"Stray Dog is valuable in many ways — as the sympathetic documentation of a family’s perseverance in hard times; as
an example of compassionate cinéma vérité; as a chance to spend time with some very interesting people — but perhaps
its greatest virtue lies in its powerful, implicit challenge to the lazy habit of looking at American life through polarized red- and blue-tinted lenses."
A.O. Scott, The New York Times - July 2, 2015
"Novelistic in its depth and breathtaking in its humanity."
Bilge Ebiri, Vulture - July 5, 2015
"A stirring, surprising, empathic portrait of a Harley-riding trailer-court king."
Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice - June 30, 2015
"Winter's Bone director Debra Granik provides plenty of surprises in her superb
slice of American life on the margins...In an era when many coastal Americans’ ideas of
the heartland poor come from hicksploitation TV series, Stray Dog provides a very welcome
Andrew Barker, Variety - June 19, 2014
"Sympathetic without being sentimental or condescending, Stray Dog is an enormously touching, understated look at an aging
Vietnam veteran still wrestling with the invisible scars of a war that took place some 40 years ago. This documentary, the first
from Winter’s Bone filmmaker Debra Granik, utilises an observational, unobtrusive style that reaps major rewards, offering a
casual glimpse into a series of lives on the margins of American society, touching on family, faith, love and survival with an effortless grace."
Tim Grierson, Screen International - June 14, 2014
"Granik skillfully manipulates and builds the narrative, revealing more and
more elements of Stray Dog’s life along the way. It’s a remarkable feat of
unfolding this story, a remarkable portrait not only of this particular
man, but of a culture in a transitioning moment. As we welcome home even
more generations of traumatized soldiers, it’s the Vietnam vets that we
have to look to to understand how this will affect these men and women
down the road."
Katie Walsh, indieWIRE - June 16, 2014
"Whenever someone asks what I mean when I say that too many docs look and feel the same,
I can say, “None of them are like Stray Dog.” This is a film that blows apart your
preconceived notions of how a documentary can be put together. It is a perfectly told story
with vivid characters, an acute sense of place and many marvelous emotional beats. At every
turn, Stray Dog proves himself to be more than you think he is. The same is true of this film,
which is a series of simple events that amount to an incredibly complex whole."
Dan Schindel, Nonfics - June 17, 2014
"The clear-eyed film dedicates itself to breaking through the debris of clichéd, one-dimensional
public impressions of vets, bikers, immigrant wives and kids and trailer-park lifestyles as it
fashions an involving portrait of a deeply scarred man sustained by certain rituals and an
unextinguished sense of empathy for others’s problems."
Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter - June 14, 2014
"Beautifully shot and edited with all the flow of a feature fictional film, Stray Dog feels truer than our own judgements...Stray Dog
is an essential highlight of the NYFF documentary program. It vibrantly encompasses the themes of middle American poverty, immigration,
the changing times, the unchanging tragedies, the complex feelings of loss, disorientation, mourning, confusion, anger and finally, some sort of redemption. ."
Marina Galperina, Animal New York - September 19, 2014
"In its quiet, vérité way, Stray Dog ponders some of the major issues in American life: the lasting
impact of wars on those who fight them; the government’s treatment of veterans, whose lives remain largely
absent from public view; and the difficulties of immigration and assimilation. It’s a film that starts as
a character study and builds into something much larger. It seems likely to linger in the mind as the festival wears on."
Ben Kenigsberg, A.V. Club - September 19, 2014
"By focusing on Ron Hall’s experience, Stray Dog ends up being “about” a lot of topics:
veteran’s affairs and welfare; post-traumatic stress disorder; aging; changing definitions of
“family” and “masculinity”; immigration, language and, well, the American Dream."
James Kreul, Madison Film Forum - September 25, 2014
"Granik has a bona fide star in Hall, whose hirsute appearance and
occasionally gruff demeanor mask his overall sensitivity and
Eric Ambler, Screen Invasion - June 20, 2014
"Stray Dog is proof that the universal lies within the specific. By simply
spending time with one man with our eyes and ears open, we can learn
untold volumes about the world at large. Granik’s film is the single best
that I’ve seen so far this year."
David Bax, Battleship Pretension - June 17, 2014
Debra Granik on Directing Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone and Her New Documentary Stray Dog
Vulture - October 9, 2014
Debra Granik's Close to the Bone
Anthem Magazine - October 3, 2014
An Interview with Debra Granik
Film Comment - October 2, 2014
An Interview with Debra Granik - My Kind of Filmmaker
Independent Film Quarterly - August 25, 2014
Debra Granik on Following Up Winter's Bone with a Documentary
Indiewire - August 6, 2014
Reality Checks: Why the Director of Winter's Bone Decided to Make a Documentary
Indiewire - June 27, 2014
Debra Granik On Following Stray Dog
Moveable Fest - June 25, 2014
LAFF Women Directors: Debra Granik on Stray Dog
Indiewire - June 13, 2014
LAFF Spotlight: From Winter's Bone to Stray Dog, Filmmaker Debra Granik Knows How To Tell A Story
Studio System News - June 13, 2014
"Stray Dog indirectly responds to the nihilistic outlaw biker lore of stuff like
"Sons of Anarchy" by recording the saintly acts of a group of military veterans on choppers
led by the titular badass. Winter's Bone director Debra Granik's first documentary observes
the finest tensions and frustrations the combat veteran works through via compassionate gestures
and a simple family life. Lovely film with a perfect ending."
Overturning Perceptions: 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Preview
Steven Boone, Roger Ebert.com - June 9, 2014
"Granik skillfully manipulates and builds the narrative, revealing more and more
elements of Stray Dog’s life along the way. It’s a remarkable feat of unfolding this
story, a remarkable portrait not only of this particular man, but of a culture in a
transitioning moment. As we welcome home even more generations of traumatized soldiers,
it’s the Vietnam vets that we have to look to to understand how this will affect these
men and women down the road."
Debra Granik Goes Rogue with First Doc Stray Dog
Anne Thompson, IndieWIRE - June 16, 2014