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Set during the 1930s, this film is the tale of a family of Black sharecroppers struggling to survive the Great Depression. After suffering months of poverty, the father steals in order to support his family. He is sent to jail, leaving the mother to care for the family and farm.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Director Martin Ritt soaks us in the heat, the beauty, the racism and the buzzing cicadas of Louisiana."
‑ Michael Booth, Denver Post
"It is one of the most compassionate and truthful of movies, and there's not a level where it doesn't succeed completely."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Affecting update of the coming-of-age classic."
‑ Nancy Davis Kho, Common Sense Media
"A very fine unpretentious, heartwarming and uplifting family drama about a Deep South black sharecropper family trying to survive during the Depression."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Ritt's film must respond to the needs of an entertainment industry, and in its desire to be uplifting, leaves its characters one-dimensional without ensuring that the one dimension is heroic."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"Painfully honest, unpretentious, and blessedly simple."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Honest and touching, Martin Ritt's Oscar-nominated Sounder, a Depression-era saga, does proud the American family and the American family movie genre."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A masterwork from director Martin Ritt. Movies are rarely this empathetic."
‑ Chuck Rudolph, Matinee Magazine
"If Sounder, an inteligent enough movie, avoids all the major pitfalls of its type, it also lacks the excitement that may have come from plumbing greater depths and discovering a few tougher, less accessible insights."
‑ Roger Greenspun, New York Times
"The family's solidarity in the face of intimidating odds -- poverty, racism, injustice -- gives the movie a humanistic, optimistic center."
‑ Dan Jardine, Cinemania
"Heartbreaking and intelligent."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Another fine example of Martin Ritt's earthy southern dramas"
‑ Dan Jardine, All Movie Guide
More reviews for Sounder on Rotten Tomatoes