The Overnighters


Documentary / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 97% · 74 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 85% · 2.5K ratings
IMDb Rating 7.4/10 10 2553 2.6K


Top cast

932.96 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 41 min
Seeds 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by operaalpha 8 / 10

The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions!

Forget for a moment that this is a documentary and see this wonderful movie. There are amazing and unforgettable characters, heart wrenching situations, plot twists and a surprise ending... Everything you could hope for in a movie, made only more poignant knowing that these aren't actors but real people. Desperation, hope, salvation and damnation are all interwoven and you won't know which will come out on top until the end. I can't remember the last time I saw a documentary that was so engaging. The film centers on Pastor Reinke, who helps the often destitute folks who find their way to his town looking for work, with a place to stay for the night and a bite to eat. We also discover his own demons and limitations. I hope people will ultimately see him in a positive light as I do, for we all fall short of perfection, but director Jesse Moss doesn't push it one way or the other. The film is timely as it forces us to confront many current issues, including the effects of the new energy boom, the lingering effects of job displacement after the great recession, xenophobia, and the ongoing need to help others. See it, you won't be disappointed. It was among my favorites at the Three Rivers Film Festival.

Reviewed by goc6283 9 / 10

A contemporary work on The Midwest, Christain views on helping (thy neighbor,) the oil boom, and sacrifices

FYI: If you wish to review a better review than mine, I highly recommend the LA Times review. Also, as noted by many critics, this is a great film for fans of the Grapes of Wrath, but it is way more than this.

It's the humanizing act of the filmmaker, such as the small talk between the overnighters and especially the scene in the credits. It's the fact that he transforms these faceless people whom the town fears to people that the audience enjoys is what is so astounding. When people disagree with Pastor Reinke's plans, you feel for the overnighters and him. As a respected pastor, it is hard to imagine how quickly the townsfolk are turning against him.

He tries to make you feel for them as much as the Pastor, even if you are not one who thinks "love thy neighbor" or anything related.

My single complaint is that for a very brief time, the movie moves a bit too slow. But then right afterward, there is a breakneck pace that sets up for the films conclusion, one that you might not like but has to be shown.

Outstanding documentary. 9.4

Reviewed by Sergeant_Tibbs 8 / 10

A tough moral dilemma.

There's little intriguing about The Overnighters' premise. It's director Jesse Moss' execution that makes it much more compelling than it ought to be. Conflict is around every turn, both external and internal, and the documentary is constantly batting back and forth the balance in its moral dilemma. Both sides to its argument are equally strong - the good in helping those in need and the anxiety about the trouble some may bring, and few have already. Either way, it doesn't sit comfortably. Moss has a brilliant energy to the film and although it feels slightly orchestrated, in the way that he captures confrontations at the right time and ferocity without missing any key examples, he has a great taste for cinematic conflict. They really work, and they must feed into some kind of reality at least. What makes it such a rich film is that amongst the chaos, it centres around a character study of Jay Reinke. He's selfless, but narcissistic. While many may find him repelling, he's the dark heart of the film. It's a fascinating piece that's deeply flawed and human, never holding back the ugly side or shoving it in your face. One of the best documentaries of the year.


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