Gates of Heaven
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Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris' debut immediately attracted acclaim for its straight-faced treatment of a subject practically begging for ridicule. When the Foothill Memorial Gardens pet cemetery, located north of San Francisco, closed (its land was sold for a housing project), the 450 animals interred there had to be moved to Bubbling Well Memorial Park in nearby Napa. Morris saw the transfer as an opportunity to explore the world of pet owners who are so devoted that they see nothing wrong with giving their animals a full dose of the last rites. His simple technique was to film his… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"What is missing is the mediation of an artistic sensibility."
‑ Tom Buckley, New York Times
"Viewed through Errol Morris' blank-gaze lens, it suggests Kubrick discovering Mark Twain"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Morris' assured feature debut is simultaneously touching and wierd."
‑ Dan Lybarger, Nitrate Online
"More to it than I initially gave it credit for."
‑ Michael W. Phillips, Jr., Goatdog's Movies
"They say you can make a great documentary about almost anything, if only you see it well enough and truly, and this film proves it."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"An unforgettable mood piece about human loneliness."
‑ Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com
"A bizarrely entertaining eye-opening look at pet cemeteries."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"[P]eople watching on the weirdest plane of humanity."
‑ Annette Cardwell, Filmcritic.com
"Technically, it's a movie about pet cemeteries, but specifically it's a movie about life and death and everything in-between."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Errol Morris first film is a window on his early promise as a turly great filmmaker."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"Gates of Heaven is a documentary with subject and no argument, and is nonetheless deeply, deeply ruminative."
‑ Rumsey Taylor, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"It is Morris' selection of people and their statements that make Gates of Heaven required viewing for documentary aficionados."
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
More reviews for Gates of Heaven on Rotten Tomatoes