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F for Fake

F for Fake (1974)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

audience

89

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 7,002

My Rating

Movie Info

The final directorial project the legendary Orson Welles completed during his lifetime, F for Fake is less a documentary than an example of cinematic free association on the topic of trickery. Much of the film is in fact drawn from other sources, most notably an unfinished documentary by Francois Reichenbach on the notorious Elmyr de Hory, whose extremely skillful forgeries of famous paintings caused scandals amongst art collectors and experts. In an additional bit of irony, de Hory's

Apr 26, 2005

Saguenay Films

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All Critics (35) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (4) | DVD (17)

Alternately superficial and profound.

February 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A triumphantly self-amused, self-aware reflection on the verities of art and creativity and the lies that sustain them.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A singular combination of documentary, essay, narrative, broad comedy, hoax, and cinematic vaudeville.

September 26, 2005 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A charming, witty meditation upon fakery, forgery, swindling and art, a movie that may itself be its own Exhibit A.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Welcome to the philosophical fun house that is F for Fake, stuffed full of questions about the nature of art and authorship, illusion and reality, lies and truth.

May 1, 2005
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At times T for tedious and P for pretentious, the film remains essential viewing for admirers of the great cineaste and showman.

August 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

It tells us that what we like is just fine and that the value is art is measured in something other than currency, though in this case the price of a cinema ticket will do nicely.

August 24, 2012 Full Review Source: The Ooh Tray
The Ooh Tray

A modest, throwaway trifle but still entertaining.

August 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

F for Fake is a minor work in some ways, but there is fascination and poignancy in seeing Welles's elegant retreat into this hall of mirrors.

August 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

Thirty-two years after he unfolded the cinematic pop-up book that was Citizen Kane, Orson Welles collapsed the entire medium in on itself with this irresistible 1973 film essay on art and fakery.

August 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

So rich, ripe and tricksy you'll need to give this one multiple sweeps.

August 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Welles was to claim, 'I believe a work is good to the degree that it expresses the man who created it' and, by that standard, F for Fake must be a masterpiece.

August 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Electric Sheep
Electric Sheep

Less heralded than some of Welles' other work, F For Fake is still a fascinating examination of authenticity and authorship.

August 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Welles' assurance that you will be enthralled by his every word and oversized gesture is so arrogant, so refreshingly contemptuous, that you'd give him a round of applause, if you weren't sure he was doing that for himself every time he called, "cut."

August 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Examiner.com
Examiner.com

gives the viewer the feeling that he's in Welles's expansive company...while he considers and pontificates on a pet topic. That in itself is a privilege, and reason enough to check out F for Fake

May 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

...a digressive, playful and at times profound essay on the nature of authenticity and the fluid boundaries between art and decoration, between inspiration and imitation.

April 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

A little gem, full of vintage Welles ruminations on the ephemeral nature of personal celebrity and the elusiveness of ultimate truth.

May 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Low IQ Canadian

An almost impossibly lively pastiche of images and ideas that never tires.

May 1, 2005 Full Review Source: Filmjourney

After seeing this elusive film, I wonder how many pictures of the great artists in the museums are really by them and not by some forger.

April 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

I've never seen another film like it

April 12, 2005 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Audience Reviews for F for Fake

Sui generis documentary impregnated by Welles' panache, wit and love for celluloid
February 26, 2014
pier007

Super Reviewer

A totally unique experience, master director/actor (etc.) Orson Welles creates his late masterpiece with his expose on trickery.
October 27, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

A documentary/essay about the art of trickery. Opening with a series of magic tricks, performed by Welles himself, the movie explores two characters who became famous for lying, for tricking others, and by doing it pretty damn well. Very engaging, fun, you can see this as the blue print for many modern documentaries that use a similar style of "free" narrative/performance mode. Movies are a form of fakery after all, Welles is the first one to call himself a charlatan, and with great wit he takes us to this fantastic voyage of illusions, a house of mirrors. What matters is not things being "real" or "fake", but how interesting, appealing and well made they can be.
September 7, 2011
DragonEyeMorrison
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • F wie Fälschung (DE)
  • F for Fake (UK)
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