Critic Reviews

76

Metascore

Based on 15 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Dunn's elegant, full-length debut presents a frightening and powerful argument against the kind of reckless, profit-driven land development that not only threatens natural resources, but life itself.
100
Salon
One of the most extraordinary accomplishments in recent American nonfiction filmmaking. It hits hard as to facts, and opens its eyes to inexpressible mysteries. It strikes a clear moral and philosophical stance, and then -- as part of that philosophical stance, actually -- reveals its villain as a tragic and sympathetic figure.
90
Observing locally and thinking globally, Laura Dunn's astonishing debut doc feature The Unforeseen is the kind of transformative viewing experience that has made the current period a golden age for nonfiction film.
83
The A.V. Club
Although the parts of The Unforeseen dealing with the anti-development movement are pure go-team agitprop, Dunn lends the movie a lyrical cast by combining aerial shots of the transformed countryside with the voice of Wendell Berry, reading from his poem "Sabbaths."
80
Dunn does an incredible job of condensing this extremely complex battle into a story that is simple and understandable, as well as extremely compelling.
80
Village Voice
Making her first feature, Austin filmmaker Dunn no doubt included some unnecessary detours for star power's sake (like the inessential footage of Redford and Nelson). But it's ultimately the movie's glacial pace and willingness to let its mind and eye wander that produces its spiritual and intellectual heft--not to mention its atypical visual splendor.
75
Add The Unforeseen to the catalog of artfully produced nonfiction films that show how humans are screwing up the planet.
70
Hideously depressing but also enraging documentary.
60
There’s nothing wrong with Mr. Redford and his love of nature. But there’s something irritatingly softheaded about the generic, nostalgia-tinged blandishments that the film finally resorts to -- a Wendell Berry poem, a grizzled old farmer wielding a sickle -- in place of truly hard questions and solutions that may effect meaningful change. With the polar ice caps melting, I want more than poetry and blame. I want a plan.
50
The film's case against overdevelopment needs to be, and could be, aggressive, airtight. It should play to the unconverted. Instead, The Unforeseen gives us . . . poetry.

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