Synopsis: An indictment of closeted politicians who lobby for anti-gay legislation in the U.S.
Round-up: "A powerful and disturbing documentary," offers the Los Angeles Times' Kenneth Turan. And, "riveting and provocative" says Philadelphia Inquirer critic Carrie Rickey. "Furious, deft, revealing" writes Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman who gave the film an A-minus. Kirby Dick's documentary exploring the hypocrisy of closeted politicians in the U.S. who on the one hand vote and vocally denounce gay rights while seeking out trists that squarely fall on the opposite end of the cultural divide is the topic of his latest film, "Outrage." While most critics sing the film's praises, the New York Times' A.O. Scott questions the impact of the film's timeliness. "I say present-day, but 'Outrage,' a battlefield report from the culture wars clearly intended to rally the morale of one side while attacking the exposed flanks of the other, is also a snapshot of a rapidly changing landscape. Its accusations of hypocrisy and betrayal are pointed and in many cases persuasive, but they would have sounded different -- more urgent, and perhaps more incendiary -- a few years or even six months ago." Still, Scott says the doc, being released this week in select cities by Magnolia Pictures, gives "a lot of insight into the ideology and psychology of present-day political homophobia." While generally positive, as were typical of a cross-section of "Outrage"'s reviews, the Village Voice's Scott Foundas questioned the motives behind the film. "In each case, Dick approaches his subject with little of the self-righteous effrontery of Michael Moore or Bill Maher, instead maintaining a modicum of objective distance and even mustering a certain sympathy for both the accuser and the accused." Still Foundas said the film is "duly provocative, well sourced, and almost certain to go more viral than swine flu." Probably not surprisingly, Rolling Stone gave generally high marks. "Whatever you think of the pushy methods of Oscar-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick...you can't deny the grave implications of the blatant hypocrisy on display. This film is a muckraking provocation whose time has come." "We're prepared for [the controversy], this is explosive territory," filmmaker Kirby Dick told indieWIRE during an interview about the film in April. "These closeted people make a decision early on, and they have decades of lies that have kept their lives under wraps. One of the reasons we made this film is that the closet distorts our whole political situation. The press doesn't report on this - [they are] very reluctant."