The Best and Worst Documentaries of the Tribeca Film Festival


The Pistol Shrimps

A few years back, Aubrey Plaza decided she wanted to start an amateur basketball team with her friends – but there wasn’t a women’s league for them to play in. So they started one. What began as a lark became an honest-to-goodness L.A. thing, with 36 leagues competing once a week and merch, sponsors, and even a play-by-play podcast. Bret Hodge’s cheery, slight feature is pretty lightweight stuff, even by celeb doc standards. But it moves fast, gets laughs, and functions primarily as an excuse to hang out with these funny, fascinating women.

Contemporary Color

Back in 2015, David Byrne assembled ten top color guard teams, paired them with ten musical artists, and had them each collaborate on an original work that he then presented at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center. And just as color guard is something of a mash-up (of dance, twirling, and cheerleading), Bill and Turner Ross’s film is a combination of performance film, backstage documentary, and movie musical. The balance isn’t always right (they too often cut away to what’s happening behind the scenes when we want to see the full performance), but their compositions and camera choreography are inventive, the music is vibrant, and the color guards kill it. This movie is just bursting with joy, and it’s impossible not to get swept up in it.