Radiant City
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Radiant City, which represents the first collaboration between documentarist Gary Burns and journalist Jim Brown, takes as its springboard thesis the idea that suburban life is quickly becoming the norm for families across North America. It thus carries viewers inside of the "suburban mystique" via a protracted dissection of a clan that resides in a planned community, the Moss family. The film specifically examines how the suburban landscape, with its prefab houses, playgrounds, schools, strip malls, and community activities, continues to shape and define the lives and perceptions of… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The faux-documentary aspect of Radiant City is a huge gamble that doesn't pay off."
‑ Noel Murray, AV Club
"[An] enlightening and disturbingly funny critique of North American suburban sprawl."
‑ Aaron Hillis, Village Voice
"A sardonic look at suburban sprawl in Calgary. With its wry surrealistic touches, this is a movie that makes you smile while it makes you think. Highly recommended"
‑ Louis Proyect, rec.arts.movies.reviews
"Irrefutable evidence that post modern suburbia is an unmitigated disaster which can't deliver on its seductive promise to deliver the good life to refugees from the big city."
‑ Kam Williams, NewsBlaze
"The pundits bring their considerable expertise to bear on out-of-control development that's on a reckless course of urban/ suburban destruction."
‑ S. James Wegg, Film Threat
"Suburban sprawl takes a well-deserved hit in Radiant City, a documentary by Canadian filmmaker Gary Burns and journalist Jim Brown."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Radiant City is a movie about communities that offer everything prospective citizens might want or need, save this: a human reason to live there."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
"a very well crafted and easy to watch movie"
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"[A] sublimely slippery, slightly surreal and not entirely 'just the facts, ma'am' documentary."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Radiant City is a fascinating 'thoughtumentary'"
‑ S. James Wegg, JWR
"Blending documentary elements and some dramatic material, Radiant City is an acerbic position paper on the cultural damage done by postwar architectural fads."
‑ Matt Zoller Seitz, New York Times
"Although this National Film Board-produced film is promoted as a documentary, it's really a combination of essay and drama about that favourite bugbear, suburbia."
‑ Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"Author James Howard Kunstler says the suburban landscape is "brutal" and "soul-draining," and it's hard to argue when the filmmakers show him sitting in a bike path "rest area," a little bench behind a chain-link fence with a view of the freeway."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"It acknowledges the lure of urban sprawl is as every bit as phony yet intoxicating as the tug of cinema itself."
‑ Kevin Williamson, Jam! Movies
"...successful as both a documentary on the suburbs and an intimate look at the ups and downs of an admittedly quirky nuclear family."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
More reviews for Radiant City on Rotten Tomatoes