Directed by Steven Caple Jr.
Four teenage boys devote their summer to escaping the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, by pursuing a dream life of professional skateboarding. But when they get caught in the web of the local queenpin, their motley brotherhood is tested, threatening to make this summer their last.
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★★★★ review by Josh Rosenthal on Letterboxd
a 95-minute skateboarding video mixed in with themes of abandonment and drug dealing, and somehow, it works?
the ending drags and almost brings the whole movie down, but for the most part, The Land is a fantastic indie movie about the kids that get left behind in poor cities, and just want to get money and get out. the cinematography is amazing, pacing through the dilapidated buildings and vacant schools like this was home to the camera. most of the acting is pretty good, considering that almost the entire cast consists of teenagers. plot-wise, it's pretty simple, but it's that aspect that makes it so much more involving. besides the ending, I thought The Land was a fantastic indie film, with a great soundtrack and cinematography, and I hope more people see it soon.
★★★½ review by Raul Marques on Letterboxd
Cleveland's Dope. With the tone shifting accordingly, but falling short of being as memorable or competent due to, mainly, a poor narrative structure, despite having a bit more than just 'good intentions'. Here the movie proves most of its values on the quieter moments, displaying some exquisite "world-building" skills by the director on his first feature. His showy camera movements and compositions don't always compliment the story that positively, however when they do, particularly on a cathartic sequence near the end, it's clear that there might be a bright future ahead of him. The relatively high-profile soundtrack help to deliver the last drop of both polishment and sentiment it needed to be successful emotionally and commercially, with an Erykah Badu/Nas collaboration and, specially, J. Cole's "Be Free" being perfectly well placed to tug on the heart strings.
★★★★ review by Brandon Hart on Letterboxd
(Seen at SIFF 2016)
Been bouncing back and forth between 3.5 and 4 since it ended (likely staying at 4). Steven Caple Jr's directorial debut is an often dreamlike, empathetic, and observant exploration of crime's inevitability below the poverty line. There it stands in the way of dreams, innocence, and human relationships, but the isolation it leads to is the scariest result for The Land's leads. Familiar? Totally and wholeheartedly, but its neighboring (and brilliant) visual language prevents that from being a negative. Helps that Caple Jr's direction is entrancing beyond belief.
★★★½ review by Lorenzo Gianni on Letterboxd
Even if the plot is very predictable and unoriginal the way the director presented it and the performances keep the film interesting and entertaining.
Curious to see what he will do in creed 2.
★★★½ review by Zachary Turner on Letterboxd
It was good until J. Cole started playing
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