Troublemakers (2015 film)

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Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art
Theatrical release poster for Troublemakers, The Story of Land Art.jpeg
Directed by James Crump
Written by James Crump
Produced by James Crump
Ronnie Sassoon
Farley Ziegler
Michel Comte
Starring Nancy Holt
Lawrence Weiner
Vito Acconci
Dennis Oppenheim
Robert Smithson
Michael Heizer
Germano Celant
Harald Szeemann
Virginia Dwan
Willoughby Sharp
Carl Andre
Charles Ross
Gianfranco Gorgoni
Paula Cooper
Pamela Sharp
CinematographyAlexandre Themistocleous
Robert O'Haire
Edited byNick Tamburri
Distributed by First Run Features
Release dates
Running time
72 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$38,571 [1]

Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art is a 2015 American documentary film directed by James Crump. [2] [3] [4] [5] Troublemakers chronicles the history of land art in the 1960s and 1970s, when a group of radical New York artists began producing earthworks on a monumental scale in the desert spaces of the American southwest. The film follows the enigmatic careers of artists who use the earth itself as their primary medium, including Robert Smithson (Spiral Jetty), Walter De Maria (The Lightning Field) and Michael Heizer (Double Negative). [6]



Eric Gibson of The Wall Street Journal gave the film a positive review, writing, "A film that takes its place among the great art documentaries of the past half-century... filled with great moments, large and small... deftly captures the madcap ambition, grandeur and even sublimity of the works these artists created." [7] Glenn Kenny of The New York Times in a NYT Critics' Pick called it a "thrilling documentary," writing "The film’s generous views of spectacular works like Smithson’s monumental (Spiral Jetty) (the work projects into the Great Salt Lake in Utah) and Mr. Heizer’s (Double Negative) in Nevada (a huge trench bisected by a canyon) are best seen on the largest screen available." [8] John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter called the film "a colorful and sometimes gorgeous primer on this influential moment." [9] Jordan Hoffman, writing for The Guardian of London proclaimed "Forget Dawn of Justice – this is the best superhero team-up we’ll see at the cinema this year." [10] Writing for The Huffington Post , Patricia Zohn declared Troublemakers "does something that is rare for art documentaries: It is very beautiful and dynamic itself in examining work that is challenging. It meets the subject head-on." [11]

Troublemakers has a score of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes [12] and 65% on Metacritic. [13]


The film premiered at the 2015 New York Film Festival on October 1, 2015, and released theatrically on January 8, 2016, via First Run Features. [14] [15]

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  1. "Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art (2016)". Box Office Mojo . Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  2. Su Wu, A New Documentary Sheds Light on the 'Troublemakers' of Land Art, T Magazine, May 4, 2015
  3. Christopher Bollen, LandArt, Interview Magazine, August 2015
  4. Laura Hoffmann, James Crump Discusses Troublemakers The Story of Land Art, Artforum, September 2, 2015
  5. Andy Battaglia, Land Art Gets Its Close-Up In New Film, Wall Street Journal September 27, 2015
  6. "Troublemakers and the Angst Behind Land Art". Curbed. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  7. "'Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art' Review". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  8. Glenn Kenny, Review: Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art, a Documentary, The New York Times, January 8, 2016
  9. "'Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art': Film Review". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  10. "Jordan Hoffman, Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art Review - a story of art superheroes, The Guardian, January 8, 2016
  11. Patricia Zohn, CultureZohn: Troublemakers, The Huffington Post, February 4, 2016
  12. Rotten Tomatoes, Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art
  13. Metacritic, Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art
  14. "Laura Poitras, Frederick Wiseman to Screen New Work at New York Film Festival". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  15. "Land Art: James Crump, former CAM curator, makes a film about the movement". Citybeat Cincinnati. Retrieved 8 January 2016.