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HD   Unrated Closed Captioning

Vanessa Gould

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About the Movie

It's a shame no one wants to talk to them at parties, because obituary writers are a surprisingly funny bunch. Ten hours before newspapers hit neighborhood doorsteps—and these days, ten minutes before news hits the web—an obit writer is racing against deadline to sum up a long and newsworthy life in under 1000 words. The details of these lives are then deposited into the cultural memory amid the daily beat of war, politics, and football scores. Obit. is the first documentary to explore the world of these writers and their subjects, focusing on the legendary team at The New York Times, who approach their daily work with journalistic rigor and narrative flair. Going beyond the byline and into the minds of those chronicling life after death on the freshly inked front lines of history, the film invites some of the most essential questions we ask ourselves about life, memory, and the inevitable passage of time. What do we choose to remember? What never dies?

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 50
  • Fresh: 46
  • Rotten: 4
  • Average Rating: 7.7/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: One comes away from "Obit" grateful that the paper has at its disposal a team of humane, gifted people who make commemorating the dead a lively, lasting art. – Gene Seymour, New York Times, Apr 25, 2017

Fresh: Writing an evocative, compact, accurate obituary is an art, and Vanessa Gould's joyous documentary Obit takes us on a tour of the joint where some of the best are written ... – Stephanie Zacharek, TIME Magazine, May 4, 2017

Fresh: Entertaining if a bit conventional in its anecdotal structure and slightly cutesy tone, these 95 minutes should appeal to the same public that happily spends half the day reading the Sunday Times ... – Dennis Harvey, Variety, Apr 26, 2017

Fresh: The people brought to life here, using a combination of the written obituary and news clips, are a varied and fascinating bunch. – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, May 4, 2017

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Not Interesting

I thought this would be fascinating to learn about since it was a job that I never thought about. I could not watch pass 15 minutes. I felt bored.

I'm starting to distrust Rotten Tomatoes' reviews

More and more when I make a purchase based on a high RT ranking, I am subsequently dissappointed. Very little information to be gleaned here beyond what's in the store description. Although I'm sure that there are interesting obituary writers out there, this doc makes a weak case in trying to prove it.


A original exploration of art, celebrity and death. Surprisingly moving and weirdly funny.

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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2017

Customer Ratings