This is a great movie about real people from a real neighborhood. It showed what can happen when a bunch of ordinary people pool the skills - and their love - to work on a common project (raising the money) that most of them thought they no longer had the drive/passion/whatever to do because they had become resigned to living in their limited ways.
As for for the reviewer who said it was unrealistic, they probably don't understand a few things, such as:
1. In real life, a lot more money ($1 mil plus) fell out of the back of a Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia truck and was recovered in a neighborhood. They also made a so-so movie out of that story.
2. If you're 57 like I am, you know that $3,300 apiece could have bought you a new Cadillac in the late 1950s-early 60s, so it was enough to finance educations or trade school tuitions. And a doctor's visit did cost under $20.
3. The emotional parts were very realistic. Some of the people argued to keep the money and some argued to give it back to the police -a realistic difference of opinion. I can't say more or I give away too much of the story.
4. The opening scenes showed people who were taken in to another's home. People did take in other people to their homes more often in those days, helping one another altruisticly. Everyone didn't live 3 superhighway exits away in the suburbs. For example, when my own mother had a gall bladder operation in the 1950s, a woman friend of the family took me into her home for a few weeks one summer.
The writer is a real, middle class person from Buffalo, where the story is set, who raised 5 daughters. She speaks naturally in the DVD special features (and is in the movie as one of the dance school clients with her real husband). She looks and sounds like a Northeastern neighbor, not a fast talking Hollywood writer driving around in a Mercedes that is 3 payments overdue.
I will go so far as to say that if you don't see the spiritual truths from real life in this movie, you are still being affected by a harsh, fearfull, negative upbringing. I suggest you watch the movie again and see what you can learn from it.