Chop Shop
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A street-smart orphan determined to make a better life for himself and his sixteen year-old sister spends his days working in an auto body repair shop in director Ramin Bahrani's gritty coming of age drama. Alejandro may be a young boy on the verge of adolescence, but his tough persona and driving ambition give the impression of a man twice his age. As with many street kids Alejandro has been forced to mature before his time. Now, in a disheveled junkyard on the outer edge of Queens, New York, one boy will learn what it means to become a man as he sets out to build a brighter future for… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"All these low-level criminal enterprises and idle dreams aren't happening in Mexico City or Kandahar; they're just outside Queens."
‑ Noel Murray, AV Club
"In this clear-eyed, quietly absorbing film, director Ramin Bahrani opens up a wedge of Third World America that operates, all but invisibly, in plain sight."
‑ Steven Winn, San Francisco Chronicle
"As much a well-rounded character study as it is an exposé on a certain segment of society on the fringes of American civilization."
‑ Jeffrey Chen, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"Capturing grungy Queens blocks on the cusp of change as if it's the Third World, where entrepreneurial boys aggressively, and heartbreakingly, take on adult responsibilities."
‑ Nora Lee Mandel, Film-Forward.com
"Skillfully evading bleakness and sentimentality, Chop Shop is a terrifically assured piece of filmmaking."
‑ Geoff Berkshire, Metromix.com
"It's a near-masterwork of low-budget precision and improvisation, constructed and rehearsed over many months in collaboration with the actors and the entire Willets Point community."
‑ Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com
"Bahrani celebrates those who never give up, no matter how badly their dreams are shattered."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"A film brimming with humanity. Gritty, smart, attentive and truthful."
‑ Dan Jardine, Apollo Guide
"What Chop Shop does well, is take us into America's hidden Third World for a bit of culture shock."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Ramin Bahrani's patient, perfectly-scripted vérité drama doesn't have many plot points, but we're so absorbed in their world that each upset leaves us frustrated and furious."
‑ Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly
"It's a sharp mixture of neorealist grit and lyricism."
‑ Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"It's exciting watching Bahrani explore the possibilities of neo-realism to dramatize penury and disenfranchisement among the service-class in this country."
‑ Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
"A film with an incredible sense of place, of space, of how they shape and guide and define us."
‑ Rob Humanick, Projection Booth
"The raw power of this unassuming snapshot would make Vittorio De Sica proud."
‑ Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Daily News
"Lean and gritty, the movie eschews false sentiment, but in Alejandro (Alejandro Polanco), a tough, resourceful 12-year-old who stares down reality and bounces back from his own miscalculations, the movie boasts an anti-hero who inspires hopes."
‑ Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun
More reviews for Chop Shop on Rotten Tomatoes

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