu creates an unforgettable film experience that will knock the wind out of you.
Minding the Gap, which is brilliantly edited by Liu and Joshua Altman, has a floating, grab-bag style that collapses the time frame into a kind of momentum-driven arc, but while the pieces are often bite-sized, and not always delineated by a year or person’s age, the collage has a distinctive chronological feel.
Combining first-rate skate video footage with a range of confessional moments, Minding the Gap is a warmhearted look at the difficulties of reckoning with the past while attempting to escape its clutches.
It generates a sense of personal immediacy that elevates Minding The Gap above the confines of mere portraiture; his presence facilitates (and sometimes hinders) honest admissions from his subjects.
There’s something inexplicably soothing about the wide shots of the boys rolling along, spiraling down the levels of a parking garage or swerving around city streets at sunset.
Slant Magazine
Zack and Keire's stunts are action scenes that are imbued with the gravity of the participants' youth, revelry, and need to prove themselves.

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