"One of the best documentaries of the year." Critic's Choice.
- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"An extraordinary documentary...[a] fearless exploration of complexity in a world drawn to oversimplified depictions of events and problems, heroes and villains."
- Andrew Revkin, The New York Times
"A true life outlaw tale, as stirring as it is tragic, the story of the Earth Liberation Front offers a DeLillo-flavored draught of high-proof righteous excitement."
- Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
"A compelling doc about radical environmentalism... informative, compelling."
- Justin Lowe, Hollywood Reporter
"It's a wildly successful and engaging documentary."
- Jon Reiss, NY Press
"This summer's most urgent documentary.... The vibe alternates between an early Clash concert and a dark, dark twist on Ocean's 11."
- Abe Streep, Outside Magazine
"The film sweeps us up like a thriller... a fantastic moral ambivalence."
- Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"This is a sterling example of journalistic documentary, clearer, fairer and more engrossing than any of the sensationalistic newspaper or magazine stories about the ELF."
- Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com
Selected as one of John Waters' Top Ten Films of the Year
- John Waters, Art Forum
"An intriguing and important film... As director Marshall Curry said at his Sundance post-screening Q&A: "The film has a point of view, but a grown-up point of view that acknowledges the complexity of the situation."
- Stewart Nusbaumer, Filmmaker Magazine
"Compelling, adroitly edited portrait of the radical group." Critics' Pick
- New York Magazine
"A gripping doc about eco-terrorism."
-- Scott Feinberg, Hollywood Reporter
"Very thoughtful and articluate... pushing past the familiar activists-vs-the-corporate-state paradigm to hear from those whose sympathies lie on both sides."
-- Steven Boone, Chicago Sun Times
"A brilliant success, evoking a wide range of emotions and provoking viewers to challenge their own assumptions."
-- Tom Jacobs, Miller-McCune
"Power mix of violent confrontation between police and activists, ultimately propels the film into a call for action and change."
-- Thomas Logoreci, Dox Magazine
"The film's sobriety and carefully balanced arguments make it an exemplary piece."
- Stephen Holden, New York Times
"What this and Curry's other films say about their subjects... yields a remarkable clarity about the perils of modern idealism."
- S.T. Vanairsdale, Movieline
"A powerful and mesmerizing documentary."
- David Seideman, Audubon Magazine
"5-stars: [The] filmmakers raise questions and stir public debate about the definition of terrorism, especially in the post 9/11 security environment...very compelling. "
- Jennifer Merin, About.com Documentaries
"By turns elegiac, tender, funny and horrifying, it is a portrait of McGowan that doubles as a complex philosophical argument about the benefits and dangers of violent social protest. "
- Matt Zoller Seitz, Salon.com
"If a Tree Falls' is nothing if not troubling, complicated and thought-provoking... [the film] provided a common text from which everybody — radical or moderate, liberal or conservative — was able to work, interpret, converse. This common ground paired with the power of narrative establishes a strong ally for the environmental community and a bridge across divided ideologies and hopes."
- Dylan Walsh, Yale Daily News
"Engrossing... A classic story of radicalization."
- Nancy DeWolf Smith, Wall Street Journal
"Curry has crafted something complex and worthy of attention, a film that asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism."
- Pamela Biery, Orion Magazine
A "remarkable and moving film... The environmental documentary genre can be ripe for groupthink and complacency, and occasionally I find myself refreshed to see a doc that forces viewers to challenge their own preconceptions and opinions. If a Tree Falls, currently playing in theaters is one such film."
- Keith Goetzman, Utne Reader
It "will almost certainly factor into this year's best documentary Oscar race. [It] compels audience members to think about (or re-think) a number of complex situations and uncomfortable questions... It's a fascinating film."
- Scott Feinberg, ScottFeinberg.com
"A fascinating, evenhanded look at the ELF."
- Hal Bernton, Seattle Times
"A truly fascinating documentary that unravels the complex morality of taking on a cause, this movie is the perfect starting point for what we can only hope is a continuing discussion of how to care for the planet."
- Katherine Monk, Vancouver Sun
"The gripping documentary 'If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front' offers an intimate look at the radical environmental group... Packs... visceral punch."
-Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
"One of the more personal and intimate environmental docs in recent memory.... It's a powerful tale; one guaranteed to generate heated discussion."
- Steve Ramos, Box Office Magazine
"A stunning look at one of the most fascinating groups of people in the modern world. It pulls no punches, and it provides no easy outs." Editors Choice
- Alex Katz, Flixist
"Meticulously researched, thought-provoking, balanced and humane new doc... A riveting cat-and-mouse game with revealing comments from felines and rodents alike."
- David Lamble, The Bay Area Reporter
"A breath of fresh air, a documentary about a volatile subject matter that has the tenor of serious journalism."
- Shawn Levy, The Oregonian
"Manages to not only provide extraordinary insight into this formerly clandestine group, but illuminates the group's actions without excusing them."
- Neal Morris, Independent Weekly
"A gimlet-eyed glimpse into the roots of terrorism and the politics behind its prosecution… Curry provides a concise, temperate but penetrating history of how the ELF came to be... the footage Curry collects has to be seen to be believed...Curry lays out the strategies of the ELF with precision and clarity, abetted by handsome animation and terrific ancillary players."
- John Anderson, Variety
[The film] "begins with a small story and then over time, with persistence and a determination to explore all sides of a narrative, gains increasing complexity and strength in its insistence to raise questions and provoke thought."
- Sundance Film Festival Jury, on presenting "Best Documentary Editing" award
"An infuriating and tear-jerking examination of the Earth Liberation Front."
- Karina Longworth, LA Weekly
"Engaging... The film addresses thorny issues surrounding deforestation, dissent and civil (and uncivil) disobedience in the post-9/11 era."
- Anthony Kaufman, The Wall Street Journal online
"This film is so dense, packed, and well-crafted that it demands multiple viewings."
- Matthew Groves, Alternative Chronicle
"A great film for anyone who likes to think about some of the most important, difficult issues of our time."
- Rick Marianetti, Examiner.com
"It's simple, to the point, and effective… It will definitely make you think… Curry deserves credit for working so steadfastly to share multiple points of view. He's fascinated by the inner workings of the law, the contradictions of principles and the factors that drive people to do things they'd otherwise never do."
- Jeremy Matthews, Moving Pictures Network
"It's like '25th Hour' meets 'The Weather Underground.' We appreciated [the filmmaker's] immersion in the project, his access to the subject and his even-handedness in presenting both sides of the story."
- Nashville Film Festival Jury, on presenting the Best Documentary Award
"ELF Fire at Superior Lumber"
Photo credit: Roy Milburn