What's the Matter with Kansas?
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What's the Matter with Kansas?
Filmmaker Joe Winston draws inspiration from author Thomas Frank's nonfiction best-seller of the same name to explore how the state once known for its radicalism has evolved into a bastion of conservatism. Pay a visit to the Kansas State Fair, and odds are you'll notice plenty of activity around the Kansans for Life booth. It's run by Angel Dillard, a die-hard Republican activist, and it's evolved to become one of the fair's hottest attractions. Angel is just one of the 6,000-member congregation at Immanuel Baptist Church, where Pastor Terry Fox encourages his followers to… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 60%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's condescending, it's vague, it's unfair and, ultimately, it's pointless."
‑ Kyle Smith, New York Post
"Funny? Scary? Entirely logical? It all depends on your point of view, of course, and What's the Matter With Kansas? isn't likely to move viewers one way or another."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"Unfocused, dry and boring. It's a squandered opportunity to extensively and compellingly tackle provocative political, social and moral issues plaguing America."
‑ Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
"A dull, scattershot doc about people who do NOT vote against their interests, since they consider social issues of greater import than economic ones."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve
"The most compelling thing about it is what it captures: a snapshot of America's ongoing and endless cultural war at a moment when things begin to shift."
‑ Pam Grady, Boxoffice Magazine
"The specific roots of a pervasive sense of disenfranchisement are barely described, as are strategies for liberals seeking to reclaim the state."
‑ Andy Webster, New York Times
"It's finally a very sad movie, because it speaks to the profound depths of the political division in this country."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"Not up to adequately framing the title's question, let alone answering it."
‑ Bill Weber, Slant Magazine
"Chicago-based documentarian Joe Winston makes a valiant effort to make Frank's perspectives work on screen."
‑ Dan Lybarger, eFilmCritic.com
"What's really special about the film is that Winston and Cohen manage to make real characters out of these folks."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Paradoxically, the movie feels dated in the sense that it pre-dates both the recession and Obama's campaign, yet prescient in illuminating a crisis that plagues us today."
‑ Michael Fox, Village Voice
"Every single person in this film is seen as themselves, is allowed to speak and seems to have a good heart. I've rarely seen a documentary quite like it. It has a point to make but no ax to grind."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Eludes deeper and larger questions. Such as lost elections, and their reasoning when God is not on their side. Nor the rising tide of racial and anti-immigrant strife fueling the Tea Party movement, whose unrecognized roots clearly reside in this doc."
‑ Prairie Miller, NewsBlaze
"Even-handedness is the film's strength and, paradoxically, its weakness."
‑ Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star
"The filmmakers do a good job of humanizing their conservative subjects but eventually the rigid mindset of these folks cancels out any common bond liberals might feel."
‑ Richard Knight, Windy City Times
More reviews for What's the Matter with Kansas? on Rotten Tomatoes