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Based on 10 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 60
    Joe Neumaier New York Daily News

    Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart’s doc, exec-produced by Steve Buscemi and Stanley Tucci, is one more sad, serious eulogy for a way of life. show more

  • 70
    Frank Scheck The Hollywood Reporter

    Using the plight of the hapless team and its troubled young players as a microcosm of American society in decline, Medora, inevitably bound to be compared to the more ambitious and accomplished Hoop Dreams, nonetheless scores some winning points in powerful fashion. show more

  • 38
    Slant Magazine

    It feels as if it set out to be an inspirational tale about underdogs beating the odds, but instead of giving color to the story, the filmmakers presented it with black-and-white ideas. show more

  • 60
    Eric Hynes Time Out New York

    Though it’s culled from 600 hours of footage, Medora feels thin in terms of memorable imagery, and bounces a little too hastily between scenes. But it’s utterly impossible not to pull for these boys, or for a film that sees them as complex individuals rather than sociological evidence. show more

  • 60
    Scott Tobias The Dissolve

    As in Hoop Dreams, troubles at home raise the stakes hugely on the court, though the dream here is far more modest: to slake their thirst for just one victory, and to know, for once, what winning feels like. Their pursuit of this elusive goal gives Medora a strong narrative through-line, but Cohn and Rothbart cling to it too fervently. show more

  • 67
    Kevin Jagernauth The Playlist

    It may not strike the political notes it wants to hit completely, and may fall just short of the impact it would like to achieve, but Medora provides a sweet, small tale of survival, not just of a high school basketball team, but of a town trying not to get eaten up by supposed progress. show more

  • 100
    Alan Scherstuhl Village Voice

    This stellar, incisive slice-of-life doc centers on the kind of crowd-pleasing competition story that lures in audiences and then lays bare heartsick truths about small-town America today. show more

  • 70
    Jeannette Catsoulis The New York Times

    A mournful Midwestern ballad devoid of grace notes. show more

  • 70
    Joe Leydon Variety

    Filmmakers Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart uncover and illuminate a strain of stoic resilience that could be the last best defense against bottomless despair. Unfortunately, as Medora repeatedly suggests, that invaluable resource may not be inexhaustible. show more

  • 50
    Gary Goldstein Los Angeles Times

    Honest and unadorned though the film may be, it's ultimately just not that involving. show more

similar movies

  • Something to Cheer About (2002)

  • Hoop Dreams (1994)

  • The Heart of the Game (2005)

  • On the Mat (2012)

  • Elevate (2011)

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