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Sundance review: 'The Overnighters'

Published January 25, 2014 9:03 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

"The Overnighters"

U.S. Documentary

**** (four stars)

Christian charity collides with human frailty in the documentary "The Overnighters," one of the most beautiful and haunting movies at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. In the oil-boom town of Williston, N.D., desperate men arrive in search of work but find no housing available. The only place to go is the local Lutheran church, thanks to the pastor, Jay Reinke, who defies his parishioners and neighbors by letting these men sleep in the church or its parking lot. Alas, Pastor Reinke must deal with the troubles of the men he's helping — broken families, drug problems, past crimes — and in so doing neglects his family. Director and one-man camera crew Jesse Moss follows Reinke in intimate scenes as the clergyman tries to keep his ministry and his life from falling apart. Every moment, including a surprise ending, will bring tears to your eyes.

— Sean P. Means

"The Overnighters" has no more screenings scheduled for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.