The Retrieval
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
1864: as war ravages the nation, on the outskirts of the Civil War business as usual continues for slave-owners and traders. THE RETRIEVAL follows Will, a fatherless 13 year-old boy, who survives by working with a white bounty hunter gang who sends him to earn the trust of runaway slaves and wanted freedmen in order to lure them back to the South. On a dangerous mission into the free North to find Nate, a fugitive freedman, things go wrong, and Will and Nate find themselves alone and on the run. As the bond between them unexpectedly grows, Will becomes consumed by conflicting emotions as he… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The Retrieval's potency transcends its scope. It shows you, in microcosm, the sacrifices that forge the conscience not only of a boy, but of a nation."
‑ Michael Sragow, Orange County Register
"The movie's flaws are not missteps, but steps not taken."
‑ Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club
"It's not a coming-of-age movie, and it's not a slavery movie. Nor is 'The Retrieval' a Civil War movie."
‑ Linda Cook, Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
"It's no 12 Years a Slave but this is you how make a good film on a small budget"
‑ Marty Mapes, Movie Habit
"Ambitious as all get out, The Retrieval is an indie film production that belies its small budget."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
""The Retrieval" comes at you like a haunting slip of a memory, one that writer-director Chris Eska retrieves from a mostly forgotten era in unforgettable ways."
‑ Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times
"Low-budget period indies rarely inhabit their world as convincingly as does this drama, which is set in the South in 1864."
‑ Farran Smith Nehme, New York Post
"... less a Civil War picture than a road movie and a coming-of-age tale."
‑ Sarah Boslaugh, Playback:stl
"Has guilt and cooperation, self-interest and generosity, and a moving demonstration of the rite of passage that is considering the cowardly path and choosing otherwise."
‑ Matt Pais, RedEye
"At its heart, it's a story of journey, as the three central characters traverse the land and are only tangentially affected by the distant cannon fire of the Civil War."
‑ Brad Keefe, Columbus Alive
"It is indeed a beautiful film, but with each horizon tinged with sadness. If it was an Instagram filter, it would probably be called melancholy or something."
‑ Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
"A tough, tender little movie, "The Retrieval" tells a story of divided souls wandering a divided land."
‑ Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"Like the subject of a well-told proverb, Will is forced to learn about loyalty and trust while he navigates the dense moral grayness between society's definitions of right and wrong."
‑ Don Simpson, Film Threat
"With a relatively small budget, [director Chris Eska] vividly re-creates the rural South during the Civil War and tells a compelling story of honor and betrayal involving three African-American men."
‑ Charles Ealy, Austin American-Statesman
"Despite its plentiful achievements, The Retrieval hews too closely to familiar coming-of-age tropes and demonstrates a frustrating reluctance to be its own film."
‑ Steven Mears, Film Comment Magazine
More reviews for The Retrieval on Rotten Tomatoes