It’s a story about the invisible fault lines of inequality, the moral compromises demanded by the American Dream, and the very practical ways in which remembering the past can be the only legitimate defense against the social forces that keep trying to repackage it as a vision of the future.
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An unvarnished family snapshot that traces the seeds from which the artist evolved and the tough lessons about life’s unfairness that helped shape his character, this is a refreshingly understated drama whose gentleness makes it all the more bittersweet.
It’s a sensitive, sweet, frequently heartbreaking trip through deeply personal history, but there’s no getting round the fact that Gray had what most might consider a fairly typical childhood.
A coming-of-age drama that feels both tenderly observed and acutely, rigorously pessimistic about its moment, as well as ours.
The movie ends with a rebel gesture that feels too much like…a gesture. It’s the perfect sign-off for a drama that cares, but maybe not enough to see that this kind of caring actually became part of the problem
Gray has given us tough, sinewy and memorable New York movies in the past such as The Yards and We Own the Night, but this is weighed down with a sentimental and self-regarding staginess.
For all the film’s roiling action, its inner life is in little grace notes that open enormous vistas of time.
Armageddon Time is a damning moral drama that is in thoughtful dialogue with complex matters of race and class.
Wistfully looking back on the past with a mix of affection for those we have lost, a melancholy yearning for the more tender age of innocence, and anxiety and regret for our trespasses, Gray’s stripped-down drama is a clear-eyed and emotionally intelligent work of great empathy.
Exceedingly thoughtful and self-critical rather than lazily nostalgic, this well-acted coming-of-age tale can sometimes be predictable and muddled, but is steeped in the filmmaker’s sorrow for not recognising the ways in which he and those he loved contributed to an inequitable society that shows no signs of becoming less stratified.