Liberty Kid
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Director Ilya Chaiken explores the lives of Tico and Derrick, two friends and former Statue of Liberty employees who lost their jobs in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Tico is a quick-tempered youth who responds to his unemployment dilemma by dabbling in petty street crime and half-baked scams. Meanwhile, Tico's friend Derrick becomes convinced that the only means of providing for his family is to finally give in to the persistent Army recruiters who have been hounding him for months. As the situation begins to get desperate and neither of… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"[Director] Chaiken has a keen eye and ear for street-level realism and an evident love of the city's as-yet-ungentrified fringes."
‑ , Los Angeles Times
"The strong performances and Chaiken's vivid NYC locations, lend the film unexpected resonance."
‑ Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly
"almost anthropological in its careful attention to colorful Brooklyn detail"
‑ Don Willmott, Filmcritic.com
"For all its good intentions, Liberty Kid ultimately disappoints."
‑ Bruce Feld, Film Journal International
"There is no shortage of films about the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but there is a lack of good ones. The low-budget indie Liberty Kid, produced by downtown auteur Larry Fessenden, is one of those that succeeds."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Even though Liberty Kid is a small film, much of it is deeply poignant; it enhances our compassion for all the ghosts of Sept. 11."
‑ Stephen Farber, Hollywood Reporter
"The effects of Derrick's wars -- multiple, low-key, endless -- were in motion long before he went to Afghanistan."
‑ Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters
"Unanswered questions about Derrick's kids and Spanish-speaking mother abound, and their all-too-infrequent interactions point to a hard-knuckled realism about post-9/11 New York that begs to be seen."
‑ Paul Schrodt, Slant Magazine
"Evident throughout is Chaiken's ability to patiently build a scene without fanfare or artifice."
‑ Ronnie Scheib, Variety
"Chaiken's subtle narrative touch, along with the exceptionally strong performances of leads Al Thompson and Kareem Savinon, gives this one a rare emotional pull."
‑ , New York Magazine
"As volatile as the subject matter is here, Liberty Kid is shockingly subtle. Massive aspects about the relationship between Tico and Derrick are only inferred and the performances of the leads are really quite good."
‑ Sara Maria Vizcarrondo, Boxoffice Magazine
"Chaiken's focus drives home the fact that collateral damage comes in many forms and marginal lives are easily derailed."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for Liberty Kid on Rotten Tomatoes