• Released
  • September 9, 2011
  • (Limited LA 10/7)
  • NR , 1 hr 31 min
  • Documentary
80

Variety

Covering their lives with intimate access from before boot camp to the difficult return home, Heather Courtney's documentary packs a savage but understated punch.
Full Review
70

The New York Times

By Jeannette Catsoulis
Where Soldiers Come From is, more than anything, a commentary on class. In its compassionate, modest gaze, the real cost of distant political decisions is softly illuminated, as well as the shame of a country with little to offer its less fortunate young people than a ticket to a battlefield.
Full Review
70

Village Voice

By Ernest Hardy
Much of what's presented is familiar territory, but it's the moments that fracture prejudices and expectations that stick with you.
Full Review
60

New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
To see these children of waitresses, salon workers and fathers on disability burdened because they stepped up is humanizing and heartbreaking.
Full Review
60

Time Out New York

By David Fear
It's only during the last third that the film finds its footing, as the PTSD fallout and collective sense of disillusionment suggest a bigger picture regarding why we fight, etc. Otherwise, this decent, if decidedly personal, look at small-town soldiers works better as an erratic scrapbook than a representative statement.
Full Review
50

Chicago Reader

By J.R. Jones
There's a good deal of honest emotion onscreen, particularly from the parents left behind to worry, yet the documentary sometimes feels like the work of a filmmaker who began with a preconceived story and wasn't quite sure what to do with the one she actually got.
Full Review
50

Slant Magazine

A four-year study of an Afghan war-bound group of friends (the mother of Cole, the goofy joker of the group, compares the boys to the characters in The Deer Hunter), Courtney's documentary is equal parts heartfelt and public-television predictable.
Full Review
50

Los Angeles Times

By Gary Goldstein
Despite the film's unvarnished emotionality and even-handed messaging, Courtney never seems to have found an appropriate focus, resulting in a work that's less urgent and involving than its intense subject matter might have dictated.
Full Review
58 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.