Box Office - 07/28/2011 3 stars out of 5 -- "James keeps viewer attention the whole time....It's hard to deny the narrative pull of this film, which is mostly worthy of the seriousness of the problem."
New York Times - 07/29/2011
"[A] hard wallop of a documentary....Directed and shot by Steve James, best known for HOOP DREAMS, THE INTERRUPTERS takes a look at a gutsy, activist component of the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention."
A.V. Club - 07/28/2011
"[P]owerful....If there's one lesson to be learned from violence interrupters, it's that their work is never done."
Chicago Sun-Times - 08/10/2011 4 stars out of 4 -- "James' film, mighty and heart-wrenching, follows members of CeaseFire, tough negotiators who monitor gang activity in their neighborhoods..."
Los Angeles Times - 08/26/2011
"[A] surprisingly moving documentary collaboration between producer-director Steve James and producer Alex Kotlowitz. THE INTERRUPTERS paradoxically succeeds because it refuses to soften reality."
Total Film - 09/01/2011 4 stars out of 5 -- "The result is knuckle-biting reportage, incisive on both the causes and consequences of violence."
Entertainment Weekly - 08/12/2011
"Once again, James' trustworthy work demonstrates the power of paying attention." -- Grade: A-
Sight and Sound - 09/01/2011
"THE INTERRUPTERS is a heavyweight film about a heavyweight subject of clear interest well beyond the United States."
Award-winning filmmaker Steve James delivers another powerful look at life in urban America with this documentary. As gang violence became more common (and deadly) in the city of Chicago, social workers, activists, and educators founded a group called CeaseFire in 2000 to help curb the tide of aggression. CeaseFire's counselors work with at-risk youth in communities heavily impacted by violence to teach them that there are better ways to resolve personal conflicts than with guns, believing that the biggest problem isn't gangs but the notion of violent retribution so deeply ingrained in their culture. Many of CeaseFire's volunteers have backgrounds in youth gangs and understand all too well the lives of the people they work with, and in THE INTERRUPTERS James spends a year following a handful of CeaseFire activists as they try to educate teenagers about the true consequences of gun violence one person at a time, sometimes with immediate success, sometimes with frustrating results. THE INTERRUPTERS received its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.