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The Interrupters

29interrupt-thumbstandard This powerful documentary follows CeaseFire, a Chicago-based group -- staffed by former gang members -- that's dedicated to wiping out urban violence. The organization treats violence like an infection and seeks to eradicate the root cause.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 3.8
NYT Critics' Pick
“The Interrupters," a documentary by Steve James, takes a look at a gutsy, activist component of the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention. Read the review
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 100%
Critics' score: 100   Audience score: 84   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

Ameena Matthews, Cobe Williams and Eddie Bocanegra used to instigate Chicago street violence. Now they live for nipping it in the bud, block by treacherous block. full review

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News

Where James's film excels is as direct experiential cinema -- without narration, onscreen interviews or acknowledgment of the presence of the camera -- it is an intensely dramatic window into a world. full review

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail

A sobering but not hopeless look at how the Windy City is attempting to turn around a rising tide of street shooting, through the work of a unique group called CeaseFire. full review

Peter Howell, Toronto Star

There's no doubt The Interrupters do some good; but there's also no doubt the problem they're facing is enormous. full review

Tom Long, Detroit News

Realistically inspiring and, thankfully, not overly dramatized. full review

Stephanie Merry, Washington Post

The immediacy and caprice of violence in "The Interrupters'' are just as strong as in nearly every documentary I've seen about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. full review

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe

Through understanding and fearlessness, this brave trio shows us, the world can be changed, tiny step by tiny step. full review

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

"The Interrupters" is an intense and chilling documentary about peacekeeping troops in a war zone. full review

Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle

In the end, statistics are of less moment to this movie than the case-by-case personal successes that, in some cases, are emotionally overwhelming. full review

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

Tense, moving, and, at times brain-draining. full review

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

A heartbreaking, empowering documentary about inner-city violence... full review

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

It tears at your heart with its depiction of the intractability of the problem. But it simultaneously insists, and makes you believe, that change is possible one person at a time. full review

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

James' Hoop Dreams has been spoken of with reverence and wonder for 17 years; now, he has an equal to its reputation. full review

James Rocchi, MSN Movies

The Interrupters, a documentary about an initiative to stop urban violence in Chicago, may be the most necessary film you'll see this year. full review

Dana Stevens, Slate

In a documentary career defined by fierce commitment to his subjects, Steve James delivers his most ambitious project yet in The Interrupters. full review

Peter Debruge, Variety

Steve James' arresting documentary could benefit even more from a multi-part television treatment. full review

John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter

Searing in its depiction of at-risk children in poor communities, the film is also the bracing, life-affirming story of residents who are beginning to reclaim their streets, one corner at a time. full review

Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader

It is difficult to imagine the effort, day after day for a year, of following this laborious, heroic and so often fruitless volunteer work. full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Once again, James' trustworthy work demonstrates the power of paying attention. full review

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

James's approach is not analytical but emotional; his depiction of people bearing inextinguishable pain is empathetic and powerful... full review

Richard Brody, New Yorker
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  • Release Year: 2011
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Runtime: 125 min
  • Available From: Jul 02, 2013
  • Queued by: 375 people
Directed By
Steve James
Cast
Ameena Matthews, Eddie Bocanegra, Gary Slutkin, Tio Hardiman, Ricardo "Cobe" Williams
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