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I'm Still Here (2010)

tomatometer

53

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 127
Fresh: 67 | Rotten: 60

As unkempt and inscrutable as Joaquin Phoenix himself, I'm Still Here raises some interesting questions about its subject, as well as the nature of celebrity, but it fails to answer many of them convincingly.

41

Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 29
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 17

As unkempt and inscrutable as Joaquin Phoenix himself, I'm Still Here raises some interesting questions about its subject, as well as the nature of celebrity, but it fails to answer many of them convincingly.

audience

38

liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 20,216

My Rating

Movie Info

Oscar-nominated Walk the Line star Joaquin Phoenix announces that he's retiring from acting to launch a hip-hop career as his brother-in-law Casey Affleck captures the curious transition on camera in the film some are labeling an elaborate Andy Kaufman-style prank. In the fall of 2008, Phoenix shocked his fans with the announcement that he would no longer be appearing in features, but instead trying his hand in the music business. In the wake of a particularly bizarre appearance on the Late Show

Nov 23, 2010

$0.4M

Magnolia Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on I'm Still Here

September 22, 2010:
Casey Affleck Comes Clean About I'm Still Here
In a exclusive interview with Roger Ebert, Casey Affleck discusses "I'm Still Here" -- including...
September 22, 2010:
Ranking I'm Still Here Among the Great Film Hoaxes
Now that we know "I'm Still Here" was just a hoax, it's time to ask: Where does it rank among the...

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All Critics (129) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (67) | Rotten (60) | DVD (3)

No doubt what we witness is a performance for the camera, but with what motivation? Or is the hoax a hoax?

September 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I'm not sure I believed a word of this film. Actors who melt down on camera are usually, well, acting. But I couldn't take my eyes off I'm Still Here.

September 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Chances are the joke is on us. The problem is the joke isn't very funny. In fact, it's kind of vile.

September 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If we're truly witnessing the unraveling of a talented man in his prime, it's just sad. If it's all performance art, though, it's just pointless.

September 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Associated Press
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Joaquin is simply adding to the ugliness, encouraging the fools, and wasting everyone's time.

September 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Film.com
Film.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is as damnably perplexing as the subject himself.

September 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I'm Still Here is incredibly self indulgent and pointless. As a piece it is not funny, and simply put, it's just painful to watch and offers very little.

November 9, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Joaquin gets the last laugh on us all. But the movie's a mess.

January 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Nation
Movie Nation

As a defeated Phoenix cleanses himself in the waters of Panama at the movie's climax, ultimately you're left asking the same question you were wondering when you went in: why should I care?

September 28, 2012 Full Review Source: TheShiznit.co.uk
TheShiznit.co.uk

Is I'm Still Here an art film? Post-verité? Social satire? A big "**** you" to Hollywood? Disturbing? Hard to sit through? Oh yeah.

January 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

[A] disaster, a bratty, self-indulgent demand to be paid attention to, complete with the expectation that it will be paid attention to, because celebrity simply really is that irresistible no matter what it's doing...

January 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

If what's happening in the film is honest and real, it's more spectacle than introspection. If it's all fake, only the filmmakers are laughing.

January 15, 2011 Full Review Source: MovieCrypt.com
MovieCrypt.com

This movie has to be seen to be simultaneously believed and disbelieved.

December 21, 2010 Full Review Source: IFC.com
IFC.com

By the end of the film, I was hoping it was a fake. If real, it would reveal a famous person who should not be celebrated.

December 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

An ugly and disturbing deconstruction of self-destruction and emptiness.

December 4, 2010 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

Phoenix and Affleck aren't merely concerned with teaching everyone a lesson -- that would be cheap. They offer us an opportunity to step through the looking glass and see the human being that sits behind the famous personality.

October 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Quickflix | Comment (1)
Quickflix

If Phoenix and Affleck are engaged in an extended performance-art piece, their message ? that America?s celebrity culture is empty and soul-crushing ? isn?t anything that hasn?t been said before.

October 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

A clever stunt that shrewdly wrestles with issues of fame, truth and self.

October 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Taken as satire, where Phoenix is the Trickster, I'm Still Here is a rare piece of provocation cinema, infiltrating the mainstream and casting an ugly light on a torrid, superficial society.

October 6, 2010 Full Review Source: The Vine
The Vine

Phoenix needs a hug. And a Bowflex.

October 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Casy Affleck is trying to claim that I'm Still Here is 'gonzo film-making'. And I'm right with him on that point. It DOES look like it was made by a muppet.

September 29, 2010 Full Review Source: News of the World | Comment (1)
News of the World

...it took something like courage to make it, and it has some ofthe same iconoclastic power of punk rock, with the same edge of sneering cynicism ballasted by a canny sense of the market.

September 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

I don't get it.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

What Affleck and Phoenix have attempted is more than a film. I'm Still Here chronicles a two-year performance-art piece that's bold and, just maybe, brilliant.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Moving Pictures Magazine | Comments (2)
Moving Pictures Magazine

I'm Still Here's gruelling faux-doc assemblage loses its charm after about 40 minutes.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY
eye WEEKLY

Why leave all that wreckage in their path if there's no real point; no insightful takeaway?

