Storm Lake newspaper closeup, "The Times Wins the Pulitzer Prize"


“STORM LAKE is an elegiac heartland portrait...colored by the hope of endurance, both for the newspaper and the community it represents.””

The Hollywood Reporter– David Rooney, June 28, 2021

“Jerry Risius and Beth Levison’s warm and biting profile of the editorial team that puts out The Storm Lake Times stirs up hope that small local newspapers, and journalism itself, can survive.”

The Boston Globe– Peter Keough, October 7, 2021

“Beth Levison and Jerry Risius’s profound documentary is simultaneously a love letter to and a eulogy for local news—even more than that, it’s a sincere inquiry into the meaning of community and the role played by the dissemination of information in holding together further distabled societal connections. I laughed out loud at times and tearfully celebrated and mourned this endangered medium.”

Chicago Reader– Kathleen Sachs, September 24, 2021

“STORM LAKE provides a penetrating, insider look at the struggle of a family-owned-and-operated newspaper trying to remain relevant, survive, and thrive in the age of journalism-by-the-algorithms, Trumpism, and COVID-19.”

The Progressive– Ed Rampell, June 1, 2021

“STORM LAKE isn’t eventually a document of what could be lost, but rather as it currently stands, a galvanizing depiction of what is gained from having strong community coverage that happens to double as a lovely portrait of a charming family business.”

The Moveable Fest– Stephen Saito, June 2, 2021

“STORM LAKE reminds us that we cannot be complacent. We cannot take democracy for granted. And local reporting is a mainstay of an informed citizenry and therefore democracy.”

Des Moines Register– Julie Gammack, June 8, 2021

“Gorgeous establishing shots, great music, and fantastic narration, all of which blend together, allowing Beth Levison and Jerry Risius to tell the true tale of Storm Lake, Iowa.”

Film Threat– Liam Trump, June 3, 2021


Jumpcut Online– Mary Palmer, June 2, 2021

“This charming film reminds us of the value and impact of inductive and localized reporting.”

Saathee Magazine– Dilip Barman, June 15, 2021

“Here’s a paean to journalism, old style. It’s also a near obituary for shoe leather journalism as it was practiced, especially in America’s small towns. It is also a chronicle of a close-knit family, the Cullens, who don’t want their decades-long work to die along with America’s small newspapers. Told in the no-nonsense tones of the laconic Midwest, STORM LAKEv mixes a bit of Lake Woebegone with ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN.”

Hill Rag– Mike Canning, July 7, 2021