It's a near-masterwork of low-budget precision and improvisation, constructed and rehearsed over many months in collaboration with the actors and the entire Willets Point community. full review
In this clear-eyed, quietly absorbing film, director Ramin Bahrani opens up a wedge of Third World America that operates, all but invisibly, in plain sight. full review
Bahrani celebrates those who never give up, no matter how badly their dreams are shattered. full review
It's exciting watching Bahrani explore the possibilities of neo-realism to dramatize penury and disenfranchisement among the service-class in this country. full review
Beautifully observed, and beautifully acted by the novice thespian Polanco (culled from a New York City public school), Chop Shop is at once a heartbreaker and a story of hope and the American Dream. full review
The director has created a not-to-miss gem for the discriminating viewer. full review
Bahrani deftly walks a tightrope toward insight, never falling into safety nets of judgment or unearned sentiment. full review
Three shots into Rahmin Bahrani's Chop Shop, and you're already pulled into its world with an effortless economy and precision that leave you no doubt you're in the best of cinematic hands. full review
Iranian-American filmmaker Ramin Bahrani showed great compassion for New York's underclass with his first feature, Man Push Cart, and his storytelling skill has only sharpened with this riveting followup. full review
It's already been compared to Brazilian classics City of God and Pixote. But Chop Shop is both more hopeful and less punishing than those films, in no small measure owing to the synergy between first-time actors Polanco and Gonzales. full review
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. full review
Chop Shop is concerned principally with the kind of hard, marginal labor that more comfortable city dwellers rarely notice.
[Rahman] 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. full review
Ramin Bahrani's Chop Shop is a low-budget verite triumph. full review
Chop Shop depicts a Third World existence in a land of supposedly unlimited opportunity. full review
[A] penetrating portrait of life on the outskirts of New York.