Happy Valley
Happy Valley (2014)

In his newest film, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev (My Kid Could Paint That, The Tillman Story) takes audiences on a thought-provoking journey into the town of State College, the home of Penn State University, an area long known… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: April 7, 2015
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
88%
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User Score
81%

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Critic Score: 88% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Sober, even-handed, and quietly devastating, Happy Valley illuminates the wreckage of a tragedy while leaving viewers room to draw their own conclusions.

David Lewis
San Francisco Chronicle

It's not a groundbreaking thesis, but we still get a fascinating tour of a town that may never be the same again.

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

[A] thorough, thoughtful and disturbing documentary ...

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Bob Strauss
Los Angeles Daily News

Bar-Lev's cameras prowl the streets of State College, Penn. to not only expose the details of the crimes, but uncover a hero-worshiping, sometimes ferociously self-justifying, culture.

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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

The film could've benefited from another 15 or 20 minutes of detail and nuance. What's there, though, is strong, thoughtful and disturbing.

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Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly

The documentary offers a compelling overview of the case, but Bar-Lev spends too much time painting Paterno as a victim and scapegoat. That advocacy doesn't sit well.

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Todd Jorgenson
Cinemalogue.com

... manages to craft a mostly even-handed examination of hero worship, football fanaticism and the power of conviction in the court of public opinion.

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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture

Here it is, folks, in your face. Will you look or return to your own private Happy Valley?

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John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter

Less an investigation into or comprehensive summary of the Penn State sex-abuse scandal than a look at the feelings it elicited, Amir Bar-Lev's Happy Valley is more concerned with the phenomenon of team spirit than any single question of fact.

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Shawn Hazelett
Under the Radar

Happy Valley ... is less interested in assigning blame than using the scandal as a template to explore mob mentality and the perils of idol worship.

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