Critics blast ‘Farmland’

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Farmland "Farmland" has all the ingredients of a winning film. From its award-winning director to its authentic cast, the movie should have been a breath of fresh, country air.

It’s been two weeks since the film made its national – albeit limited – debut. Despite earning glowing reviews among many audiences, these praises are silenced by vocal critics left panning both the movie and agricultural industry.

Here’s a look at just some of the criticism published online:

Quote from Review Critic/Site Rating

“’Farmland’ is essentially just masquerading as an actual documentary. In reality, it's a glossy corporate infomercial for American agribusiness.”

Godfrey Cheshire with RogerEbert.com

½ of 4 stars

“Smooth and folksy, it traffics in broad, unchallenged claims that serve a single purpose: to persuade us that the only thing wrong with today’s farming methods is our misinformed perception of them.”

Jeannette Catsoulis with The New York Times

30 of 100

“The slickly produced documentary Farmland often comes off like lobbyist propaganda, profusely extolling the virtues of the independent American farmer.”

Martin Tsai with the Los Angeles Times

30 of 100

The common thread for the majority of the reviews – attacking the film’s sponsor, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA). Click here to read more from RottenTomatoes.com.

This week, USFRA President Randy Krotz directly addressed criticism the group and film have received.

“Films are funded every day by organizations with an interest in the subject matter – your favorite Hollywood zombie blockbuster was funded by some organization, and so was the last issues-based documentary you watched. This is not new and not revolutionary – it’s merely a red herring to stop the conversation before it begins,” he said.

Krotz continued, adding that “whenever you try to change the conversation, you encounter pushback from those maintaining the status quo.”

Read Krotz’s full statement here.

Who are audiences listening to? If comments left on these online reviews are any indication, movie-goers are willing to give it a try for themselves.

“See the documentary anyway. Then make up your own mind. USFRA may have paid for it, but James Moll had free reign in production and he is no ‘Big Ag’ mouth piece. Will the reviewer’s opinion change when Moll is nominated for an Oscar?” one movie-goer questioned of Cheshire’s review.



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J.P.    
Phoenix, AZ  |  May, 19, 2014 at 01:53 PM

I'd like to know what kind of review these reviewers gave to "GMO OMG". That was paid for by a very large organic farming company and, while the production values were very slick and the film featured two darling little boys, it was full of misinformation! Obviously, telling the truth about something is not highly regarded by (already-brainwashed) movie reviewers.

Ron    
Wisconsin  |  May, 19, 2014 at 02:22 PM

I give the New York Times and the LA Times a ZERO out of 100 for covering any issue with fairness rather than a political bias. Who cares what these reviewers say? They, like most of their MSM breathren, cannnot be trusted to tell the truth.

IndianaJohn    
NW Indiana  |  May, 23, 2014 at 08:37 AM

Critics? Let them eat hunger. Hunger just might make some of them honest.


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