"Like Hoop Dreams before it, Minding the Gap is a rare type of film: revelatory and fraught with pain, but still hopeful despite its enveloping darkness."
"[A] stunning debut —an arrestingly intimate documentary about the lifelong scars of domestic abuse...a bafflingly gritty film about domestic violence, race, poverty and general American brokenness that will leave you with a weight in your gut and a lump in your throat... It's a truly impressive feat —the cinematography is astounding, and Liu proves his merit as a modern documentarian with creative choices like using real Rockford billboards as topical title cards for each painfully intimate section."
"Just as skateboarding seems to transcend the sum of its parts, filmmaker Bing Liu has crafted a work of transcendent film."
"Bing Liu’s “Minding the Gap” skillfully balances social issues with compelling characters."
“Bing Liu’s lovely portrait of wayward men stumbling into early adulthood functions both as a snapshot of their tumultuous lives and Liu’s own experience alongside them. Combining first-rate skate video footage with a range of confessional moments, Minding the Gap is a warmhearted look at the difficulties of reckoning with the past while attempting to escape its clutches… it contains a staggering degree of maturity for a movie directed and focused on such young subjects.”
"There are few things more exciting in non-fiction than when a filmmaker is smart and brave enough to take the film where it wants to go, listening to its subject matter and allowing its narrative to enter what may be uncomfortable areas... Bing Liu's remarkable film, shot over many years, sets out as a straightforward look at a group of kids that found solace in a skatepark, working on their moves while he smoothly captured them on video...Liu's film is both visually impressive and emotionally rich, finding a perfect balance between the liberty of the skating sequences and the more profound elements delving into the family tragedies that continue to haunt Liu and his friends."
“Minding the Gap looks at the lives of three young men growing up in Rockford, Illinois in an intimate and thought-provoking way that will hit like a punch to the gut.”
“Minding the Gap is an engaging yet tricky little documentary.” ★★★★
“A touching and poignant portrait of three friends taking different paths through that ‘gap’ period of not quite adulthood but no longer adolescence. For a first feature, Liu shows incredible maturity in storytelling, especially when dealing with issues of domestic abuse.
“Two of the 2018 fest's best documentaries, Shirkers and Minding the Gap, also contrast youthful exuberance and creativity with the disillusionment of adulthood.”
"If we are lucky, you’ll be reading more about and even seeing movies like 'Skate Kitchen,' from Crystal Moselle, a dreamy female friendship movie about teenage girl skateboarders in New York, which would work on a double bill with the affecting documentary 'Minding the Gap,' directed by Bing Liu, who follows a troika of skateboarders into manhood in Rockford, Ill."
“Bing Liu not only has an excellent eye but deeper ambitions… There’s something deeply resonant in the way Liu captures a time when young men are both child and adult, especially if they have open wounds from their difficult youth that may have stunted their maturity… Minding the Gap is a film about modern millennial masculinity in a way that breaks the stereotypes and asks us to confront not only cycles of abuse but how they shape both the memories we want to suppress and the friendships we never want to forget at the same time.”
“It's one of my favorite documentaries of the festival... I hope everyone can appreciate all that Bing Liu has achieved with Minding the Gap, and cherish it as a worthwhile examination of American youth, highlighting the importance of skateboarding as personal expression, and the endless pursuit of living a good life. There's so many lessons we can learn from such honest storytelling.”
“It seems impossible for “Minding the Gap” to be as inspiring as it is, given its difficult subject matter, but just the fact that someone with Liu’s background could make it fills one with hope and that he is able to articulate such an amorphous issues as domestic abuse and generational transference with such emotional precision makes for a truly moving experience.”
"A lyrical skateboard ballet when it wants to be and critical introspection amidst the tumult of family and friendship when it absolutely has to be."
"Often troubling and deeply moving, a story about the ways that generational violence and poverty affect families and cities...as a work of nonfiction, it's stunning; as a piece of storytelling, it's heartbreaking."
"This year's Sundance may well be defined by the host of innovative ways filmmakers found to tell personal stories...the most touching of these self-reflexive projects was Bing Liu's intimate look at a pair of childhood friends he's been filming for nearly a decade."
“‘Burden’ and ‘Minding the Gap’ are among the best movies coming out of Park City...Bing Liu’s deeply felt look at himself and his skateboarding pals, Zack and Keire, is an intense story about the repeating cycle of domestic violence in a depressed town. Liu’s camerawork and editing are amazing. ★★★★”
“A few bold-faced names to watch come out of every Sundance, and here’s a major one: Bing Liu, who directed, co-edited, co-produced, shot, and co-stars in this (often uncomfortably) intimate documentary… Liu has a gift for montage and a confident way with his camera, and the emotional heft of this debut is quietly overwhelming.”
“What starts as a movie about slackers lighting off fireworks and drinking beers on rooftops becomes a nuanced, carefully modulated study of domestic abuse, particularly the way violence cycles through generations of family members.”
"Powerful and intimate...a tour de force of documentary filmmaking."
"An audacious feature debut on all levels...This edition of the festival has marked [Liu] as a storyteller to watch."
"Incredibly powerful...the work of a filmmaker willing to acknowledge that sometimes, seeing better, seeing differently, is more important than understanding.”