I will echo my partner Laura's description of the movie as "hilarious, heartbreaking, and inspiring":
Call Me Lucky is a tribute to Crimmins, and a revelation of his personal journey, a glimpse at where his anger comes from, and how he has used his righteous anger to help others. For many people, Crimmins may seem like a paradox, raging at injustice - raging at almost anything! - but simultaneously overflowing with empathy and compassion.Mike D'Angelo, AV Club:
If it accomplishes nothing else, the new documentary Call Me Lucky should bring some welcome attention to a man who's been under the radar for the past few decades, mostly by his own design. The film's subject is Barry Crimmins, a stand-up comic who made a minor name for himself back in the '80s, when he almost singlehandedly created the Boston comedy scene. ... Crimmins was notorious for being outspoken, in the tradition of comics like Mort Sahl and Lenny Bruce. Most of his material was political in nature, tackling hot-button issues like gun control and Reaganomics; he was blithely unconcerned about who his cutting, unabashedly left-wing jokes might offend.Dennis Harvey, Variety:
"Call Me Lucky" immediately establishes its subject as a simultaneously nurturing, courageous, intimidating and angry figure who walked away from a degree of national success more than two decades ago. The reasons for that prove very complex. ... Without wanting to spoil what the pic deftly plays out as a series of shocking narrative twists, suffice it to say that 'Call Me Lucky' winds up being among the most devastating of numerous 2015 Sundance titles touching on underage sexual exploitation.Odie Henderson, RogerEbert.com:
The first 45 minutes or so focus on what one would expect from a documentary about an influential comedian and satirist. ... The second hour of "Call Me Lucky" is full of hauntingly powerful moments that are overwhelmingly moving and never exploitative.Men's Journal:
Call Me Lucky is flawless in its ability to have you in stitches with laughter immediately after filling you with white-hot rage at the social injustices that plagued, and in some instances still plague, our society.Adam C. Better, The Stndrd:
Crimmins made a name for himself with his piercing political satire. His provocative act often took on social issues in a raw and candid way. Years ago during one of his performances an angry audience member yelled out, "If you don't love America why don't you get out?" Crimmins then responded from stage—"Because I don't want to be a victim of its foreign policy!" That comedic retort from Crimmins tells you everything you need to know about the style of one of the more respected stand-ups ever.Also: Louis CK recently announced that he will produce a one-hour comedy special from Crimmins's current tour. The special was filmed in Lawrence, Kansas, on June 4 and the finished product will be offered download/streaming on CK's website.