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The Cool School (2008)

tomatometer

92

Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 26
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 2

A breezy and lively modern art documentary, revealing that LA is not a cultural wasteland when it comes to fine art.

100

Average Rating: 7.3/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 0

A breezy and lively modern art documentary, revealing that LA is not a cultural wasteland when it comes to fine art.

audience

63

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 490

My Rating

Movie Info

New York City has long been regarded as the heart of the American art movement, but near the end of the 1940s, as the post-war rise of Abstract Expressionism became the new wave of painting in the United States, a small but determined band of painters, curators, and collectors on the West Coast were determined to make themselves known. Filmmaker Morgan Neville examines the rise of the Los Angeles art scene and how it brought a new and vigorously American slant to contemporary painting in the

Jul 29, 2008

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All Critics (27) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (2) | DVD (2)

Morgan Neville's 'The Cool School' is a slickly packaged document of the burgeoning modern art scene in LA during the late '50s and early '60s which sadly submerges its fascinating subject matter in technical clutter and contrived set-ups.

August 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Veteran documentarist Morgan Neville's illustrated history of the painters and sculptors associated with Venice's Ferus Gallery (1957-1967) is at once lively and analytical.

May 22, 2008 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Diverting.

March 28, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Cool School, a breezy, lively documentary about a thin slice of the Los Angeles fine art scene in the 1950s, is easy on the eyes, and the ears too.

March 28, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cool School is a must for anyone interested in 20th century American art.

March 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Newsday
Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Smart, jazzy and unafraid to deflate egos, Morgan Neville's fast-paced, finely critical study makes for a pungent intro to a movement now esteemed as a key alternative to the New York AbEx stranglehold.

March 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Cool School is a history of the LA art scene which will be most interesting for those who are involved in it.

August 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

Occasionally too reverent, this remains an effective evocation of a vibrant and interesting art scene, not to mention a touching paean to lost youth.

August 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

The Cool School is neither as lively nor as complete as it could be, but as an introduction to modern art, it's a fine freshman course.

June 20, 2008 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Breezy doc lives up to its title.

May 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Metromix.com
Metromix.com

Makes the case that there's more than basket weaving and freeway driving going on in the seedbed of originality we know as the Great Basin of L.A.

May 21, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals
Cinema Signals

Sweeps you off your feet with quick-witted visuals and cleverly used archival footage.

April 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Definitely proves that, contrary to certain opinions, Los Angeles is not a cultural wasteland where fine art is concerned.

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Surf's up in Southern California as the modern art world invades Nixonville and Reagan City in the 1950s. A fascinating look at the start of something big: modern art in Los Angeles.

March 28, 2008
Monsters and Critics

Thoughtful and thought-provoking.

March 28, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Largely avoids sharply delineated portraits, with its focus on the scene at the expense of individuals, ultimately resulting in a documentary that doesn't rise above the functional.

March 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Though designed more for the devotee of the arts than your average moviegoer, the film is still apt to enthrall even the uninitiated who wouldn't know a Jackson Pollock from a Willem de Kooning.

March 25, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze
NewsBlaze

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