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“A Director Looks for Beauty in Her Home’s Opioid Struggle”

The New York Times

“Sensitive and life-affirming”

LA Times

“Intimate, poignant, and raw, establishing Sheldon as one of the most vital documentary filmmakers at the moment, especially on the often misunderstood subject of addiction. The social impact of a film like this shouldn’t be understated. Recovery Boys is a film with the power to break down potentially judgmental barriers that can stop someone’s chances to clean up their lives dead in their tracks.”

The Gate

“Unearths moments of raw revelation that quietly highlight our shameful lack of effective help…A moving yet cautionary tale and a painful reminder that recovery is a journey that never really ends.”

The New York Times

“Set in the middle of this crisis, the film provides an exploration of male emotions will be refreshing to anyone who has grown accustomed to staid representations within popular culture, as will the film’s focus on people in recovery instead of people suffering from addiction.”

The Guardian

“Humanizes The Opioid Epidemic”


“Documentary films explore the despair of America’s heroin and opioid epidemic”

LA Times

“At times, ‘Recovery Boys’ is difficult to watch, both in its depiction of drug abuse and in the painful events that occur in the men’s lives. The goal of the film is clearly not to bring audiences down, though, but increase compassion for those who struggle with addiction. Life has not been easy for any of the ‘recovery boys,’ but they approach their 18 months in rehab with so much integrity and determination that it’s impossible to not cheer for them while watching the film.”


“What the film powerfully demonstrates is that — and this is something that’s hard to say without sounding glib, but it’s just the way it is — you never can tell. The person seeking recovery who seems to come in with the best possible attitude versus the person who comes in looking beyond hopeless prods the viewer to make a distinction that is ultimately false.”

The New York Times

“We are with them all the way in a cinematic proximity that develops into raw emotional intimacy by the end. The stakes are real; choices made lead to life or death. Forget our society’s current obsession with superheroes: this is the conflict of which powerful drama is made.”

Film Festival Today

“Essential viewing for all young men”


“A sober and unflinching glimpse into the heart of America’s opioid epidemic”

Ready Steady Cut

“The immediate social impression of Recovery Boys is tremendous.”

Daily Dot

“A simple and affecting story.”


“A glimpse behind the obfuscating veil of stereotype into a truth of the opioid crisis many prefer to ignore: addicts are people too.”

Healthcare Dive

“There’s a tendency in politics to turn real misery into platitudes and abstractions; Elaine McMillion Sheldon’s documentary is the antidote.”

New York Magazine


The Daily Show With Trevor Noah

“Putting human faces on the crisis”
New York Times

“Transcends the politics of our current moment”
Slant Magazine

“A portrait of America few big-city dwellers ever see”
Film Journal

“Direct style strips the doc of any needless propaganda and commentary”
Boulder Weekly

“The very best of the Oscar-nominated shorts”

“Beacons of hope and compassion”

“Finds the humanity numbers too easily ignore”
The Film Stage

“Transcends the art of filmmaking”
The Wrap


“The one to beat at the Oscars..a knockout short”

“Three women prove that dedication plus empathy works”
Reeling Reviews

Feinberg Forecast: One Final Snapshot of the Oscar Race
The Hollywood Reporter

“Unflinching portrayal.”
Moveable Fest

“Alternating between stark realism and a sense of the surreal”

“Netflix documentary shows the women trying to save a city from addiction”

10 Most Powerful Docs of 2017

“Heroin Crisis Hits Home”

“A ride-along through a part of the country that has long been stigmatized and caricatured”

“Heroin(e)” Shows What’s Missing in Addressing Opioid Epidemic


“A window into the front lines of the opioid crisis”
Bill Moyers

“Hauntingly powerful film on the opioid crisis”
Mother Jones

18 documentaries that will change your life
Hello Giggles

“Three women fight against a wave of desperation”
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

“A powerful case for compassion”

100 Days in Appalachia

“Shows what it really takes to fight the opioid crisis”

Paste Magazine