If You Build It Synopsis
A designer and an architect teach high-school students about their craft.

Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings

59
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75

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Tirdad Derakhshani
An inspiring, educational, highly enjoyable documentary.
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75

Boston Globe

By Loren King
If this blend of community service, innovative teaching, and creative approach to design and construction sounds idealistic, the film’s...
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75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Walter Addiego
Director Patrick Creadon, who in 2006 made the entertaining "Wordplay," about crossword fanatics, probably errs on the side of advocacy...
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75

The Playlist

By Kevin Jagernauth
Less a polemic than a portrait, If You Build It celebrates the flinty spirit that spurs problem solving and creativity (sometimes at the...
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70

Los Angeles Times

By Gary Goldstein
The film proves not only a stirring look at education's potential to rally and invigorate but also a vital snapshot of contemporary rural...
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60

New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
This honest and engrossing film shows how ingenuity and spark can restore excitement in education. That goal needs every helping hand it...
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60

Time Out New York

Credit goes to Creadon for venturing beyond the classroom to look at how the teachers and students manage small victories despite limited...
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50

Variety

By Geoff Berkshire
A bittersweet ending offers both victory and defeat, but closes on a note of hard-won optimism.
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50

Village Voice

By Daphne Howland
Creadon unveils his story in a haphazard, backwards-unfolding way.
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40

The New York Times

By Nicolas Rapold
The movie’s biggest weakness comes with its tendency to film people telling us what’s going on rather than having us observe.
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By fusionlamar
If you like documentaries and education/ teacher movies....go see it....

More Info

Rated NR
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says OK for kids 13+ Inspiring docu shows young people capable of great things.
Read the Common Sense Media Review
POSITIVE MESSAGES
POSITIVE ROLE MODELS
LANGUAGE
CONSUMERISM
DRINKING & DRUGS