Reviews

-Michael McWay for Hammer To Nail
"In a film like Colvin's, the viewer is never told where or why to look, but forced to engage the film on its own terms. To get on its wavelength is to be able to see in a way that only cinema allows. . . . A film of perfectly calculated restraint, whose themes and style are intertwined in such a way as to be inseparable."

-Craig Keller at Cinemasparagus
"Colvin films thought and thought's interruption, concentration of thought and the breaking of concentration. Concentration manifest, hewn, in framing of image and the focus of the sound-recording . . . . An increasing urgency, gradually given over to dimming. This is the terrible, calm, and urgent beauty of Brandon Colvin's film."

-Christopher Bell's rave review at IndieWIRE (A-)
"The honed-in, supremely focused attitude that it emits is reminiscent of master craftsmen such as Ingmar Bergman or Robert Bresson . . . An understated film like this requires a subtle performance, and Longstreet carries SABBATICAL effortlessly, playing a tormented figure who refuses to release his demons out into the world . . . SABBATICAL stands tall as an outlier of the micro-budget scene."

-Peter Labuza, RogerEbert.com (New Orleans Film Festival wrap-up)
"SABBATICAL looks nothing like the contemporary indies its plot recalls. Colvin works in a method much closer to Bresson, using static close-ups that disjoint his characters . . . As it reaches its final sequence, Colvin cuts to the core of the film's central relationship - an ending that is both tragic and humanizing."

-Director Paul Harrill (Something, Anything), Self-Reliant Film
"The starkness and purity of the film's approach works in harmony with its themes of separation and loss. Best of all was what I consider the film's centerpiece, an indelible scene of loneliness and tenderness between Ben and Sarah . . . It's a scene that, three weeks after seeing it, continues to haunt me . . . In SABBATICAL, Brandon Colvin challenges his viewers to look deeper, and I found the investment of time, of attention, rewarding."

-Jake Smith, Madison Film Forum
"SABBATICAL is a film of stylistic poise, honest performance, and astonishing control . . . I was surprised by the impact this film had on me. I have probably given it more thought than any other film I've seen at the [Wisconsin Film Festival] thus far . . . SABBATICAL also has one of the single most astonishing final shots you will see this year."

-Don Simpson, Smells Like Screen Spirit 
"Colvin would probably be the first to admit that SABBATICAL was not made for viewers with a mainstream cinematic palette. In the context of current cinema, SABBATICAL is practically experimental. With its rigid focus on form over narrative, SABBATICAL seems totally out of place and time, sharing its aesthetic sensibilities with 1960s French cinema."

-Carson Lund, Medium/In Review Online
"By situating an estranged character back amongst his most long-term friends and relatives, [SABBATICAL] soberly asks how, in a world of increasing reliance upon fixed, machine-like logic, we might be able to reconsider the various components of our lives and relocate what makes them worth living."

-Kevin Rakestraw, Film Pulse
"Economical with its dialogue, the film prefers to communicate through body language and uneasy silences, which are handled ably by Longstreet. Tasked with the role of a near-silent man shuffling through shades of dejection, Longstreet easily embodies the sadness of a man adrift in an existential crisis, of a sort. He lets the sorrow of his character permeate through the duration of scenes of the mundane and uneventful."

Lists

-#4 Best Film of 2015 (Kevin Rakestraw, Film Pulse)

-Robert Longstreet: Best Male Performances of 2015 (Kevin Rakestraw, Film Pulse)

-Top 10 Undistributed Films of 2015 (Dan Sallitt) - IndieWIRE Critics Poll

-Honorable Mention: Best of 2015 (Carson Lund, Slant Magazine)

-#3 Best Film of 2015 (Kevin Rakestraw, Film Pulse) - Mid-Year Top 10

-Top 15 of 2015 (William Boyle, novelist)

-#3 Best Undistributed Film of 2014 (Peter Labuza, The Cinephiliacs) - IndieWIRE and Village Voice Critics Polls

-Top 20 of 2014 (Jake Smith, Madison Film Forum)

-Top 20 of 2014 (Micah Van Hove, No Film School)

-Favorites of 2014 (Jim Healy, Wisconsin Film Festival)