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by Peter Knegt
November 2, 2011 2:59 AM
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Critical Consensus: Skater Doc "DRAGONSLAYER" Is The Pick of the Week

Tristan Patterson's skater doc "Dragonslayer," winner of the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW, makes its theatrical debut this Friday in New York. Tt's the pick of the week for opening specialty films, according to the folks polled on criticWIRE.

Drag City opens the film at New York's Cinema Village this Friday, followed by Los Angeles next week and other major cities over the course of the next few months; it will premiere digitially in February via SnagFilms (indieWIRE's parent company). Set in the stagnant suburbs of Fullerton, Calif. in the aftermath of America's economic collapse, the film documents the transgressions of a lost skate punk falling in love. Four critics gave the film an A- on the film's criticWIRE page. indieWIRE's Eric Kohn gave the film the same grade in his review:

The measured vérité style of Frederick Wiseman meets the visual polish of Terrence Malick in "Dragonslayer," a fascinating slice of crude Americana from first-time director Tristan Patterson. However, it stands alone with an infectious hard rock attitude. Patterson doesn't have the epic aims of those filmmakers but equals their respective abilities to create thoroughly involving environments, pitting gorgeous imagery against cold reality with a delicacy rarely seen in the non-fiction form.

More extensive takes on "Dragonslayer" and other films opening this weekend -- including "The Son of No One" and "The Last Rites of Joe May" -- are linked below.

Also offered is the top 10 criticWIRE scores for films already in theaters (divided into narrative and documentary categories), which is still topped by doc "Hell and Back Again" (which has a rare "A" average), Note that only films with three or more grades have their averages included.

iW Film Calendar & criticWIRE:
criticWIRE | Opening this week | Opening this month | All Films A - Z

criticWIRE: Films Opening This Week
NOTE: The averages listed here are current as of the publishing of this article. They are subject to change as new grades come in and will be updated in next week's edition of this article.

Dragonslayer (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

The Son of No One (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: C-

Charlotte Rampling: The Look (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: TBD

Killing Bono (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: TBD

The Last Rites of Joe May (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: TBD

The Other F Word (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: TBD


criticWIRE: 10 Best Bets Already In Theaters

Documentary:

1. Hell and Back Again (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A

2. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

3. Senna (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

4. We Were Here (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

5. The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

Narrative:

1. Martha Marcy May Marlene (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

2. Weekend (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

3. Drive (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

4. Take Shelter (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

5. Like Crazy (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

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