Exit Through The Gift Shop Reviews

Top Critic
Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
June 24, 2010
The plain fact is that, on some level, it doesn't matter whether the film is true or not. Either way, it's fascinating. Either way, we learn a lot. Either way, it's a great film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
June 23, 2010
A provocative and absorbing exploration of what constitutes art, the creative process and the power of hype to triumph over talent.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
May 13, 2010
As the documentary morphs into a riddle about art in the marketplace, the eyes of the beholder get crossed, and the dizziness is part of the fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
May 7, 2010
Hoax or not, Exit Through the Gift Shop ends up energizing, aggravating, enjoyable and revealing. Is it art or isn't it? Who knows? Apparently no one.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
May 7, 2010
Put-on, satire, mockumentary, goof? Whatever it is, "Exit Through the Gift Shop" is an original.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
May 7, 2010
Like Banksy's best street work, it pushes and prods our gullibility buttons and sends the mind swirling with questions of artistic authenticity and intent.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
April 30, 2010
Exit Through the Gift Shop offers an absorbing glimpse of a bracingly subversive slice of the culture, as well as some tantalizing images of Banksy at work.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 29, 2010
Exit Through the Gift Shop, credited as "A Banksy Film," poses some bitingly funny questions about the meaning and value of art. Is it in the eye of the beholder? Is it truth plus beauty? Anything you can get away with? Brainwashing?
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
April 29, 2010
Some have suggested that the whole story, including the emergence of Mr. Brainwash, is an elaborate hoax engineered by Banksy to satirize the commodification of art. If so, it's a brilliant one.
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
April 29, 2010
The brilliantly untrustworthy documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop reminds us that a film can start out in one direction and then change course so radically, it becomes an act of provocation unto itself.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 29, 2010
The widespread speculation that Exit Through the Gift Shop is a hoax only adds to its fascination.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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A.O. Scott
At the Movies
April 26, 2010
Fascinating.
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 23, 2010
This initiates a role reversal in which documentarian becomes artist and vice versa.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
April 22, 2010
One of the best, most karmically satisfying comedies of the year, much to the chagrin of the people who are in it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
April 19, 2010
Exit Through the Gift Shop feels dangerously close to the promotion of a cult -- almost, dare one say it, of a brand.
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Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
April 16, 2010
Exit could be a new subgenre: the prankumentary.
| Original Score: 4/5
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David Germain
Associated Press
April 16, 2010
The film is a curiosity. It's both an attempted documentary of an artistic movement and a bemused examination about why the movie failed in that mission.
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
April 16, 2010
Banksy makes an appealing narrator with a deft grasp of the questions raised.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
April 16, 2010
A documentary on the art world may strike you as a yawn. No worries. You'll be laughing helplessly at this one.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
April 16, 2010
We don't learn that much about Banksy, other than he's a lot more meticulous than his street warrior image would suggest.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
April 15, 2010
Droll, aerosol-thin and ultrameta, a movie about a movie that supposedly was but actually wasn't being made about Banksy by his amiably bonkers Boswell, a compulsive French videographer named Thierry Guetta.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
April 15, 2010
For the more you think about this unusual film, the more fascinating it becomes culturally and sociologically, dealing with notions of mania and obsession, art and commerce, hype and quality.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Noel Murray
AV Club
April 15, 2010
Just as a permanent record of a remarkable artistic movement, Exit Through The Gift Shop is valuable. But there's more going on here.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
April 14, 2010
An exhilarating hall-of-mirrors look at what happens when global art fame turns anonymous, artists become objects, fans turn into artists, and the whole what's-sincere-and-what's-a-sham spectacle is more fun than art was ever supposed to be.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Aaron Hillis
Village Voice
April 14, 2010
A genuinely hip, thought-provoking work of art disguised as a doomed documentary resurrected.
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
April 14, 2010
That rarest of art documentaries, one that actually leaves viewers with a better sense of the gifted versus the phony. In several senses, Banksy has created a monster.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
April 12, 2010
Narrated by Rhys Ifans with the dryness of a dessicated toad, Exit Through the Gift Shop is both an exhilarating testament to serendipity and an appalling testament to art-world inanity.
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
March 5, 2010
The film is a rousing tribute to street art, a crafty autobiography and a cheeky comment on the bravado of artists, talented or otherwise, and the gullibility of their punters - us included.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
January 28, 2010
It's a rueful, comic exploration of what happens when artists like Banksy and his friend Shepard Fairey see their own weapons used against them.
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Peter Debruge
Variety
January 26, 2010
A raucously entertaining postmodern survey of guerrilla street art that appears to be one thing, only to fold back on itself and examine would-be filmmaker Thierry Guetta instead.