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Scene-Stealers.com
Scene-Stealers.com

Audience Reviews for I'm Still Here

A prank void of any substance, I'm Still Here manages to be nothing more than a Borat imitation with flawed artistic pretenses.
April 11, 2014
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

In 2008, Joaquin Phoenix announces that he's quitting acting to pursue a music career in hip hop. His bother-in-law, Casey Affleck, decides to film his every move over the course of a year and delivers a portrait of an artist at a crossroads in his life.
Beginning with home video footage from 1981 in Panama, of a young Phoenix jumping from a waterfall, this films sets it's stall out in exploring a life that's seemingly always been documented. Phoenix has been in the public-eye from a very tender age, having appeared as young as 8 yrs old in the television series "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" before moving onto "The Fall Guy", "Hill Street Blues" and "Murder She Wrote". His first recognisable movie roles came in the shape of 1986's "Space Camp" or 1989's "Parenthood" before moving into more edgier roles in Gus Van Sant's "To Die For" in 1995. Up until then, he was better known as the younger sibling of (the late) River Phoenix but eventually gained the full respect of movie goers with two Oscar nominations (now three, since the release of this movie). It's was through this steady rise in the film industry that brought so much media attention to his, seemingly, self destructive decision to abandon acting and become a rap artist under the guidance of Sean "P. Diddy" Combs.
This fly-on-the wall documentary follows Phoenix's obvious lack of talent for rapping and the abandonment of his personal hygiene, while his fragile mental state increased due to a voracious appetite for cannabis and cocaine. As he's constantly high and stoned, a frenzied media where clambering for his story and a reason for the meltdown of an actor in the prime of his career. Ultimately, though, the joke was on them (and us), as the whole thing was an elaborate hoax and an exposé of the nature of celebrity and their pandered ego's and lifestyle's.
Phoenix is entirely believable in his bearded, paunched appearance and his spiralling egotistical, mental anguish and arrogance. He even dares to tackle chat-show host David Letterman (in a now infamous episode) and when you consider that this was a role that completely consumed him - not only throughout the length of the shoot but in the eyes of the world, before and after - you realise how outstanding he is. It's a powerful display of commitment and it's probably one of the bravest and boldest moves that an actor has done.
As entertainment, though, it's questionable. It goes on too long and there are points where the voyeurism pushes boundaries and comes across as bad taste. What could have been the downfall of a man going through a serious mental breakdown, struggles to decide whether it's comedic or dramatic. That being said, it's interesting viewing and it at least exposes the bitter behaviour of western media and how easily they can turn.
Being a fan of Phoenix, will certainly add to the appeal of this film, but if you can normally take or leave him, then this won't hold much of an interest. It's flawed, but it's a bold and noteworthy experiment all the same.

Mark Walker
July 19, 2013
MrMarakai

Super Reviewer

A few years ago Joaquin Phoenix announced he was retiring from acting to pursue a hip hop career. Was it a hoax, or was it the real deal? Well, Casey Afffleck filmed the entire thing for this "documentary". I was very intrigued to see this, because I think Phoenix is a terrific actor. After watching this, I must say, I don't give a crap if this whole thing was real or not(never says). This movie is boring, all over the place, and doesn't go anywhere. I really hope it was a hoax, because if not, Phoenix is a messed up dude, but more importantly he's a jerk. He comes off very bad in this, and makes me like him less. If it was all fake, then man he is a great actor, but this is the type of movie that just makes you like the people involved a little less. I know he is coming back to acting, and I'm sure he will still be good, but as far as this movie goes, just skip it. This isn't worth the time or effort to watch a movie.
July 8, 2012
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

Joaquin Phoenix: Did someone just human shit on me? 

I think everyone is over thinking I'm Still Here. It's a mocumentary and a damn good one at that. Phoenix wasn't just acting in a movie, but acting in front of the whole world. The David Letterman interview is absolutely hilarious and Phoenix makes it so believable. You have to give Letterman some credit for going with it though. I can't believe he was able to make it through that interview. 

I'm Still Here is hoax documentary about Joaquin Phoenix quitting acting and trying to pursue a rap career. Phoenix's performance is off the charts. He kills his performance and really sells the hoax that all this stuff is really going on. He embarrassed himself in front of the whole world just to make this mocumentary. How awesome is that? He faked having a complete mental breakdown. I think it's absolutely brilliant.

Besides the Letterman part of the movie; the next best scene is when he gets into a verbal argument with an audience member at his show. It is simply hysterical. It really is kind of irritating how bad the response has been to this film. It's a mocumentary, but a believable one. It's awkward. It's funny. I guess Casey Affleck almost went broke trying to make this movie and had to actually stop filming it in order to be in The Killer Inside Me, so he could finish the film. 

Just go into it knowing it's a mocumentary and view it as a work of fiction. It's incredibly funny if viewed that way.
August 13, 2011
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

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