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Based on 14 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 75
    Walter Addiego San Francisco Chronicle

    Director Patrick Creadon, who in 2006 made the entertaining "Wordplay," about crossword fanatics, probably errs on the side of advocacy here. But give him credit for acknowledging that idealistic endeavors don't always pay off. show more

  • 75
    Tirdad Derakhshani Philadelphia Inquirer

    An inspiring, educational, highly enjoyable documentary. show more

  • 60
    Joe Neumaier New York Daily News

    This honest and engrossing film shows how ingenuity and spark can restore excitement in education. That goal needs every helping hand it can get. show more

  • 60
    John DeFore The Hollywood Reporter

    Creadon's doc benefits substantially from these kids, resulting in a film with modest commercial appeal that should have a healthy video afterlife with activism-minded students in college and graduate programs. show more

  • 75
    Loren King Boston Globe

    If this blend of community service, innovative teaching, and creative approach to design and construction sounds idealistic, the film’s final scenes deliver enough stress and sweat to show that idealism takes hard work, too. show more

  • 50
    Slant Magazine

    It isn't until the rushed conclusion when director Patrick Creadon shows the possibilities of what the documentary could have been. show more

  • 60
    Time Out New York

    Credit goes to Creadon for venturing beyond the classroom to look at how the teachers and students manage small victories despite limited resources. show more

  • 60
    Nick Schager The Dissolve

    Unfortunately, as with so many social-survey documentaries, the film’s macro view comes at the expense of any microcosmic depth. show more

  • 75
    Kevin Jagernauth The Playlist

    Less a polemic than a portrait, If You Build It celebrates the flinty spirit that spurs problem solving and creativity (sometimes at the same time) with people not dedicated to a cause, but to people. show more

  • 70
    Gary Goldstein Los Angeles Times

    The film proves not only a stirring look at education's potential to rally and invigorate but also a vital snapshot of contemporary rural America. show more

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