Time Out says
Despite some paranoid parenting, a clan blooms in this shapeless but compelling NYC doc
Among the pantheon of crazy Lower East Side stories, the real-life tale of the six Angulo brothers must rank high on the creepy list. Born to an apparently devoted union of hippyish dropouts, the boys were all home-schooled and banned from ever leaving their tiny public-housing apartment. (Beatings are implied by one son, but left vague.) To fill their gap of experience, the teens became obsessed with films like Reservoir Dogs and The Dark Knight, reenacting scenes and building costumes, their hermetic reality blending with cinema’s lies.
Filmmaker Crystal Moselle has seized onto terrifically compelling material, and while she hangs back with admirable distance, Grey Gardens–like, you wonder how she earned the Angulos’ trust. Shot over four years, The Wolfpack charts a trajectory that might have been better focused: The kids are remarkably creative and well-spoken (if a little cultlike), yet they’re never taught how to think for themselves—still, that’s exactly what we see them learn on their own. (The movie is an implicit argument for the inherent nature of rebellion.) Those euphoric moments, scored to Black Sabbath, show the brothers sneaking out in their masks, discovering activism and growing into individuals. You’ll wish Moselle had started, not ended, there.
Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf