Hell and Back Again Reviews

  • You can feel just how jarring and stressful it must be for a soldier to go from the life-and-death adrenaline rush of war to the maddeningly slow world of rehabilitation and forced inactivity.

    Neil Genzlinger — New York Times

  • The film suggests that it doesn't really matter whether Harris ever gets back in uniform. He's forever carrying around a piece of unexploded ordnance in his head.

    Michael O'Sullivan — Washington Post

  • Dennis's film attempts something few documentaries have: to inhabit the psyche of its subject.

    Wesley Morris — Boston Globe

  • Working alone with a camera and his ingenuity, Dennis captured the surreality of firefights with an invisible enemy and the frustration of displaced civilians.

    Michelle Orange — Village Voice

  • As vital as the best war chronicles to come out in recent years, this is one every American ought to see.

    Elizabeth Weitzman — New York Daily News

  • In its closing scenes, "Hell and Back Again" builds to an emotional and stylistic power that we didn't see coming.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • Lays bare the truth of war - its hellish quality - with such power, you're not likely to look at this, or any other conflict, the same way again.

    Tirdad Derakhshani — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • Dennis refuses to push a political agenda down viewers' throats. But the message of his film -- a breathlessly paced look at the realities of war -- is clear: War and its aftermath are indeed hell.

    V.A. Musetto — New York Post

  • We're left to decide which wounds go the deepest, those from Afghanistan or those caused by the confusion and emotional barrages he continues to suffer in America.

    Linda Barnard — Toronto Star

  • Possibly the best war movie of the year

    Eric Kohn — indieWIRE

  • The combat sequences are almost distractingly beautiful.

    Sean Burns — Philadelphia Weekly

  • Hell and Back Again offers a potent documentary correlative to the narrative of The Hurt Locker.

    Gerald Peary — Boston Phoenix

  • Belies the misguided notion that a nonfiction effort on war's aftermath can't be artistically minded, and also can't somehow be as moving as (or even more so than) a scripted dramatic interpretation.

    Brent Simon — Shockya.com

  • An absorbing peek into the circumstances of people whose stories usually get filtered in movies.

    Kelly Vance — East Bay Express

  • A tough but deeply rewarding watch. Search it out.

    David Parkinson — Empire Magazine

  • The director has no intention of making a prefab antiwar statement. He simply wants to show us an experience, just as it happened, and let the chips fall where they may.

    Walter V. Addiego — San Francisco Chronicle

  • I can't recall a documentary shaped quite this way. Dennis handles it with integrity, and the effect is painful and deeply moving.

    Philip French — Observer [UK]

  • This pulls no punches.

    Peter Bradshaw

  • Flashbacks, overlapping sound and dynamic editing viscerally convey Harris' state of mind, leaving a bleak picture of the struggle to win the Afghani people's trust.

    Tom Dawson — Total Film

  • Dennis, a photojournalist, has produced a verite work of almost distracting beauty-a haunting quality in a film that operates in the apolitical mode of choice for recent combat docs, but is nevertheless inarguably about the cost of war.

    Alison Willmore — AV Club

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