To Dust is a 2018 American comedy-drama film directed by Shawn Snyder and starring Géza Röhrig and Matthew Broderick, Leo Heller and Sammy Voit.[2][3] It was produced by Emily Mortimer, Alessandro Nivola and Ron Perlman.[4] The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on 22 April 2018 followed by screenings at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival and the Hamptons International Film Festival.[5]

To Dust
To Dust - poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byShawn Snyder
Produced byJosh Crook
Scott Lochmus
Emily Mortimer
Alessandro Nivola
Ron Perlman
Screenplay byJason Begue
Shawn Snyder
StarringGéza Röhrig
Matthew Broderick
Leo Heller
Sammy Voit
Music byAriel Marx
CinematographyXavi Giménez
Edited byAllyson C. Johnson
King Bee Productions, Salem Street Entertainment, UnLTD Productions, BRON Studios, Storyland Pictures, Wing and a Prayer Pictures
Distributed byGood Deed Entertainment
Release date
  • April 22, 2018 (2018-04-22) (Tribeca)
Running time
1:45 min
CountryUnited States
Box office$184,495[1]


American Hasidic Jew, Shmuel, loses his beloved wife, Rivka, to cancer. Now he lives with his mother, two sons, and a terrible longing. His mother advises Shmuel to "move on" and marry again, the children think that a dibbuk, the spirit of Rivka, has moved into their father. Longing and excitement drive Shmuel to look for answers to unexpected questions. What worries him most is the thought of what happens to his beloved wife’s body after burial and how quickly she turns to dust. To find answers and religious solace, Shmuel initially comes to a rabbi—but then forms an unlikely partnership with a professor of biology.


  • Géza Röhrig as Shmuel
  • Sammy Voit as Naftali
  • Matthew Broderick as Albert
  • Leo Heller as Noam
  • Janet Sarno as Faigy
  • Stephanie Kurtzuba as Receptionist
  • Ben Hammer as Rebbe
  • Larry Owens as Stanley
  • Bern Cohen as Reb Goshen
  • Aaron Raskin as Sender
  • Jill Marie Lawrence as Judy
  • Joseph Siprut as Undertaker
  • Zalman Raskin as Brother-in-Law
  • Sarah Jes Austell as Lab Receptionist
  • Natalie Carter as Security Guard
  • Marceline Hugot as Carol


The film won the Narrative Audience Award at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.[6]


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 88% based on 41 critical reviews. The site's critical consensus reads "Thematically ambitious and tonally audacious, To Dust tackles universally relatable topics in a bracingly original way."[5] On Metacritic, the film has an approval rating of 66% based on 16 reviews, which means "generally favorable reviews".[7]

David Edelstein of Vulture said "To Dust is occasionally unintentionally cringe-inducing. The portrait of Shmuel will probably offend Orthodox Jews, despite — or perhaps because of — his continuous exclamations that everything he’s doing is “not Jewish.” The spirit of inquiry is extremely Jewish, but different communities have different levels of tolerance for going outside the lines."[8] Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun-Times commented "No doubt the material will offend some, given the nature of the storyline. And yet beneath the sometimes grisly visuals and the pitch-black humor and the general weirdness, this is the story of two men with precious little in common who become friends against all odds and help one another find a little peace in life. As I said. Classic buddy movie material.[9] Robert Adele of the Los Angeles Times noted "The movie could use a little more energy — this is Paul Mazursky territory, after all, not Andrei Tarkovsky — but in its sick-but-sweet attempt to reclaim grief from the trappings of tradition, “To Dust” is its own well-measured godsend."[10]

Mark Dujsik of gave the movie three stars, commenting "Religion can provide some solace, but it can also complicate matters. Science can explain the natural processes, but even then, it cannot account for every detail in every situation. "To Dust" is about those contradictions and, in the end, about the ultimate one: that, to some questions, the only logical and spiritual answer is that there isn't one—except whatever we make of it."[11]


  1. ^ "To Dust (2019) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  2. ^ "To Dust (2018)". Walloh.Movies. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  3. ^ D'Arcy, David (25 April 2018). "'To Dust': Tribeca Review". Screen Daily. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  4. ^ Harvey, Dennis (23 April 2018). "Tribeca Film Review: 'To Dust'". Variety. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  5. ^ a b "To Dust (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  6. ^ Nordine, Michael (26 April 2018). "'To Dust' and 'United Skates' Win the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival Audience Awards". IndieWire. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  7. ^ "To Dust". Metacritic. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  8. ^ Edelstein, David (7 February 2019). "To Dust Makes Good, Cringeworthy Comedy About a Decomposing Corpse". Vulture. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  9. ^ Roeper, Richard (14 February 2019). "'To Dust': A cantor and a professor walk into a graveyard ..." Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  10. ^ Adele, Robert (14 February 2019). "Review: Matthew Broderick stars in unorthodox 'To Dust'; Kiwi comedy 'The Breaker Upperers' and doggie rom-com 'Patrick'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  11. ^ Dujsik, Mark (February 8, 2019). "To Dust Movie Review & Film Summary (2019) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved 12 July 2019.

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