What the Critics Are Saying

Man sits on folding chair in the street in Jackson HeightsStill from IN JACKSON HEIGHTS


"A thrilling, transporting love letter from Frederick Wiseman to New York and its multi-everything glory… A movingly principled, political look at a dynamic neighborhood… An epic of a city, its people and the democratic process… By the time fireworks are soaring, your heart is, too."

–Manohla Dargis, The New York Times 


"Among Mr. Wiseman’s masterpieces. An immersive celebration of democracy. Under Mr. Wiseman’s watchful, empathetic eye, the ordinary rises to the level of poetry."

–A.O. Scott, The New York Times 


"About the very stuff of life. Wiseman (who recorded the sound himself) and cinematographer John Davey find a splendidly simple visual tope to lend the speech of individuals a public and collective identity. A loving depiction of people who pursue (the American Dream) despite mighty obstacles. The film meticulously, intellectually, allusively, yet ardently shows a crucial aspect of American experience, a working-out on film of the American democratic idea."

–Richard Brody, The New Yorker 


"A perfectly panoramic portrait of the new America. It’s a feel-good movie…about America being what it’s supposed to be. Wryly funny…most of the film is set within a heady ethnic mélange, where all the food looks delicious and the sense of energy and intelligence are acute. A very entertaining movie – should be earning Wiseman a Pulitzer Prize. But an Oscar would be OK." 

–John Anderson, Indiewire 


"A portrait of a community by an artist." 

–Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter 


"In Jackson Heights is bursting with interesting characters, moving anecdotes, and—most inspirationally—scenes of impassioned activists fighting to preserve the culture and history of their neighborhood."

–A.A. Dowd, A.V. Club 


"Immersive and profound. It’s brilliant. Walking out of (the film) perhaps into your own community, everything seems newly electric and life itself becomes both small and endless." 

–Matt Prigge, Metro 


"One of the most important American films of the year."

–Daniel Kasman, Mubi Notebook 


"Wiseman is a shrewd, deadpan social commentator; and In Jackson Heights proves that, halfway through his ninth decade, he’s still at the top of his game." 

–Lee Marshall, ScreenDaily 


"Somewhere between the extremes of despair and hope, the film suggests, lies our true humanity." 

–Keith Uhlich, Slant magazine 


"The empathy and understanding exhibited in Wiseman’s film is a monumental achievement. (The film’s) surprising intimacy will enthrall viewers. This small film suggests the infinite."

–Jaime N. Christley, Slant magazine 


"In Jackson Heights achieves a remarkable feat and, in turn, shows us the Great American Melting Pot at its most beautiful and varied." 

–Rory O'Connor, The Film Stage 


"Lovely, immersive, intelligent."

–Jessica Kiang, The Playlist 


"In line with its creator’s best work. Invaluable."

–Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice 

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