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Tim's Vermeer Reviews

Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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"Tim's Vermeer" is about many things - art history, technology, painting technique, beauty - but ultimately it's a beguiling study of fascination.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 6, 2014
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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We should never forget that Penn and Teller are professional bamboozlers, and their attempt to re-frame the definition of genius might be nothing but smoke and mirrors.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 3/4

March 6, 2014
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Unexpectedly dazzling.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B+

February 28, 2014
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Tim's Vermeer is film as forensics, bringing math and science to bear to solve an art-world mystery.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 28, 2014
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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"Tim's Vermeer" is a movie for people who like to think, who like to ponder the big questions surrounding art and the act of creation.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 4.5/5

February 27, 2014
James Adams
Globe and Mail
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Mostly it is fascinating and compelling.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

February 21, 2014
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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You might think that following this insanely ambitious DIY project would be like watching paint dry. Wrong.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

February 20, 2014
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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Some movies are great because of their artistry; "Tim's Vermeer" achieves greatness - OK, semi-greatness - by placing the act of artistic creation itself under a microscope.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 20, 2014
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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"Tim's Vermeer" makes a convincing case that Vermeer could have painted the way Jenison says he did. It also makes a pretty powerful ancillary point: that some people are both geniuses and geeks.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3/4

February 13, 2014
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
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The refreshing thing about this otherwise formulaic romantic comedy is that writer-director Tom Gormican gives the verbal humor some rhythm, shooting many of the dialogue-driven scenes in long takes so they develop a pleasing ebb and flow.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

February 13, 2014
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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"Tim's Vermeer" is a diverting 80-minute account of one man's mission to explore the Vermeer optics theory in detail.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

February 13, 2014
Richard Brody
New Yorker
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As mechanical as the procedure it depicts.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

February 10, 2014
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Art purists can relax since [inventor Tim] Jenison, a video wiz with little talent for painting, never really challenges Vermeer's genius for conception and composition. Technology is the thing at issue here.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 31, 2014
Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
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Teller, the quiet half of the iconoclastic magic act Penn and Teller, crafts a captivating documentary portrait of the artist as a tinkerer.

Full Review Source: Orange County Register | Original Score: A-

January 30, 2014
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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Shooting in unattractive, hard-edge digital, Teller condenses Mr. Jenison's years-long pursuit into 80 glib, alternately diverting, exasperating and tedious minutes.

Full Review Source: New York Times

January 30, 2014
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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A fascinating documentary that poses a compelling aesthetic query: did 17th-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer use optical devices to achieve his gorgeously photo-realistic, light-filled artwork?

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 30, 2014
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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"Tim's Vermeer," a fascinating documentary by the comic magicians Penn & Teller, has a way of arousing passionate feelings while provoking fresh ideas about the porous border between technology and art.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

January 30, 2014
Jake Coyle
Associated Press
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The film - an ode to craftsmanship - establishes without a doubt that many of the traits we reserve for other fields - dedication, ingenuity - are also inherent to the artistic process. Ta-da.

Full Review Source: Associated Press | Original Score: 3/4

January 28, 2014
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
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A captivating look at a high-tech inventor who presumes to replicate the work of a great painter.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

January 27, 2014
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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An exquisitely fun documentary that hits on a profound aesthetic question, one first posed in 2001 by David Hockney: Did the 17th-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer use optical devices to achieve his visual poetics of light?

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A

January 8, 2014
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
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A fascinating new documentary about art, obsessions, ideas and answers.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times

December 12, 2013
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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[A] highly entertaining documentary ...

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

December 6, 2013
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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The movie's painstaking attention to detail certainly puts you in mind of Vermeer's own, but even halfway through its short length it's easy to get restless.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 6, 2013
Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine/Vulture
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Do we even want to see a movie arguing that the work of one of the greatest artists of all time could be re-created by a dude with some mirrors and no actual ability to paint? I'm not sure. But Tim's Vermeer has more on its mind than that.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

December 6, 2013
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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What Tim's Vermeer is really about is two geniuses, of very different sorts, communing across time and space.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: A-

December 5, 2013
Bob Mondello
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The process of putting those three-dimensional objects on canvas in natural light is so fascinating that no one's going to make jokes about watching paint dry - though at one point the film is literally about watching paint dry. And then applying varnish.

Full Review Source: NPR

December 5, 2013
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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The result is cool and semi-comical, but also serious.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

December 5, 2013
Eric Hynes
Time Out New York
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Tim's finished Vermeer may resemble the real thing, but Tim's Vermeer never tackles the true mystery of why the latter is actually incomparable.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

December 4, 2013
Stephanie Zacharek
Village Voice
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The charm of the whole enterprise wears off even before this movie's trim 80 minutes are up.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

December 3, 2013
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
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The result astonishes. A fascinating, funny and inspiring story.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

September 14, 2013
William Goss
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The most fun you'll have watching paint dry all year.

Full Review Source:

September 14, 2013
Ben Kenigsberg
AV Club
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It's a cool hypothesis, catnip for art-history buffs, but it can't quite sustain feature length.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: b-

September 13, 2013
Peter Debruge
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Penn and Teller's uncanny crowdpleaser begs the question, is it still a masterpiece if an amateur could do it?

Full Review Source: Variety

September 13, 2013
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