Pick a random title Detropia

2012 3.6/5 NR SuperHD 86 minutes

As the focus of this sobering documentary, the decline of Detroit also reflects the nation's larger failure to keep up in a modern global economy.

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Directed by Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady

Documentaries, Historical Documentaries, Social & Cultural Docs

Language: English

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NYT Review: Moody Shots of Detroit’s Urban Decay

In the documentary “Detropia,” residents lament their city’s plight and artists seek real estate bargains. — Jeannette Catsoulis Read the review

Rotten Tomatoes® Scores
  85%   63%
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

A fascinating portrait of a 21st-century post-industrial hellscape.

Barbara VanDenburgh, Arizona Republic, 2012-11-01


Detropia's filmmakers stay out of the picture, hanging back to allow the viewer to absorb the meaning of Detroit's fate. It is even more complex than we thought.

Inga Saffron, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2012-11-01


A startling, haunting documentary about a once-great city, "Detropia" is all but a eulogy for Detroit.

Tom Keogh, Seattle Times, 2012-10-18


Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing, Oscar-nominated for their earlier Jesus Camp, aim a compassionate and artful lens in their new documentary Detropia, finding signs of life in the ruined city.

Peter Howell, Toronto Star, 2012-10-04


City services are shutting down, schools are closing, houses are being demo'd by the thousands - like lights being turned out one by one, "Detropia" powerfully captures a city fighting not to go dark.

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, 2012-10-04


Just as the film finds an aesthetic in its dilapidated setting, the city's residents find hope in a desperate place, a place that once represented hope itself.

John Anderson, Newsday, 2012-09-27


The movie is heavy on statistics (all of them grim), yet what lingers is an operatic sense of tragedy.

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, 2012-09-21


Via beautiful cinematography, the film wanders the city, contrasting a new automaker's towers with abandoned hotels, derelict theaters, ruined houses and people walking through the snow down the middle of streets because there's no traffic.

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, 2012-09-20


Grady and Ewing are exceptionally skilled and sensitive visual storytellers, adroit at recognizing decisive moments and smart enough to let viewers make of them what they will.

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 2012-09-14


"Detropia" offers up a mirror to the country: This is what the future may look like. Now, what do you want to do about it?

Tom Long, Detroit News, 2012-09-14


This documentary film, about the deconstruction of a great American city, is surprisingly lyrical and often very moving.

David Denby, New Yorker, 2012-09-10


Moving from union hall to town hall, from brutal salary negotiations to contentious plans to create urban farms out of concrete wasteland, the film listens and moves on.

Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, 2012-09-06


What the movie captures overall looks like a scene from a sci-fi, postapocalyptic nightmare.

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News, 2012-09-06


At times, as Ewing and Grady's cameras prowl its empty streets, the city seems like the world's largest ghost town.

Sam Adams, AV Club, 2012-09-06


Imagine if Frederick Wiseman and David Lynch had a bastard child, and you'll get a sense of the movie's off-kilter aesthetic, a potent and pointed mix of firsthand observation and surreal flights of fancy.

Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York, 2012-09-04


Beautifully composed and purposefully edited to a haunting electronic score ...

Karina Longworth, Village Voice, 2012-09-04


A potent snapshot of a potential future for many American cities.

Dennis Harvey, Variety, 2012-01-30


Artfully - perhaps too artfully - illustrates the transformation of the Motor City from a middle-class utopia to an urban nightmare of blight, crime and fleeing residents.

David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle, 2012-09-28


"Detropia" feels somewhere between loose (which is good) and aimless (which isn't).

Mark Feeney, Boston Globe, 2012-09-20


Doc about Detroit's state of abandonment offers snapshots and sounds but little new information.

John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter, 2012-01-24