'Waste Land' Critic Reviews

100%
MovieWeb:   1 reviews
100%
Rotten Tomatoes:   68 reviews
  • Stephen Holden New York Times (Top Critic)
    80
    [An] inspiring documentary.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Philip French Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    Muniz is a gifted, modest and altogether delightful man, and his project is both aesthetically fascinating and philosophically stimulating.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Peter Bradshaw Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    80
    This is undoubtedly a bold raid into an unknown territory - both geographic and conceptual - that the prosperous classes prefer not to think about.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Stephanie Merry Washington Post (Top Critic)
    75
    "Waste Land" is a testament that things can go from good to bad in an instant. But they can also improve just as quickly.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Wesley Morris Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    75
    "Waste Land'' is just what the film's website says it is: "stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit.''
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Eric Hynes Village Voice (Top Critic)
    A fascinating look at the complex intersections of art and charity, reality and perception.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    75
    I do not mean to make their lives seem easy or pleasant. It is miserable work, even after they grow accustomed to the smell. But it is useful work, and I have been thinking much about the happiness to be found by work that is honest and valuable.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    88
    It's not a very good title, Waste Land - this isn't a bleak film, at all - but just about everything else in Lucy Walker's documentary works, and illuminates.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Mary Abbe Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    100
    "Waste Land" is a must-see PBS-style Cinderella story with true grit, a brilliant cast and an improbably big heart.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Peter Debruge Variety (Top Critic)
    One of the powers of great portraiture is its ability to make us wonder about the complete strangers captured within enigmatic works of art.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • V.A. Musetto New York Post (Top Critic)
    75
    Walker's breezy film turns Muniz into a folk hero. And who am I to argue?
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Eric Kohn indieWIRE (Top Critic)
    Despite Muniz's evident sincerity, the real star of the show is the artist and art -- not the struggles of his subjects. And that story, unlike "Pictures of Garbage" itself, is fairly second-rate.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Stephen Cole Globe and Mail (Top Critic)
    75
    It's sheer pleasure watching Muniz work -- seeing him seized by mad impulses of delight.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • John DeFore Hollywood Reporter (Top Critic)
    A joy to watch despite the abject poverty it contains.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Kevin Thomas Los Angeles Times (Top Critic)
    80
    That a beautiful film could be set in the world's largest garbage dump sounds like an oxymoron, but acclaimed documentarian Lucy Walker has pulled off precisely that feat in her profoundly moving "Waste Land."
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Jeffrey Overstreet Image
    84
    This conversion of garbage into humanitarian aid is just the beginning. Practical charity gives way to life-changing intimacy.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Simon Foster sbs.com.au
    The breadth of gratitude these catadores feel towards Muniz and the life-experience they undertake makes for an intelligent, emotional movie.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Dan Jardine Cinemania
    90
    Waste Land is a real treasure, the sort of heartwarming and life affirming study of people, lacking in both sentimentality and cynicism, that uplifts the audience and elevates the art form
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • National Post
    88
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Graham Young Birmingham Post
    80
    Waste Land fuses the design concepts behind two of the most high-profile animations of recent years, Rio and the Oscar-winning Wall-E, into an essay about how hard some people are prepared to work.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Robert W. Butler Kansas City Star
    75
    The result is a film that works on multiple levels, casting light on a worldwide problem while delivering a big jolt of human hope.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Henry Fitzherbert Daily Express
    80
    It's inspiring, humbling and beautifully made.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Sophie Ivan Film4
    70
    More self-conscious, subtle exploration than the dubious bleeding-heart PR stunt implied by its premise.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Derek Malcolm This is London
    80
    A well-made and often uplifting film that refuses to get angry yet still manages to point out that things aren't as they should be for a great many.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Matthew Turner ViewLondon
    80
    Well made and impressively structured, this is a heartwarming, genuinely inspirational and ultimately deeply moving film that has deservedly picked up an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary.
    Full Review » 4 years ago