Rich Hill movie poster

The Fourth of July fireworks display that caps off this unblinking, intimate poor-kids-in-the-heartland documentary can be viewed in a couple of ways. You can see the younguns staring open-mouthed at the pretty explosions while chants of "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" sound in the background and think, "Brutal. How can folks cheer for a country so full of misery and failure?" Or you can dig past that reaction and marvel that these kids, these victims of crime and circumstance and their own frustrated choices, are at the display at all. Rich Hill is full of such scenes: one moment, you're wincing; the next, you're shaking your head in sympathy. The film follows three boys: Andrew has had to move somewhere around 20 times; he figures God is busy with other people at the moment, but he keeps his chin up and his body hard. Harley's mom is in prison for especially heartbreaking reasons. And Appachey is a doughy ball of medicated rage who could probably use a father. 2014.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.


monaghan Aug. 28, 2014 @ 11:22 p.m.

I read someplace that this film was a Sundance audience favorite. For those looking forward to a night out at the movies, I would warn them against this relentlessly depressing documentary. For some inexplicable reason contrary to the reality depicted, there was neither murder nor suicide in the story. I experienced "Rich Hill" as if I were being hammered into the ground with a gigantic mallet. "Rich Hill," by the way, is the real name of a town of 1,300 souls in rural Missouri, a locale I wouldn't sugar-coat with the term "heartland." Life is short and there must be better uses for grants and kickstarter funds than this project. Not three stars. Just brutal.

Also, yesterday it was at Landmark La Jolla Village.


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