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Tower

Released Oct 12, 2016 1h 38m Documentary TRAILER for Tower: Trailer 1 List Tower: Trailer 1 Tower: Trailer 1 1:54 View more videos
99% Tomatometer 101 Reviews 89% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings On Aug. 1, 1966, a sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the University of Texas Tower and opened fire, holding the campus hostage for 96 minutes. When the gunshots were finally silenced, the toll included 16 dead, three dozen wounded, and a shaken nation left trying to understand what had happened. Archival footage is combined with rotoscopic animation in a dynamic, never-before-seen way to illustrate the action-packed untold stories of the witnesses, heroes and survivors. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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Tower

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Critics Consensus

Tower probes into a painful chapter of American history with sensitivity and grace -- and revisits its events from a valuable new perspective.

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Critics Reviews

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Scott Marks San Diego Reader The overall absurdity of the piece left me numb beyond belief. Why stop here? Why not a claymation recreation of the events of 9-11? Or Jiminy Cricket in Steven Spielberg's When You Wish Upon Auschwitz? Oct 3, 2018 Full Review Christy Lemire What the Flick?! [The rotoscope technique] gives it urgency and a sense of movement. Rated: 9.6/10 Sep 12, 2018 Full Review Alonso Duralde What the Flick?! This movie is very smart about when it unpacks its interviews versus its recreations. It does it in such a way that I was emotionally flooded. Rated: 9.5/10 Sep 12, 2018 Full Review Brendan Cassidy InSession Film Tower is art, and necessary art for our time. Jun 18, 2024 Full Review Kip Mooney College Movie Review A harrowing combination of archival footage, interviews and animation. Rated: A- Aug 29, 2021 Full Review Richard Propes TheIndependentCritic.com Beautifully rendered and emotionally heartbreaking, Tower is truly one of 2016's must see documentaries. Rated: 4.0/4.0 Sep 26, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Kyle M On August 1, 1966, college life in the University of Texas turned dark. Fifteen bright futures, including an unborn, were taken away. Shots been fired high above all, emitting from the top floor in the University Tower as Charles Whitman held the campus hostage for 96 minutes. Mentally ill due to a cancerous diagnosis to the brain that gave him violent impulses, leading him to [additionally] kill fifteen, wound 31, and shook the nation. Rejuvenated interest surrounding the tragedy published upon the 40th anniversary by Pamela Colloff for the Texas Monthly, and it caught Keith Maitland's attention, inspired to put it in a filmic portrait. Structured by existing archival footage, pieced by rotoscoping animation, and told by witnesses, heroes and survivors, "Tower" is a captivating documentary that not only recounts the incident with factual thoroughness and compose with existing, archival accounts, it's a transportive immersion. Whether or not you're aware of what happened, this documentary proved effective in erasing what you thought you knew and bringing you into the scene, sharing the affecting anxiety radiating from those perspectives as they're being shared and animated by rotoscoping. The rotoscoped pieces complete the vivid reality limitedly caught via the archival footage, as well keeps the realism aspect rather than re-enact it as it could dare uncannily, or it could take away the contextual symbolism it features. It eventually transitions near the end when we meet the living survivors as they detail – a couple of them actually meet – how the experience affected them and what meaning it brought. As part of the economic filmmaking, as Maitland based the produced pictures from captured imagery on-sight to green screen in his backyard, the localized casting was tasked to provide additional voices and set up physical appearances for the selective eyewitness accounts from pivotal angles. They truly captured the tonal shifts back then out of respect for who they're representing before we actually meet the real persons that were traumatized by haunted memory. What really furthered the profound overall effect is how Maitland connected the horrific event by the ripple effects it's caused that are certainly still shaking the nation, but more so for communities. The timely topical discourse circles back to the probable origin of those ripples that were deemed unthinkable, now it's a terrifying occurrence that could happen anytime when mentalities are violently unpredictable. "Tower" brought broader attention to Maitland's directorial craftsmanship, who debuted in now-compelling "The Eyes of Me", and ideally the awareness of the darkly imprinted aura in front of the University Tower within its gloomy shadow. Surely devastating to relive, but really think about how it effectively transports under unexpected immersion by such a small-crafted scope to make a unique documentary with peaked coverage over a subject told chronologically. (A-) Rated 4 out of 5 stars 07/03/23 Full Review Audience Member A blend of animation and actual footage and other footage of the time from a mass shooting at the university of Texas in 1966. While it is an interesting blend of styles, I'm not sure what they were gong for because it was far less hard hitting with the animation... or maybe we're just desensitized to this sort of thing in 2022. To me it seemed like an animated documentary trying to not be a documentary and... I just couldn't connect with that. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/07/23 Full Review Audience Member It's a unique combination of rotoscoped action and historical footage, never seen anything like that before. Not a 5* review, because the overall drama was broken into a mosaic of personal tragedies and braveries, for which I lacked sentiment. But from an academic perspective, bravo. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/18/23 Full Review Audience Member A beautiful piece of art set to one of the darkest days of the Sixties. And one that would become all to familiar. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 09/22/20 Full Review Audience Member Technically impressive and emotionally resonant and serves as a great memorial for those present during that horrendous event. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/02/23 Full Review Audience Member The visual style brings light to the 60s footage that balances out the dark nature of the documentary. It's done the perfect job of weaving a story together with what was available to work with, and make you feel a part of what happened in 66'. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/15/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Tower

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Movie Info

Synopsis On Aug. 1, 1966, a sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the University of Texas Tower and opened fire, holding the campus hostage for 96 minutes. When the gunshots were finally silenced, the toll included 16 dead, three dozen wounded, and a shaken nation left trying to understand what had happened. Archival footage is combined with rotoscopic animation in a dynamic, never-before-seen way to illustrate the action-packed untold stories of the witnesses, heroes and survivors.
Director
Keith Maitland
Producer
Megan Gilbride, Susan Thomson
Distributor
Kino Lorber
Production Co
Go-Valley , Texas Archive of the Moving Image, Killer Impact
Genre
Documentary
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Oct 12, 2016, Limited
Release Date (Streaming)
Jan 10, 2017
Box Office (Gross USA)
$84.3K
Runtime
1h 38m
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