The Lottery
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"The Lottery" is a feature length documentary that explores the struggles and dreams of four families from Harlem and The Bronx in the months leading up to the lottery for Harlem Success Academy, one of the most successful charter schools in New York. The four families cast their lots in a high stakes draw, where only a small minority of children emerge with a chance at a better future.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 62%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"You look at all these beautiful kids, with all the potential in the world, and every expectation for a great life, and you know that at most one-sixth of them will come out of the room with a fighting chance. That shouldn't be."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"Charter schools, good or bad? That's the question raised by director Madeleine Sackler's timely but standard documentary The Lottery."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Although the movie has an extremely retrograde viewpoint, it is a must-see for those trying to understand the hype around charter schools."
‑ Louis Proyect,
"An eye-opening, provocative and heartfelt documentary that will inspire you to debate and discuss the issue of charter schools openly and intelligently."
‑ Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
"The film takes an effective, two-pronged approach to tell its enlightening tale."
‑ Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
"Advocacy to the point of propaganda."
‑ John Anderson, Variety
"An intriguing if uneven documentary..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Polemic plays on the heartstrings to bang the drum for charter schools, with drama against the teachers' union as the enemy."
‑ Nora Lee Mandel,
"Though infinitely classier -- and easier on the eyes -- than Cartel, the recent documentary exploring public education, this latest charter-school commercial is no less one-sided."
‑ Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
"Director Madeleine Sackler favors an agenda of advocacy over complexity, making The Lottery an effective, if unapologetically one-sided, piece of agitprop."
‑ Eric Hynes, Time Out New York
"The Lottery insufficiently dares a more probing documentary approach in addressing the crises surrounding inner-city education."
‑ Bill Weber, Slant Magazine
"An extraordinary expose' illustrating what a crying shame it is that the public schools in the inner cities have degenerated to the point that you have to rely on the luck of the draw for a decent education."
‑ Kam Williams, NewsBlaze
More reviews for The Lottery on Rotten Tomatoes

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