Art School Confidential


Art School Confidential

Critics Consensus

Art School's misanthropy is too sour, its targets too flat and cliched, and Clowes and Zwigoff stumble when trying to build a story around the premise.



Total Count: 136


Audience Score

User Ratings: 44,487
User image

Art School Confidential Photos

Movie Info

"Art School Confidential" follows Jerome, an art student who dreams of becoming the greatest artist in the world. Arriving as a freshman at a prestigious East Coast art school, filled with every artsy "type" there is, Jerome quickly discovers his affected style and arrogance won't get him very far. When he sees that a clueless jock is attracting the glory rightfully due him, he hatches an all-or-nothing plan to hit it big in the art world and win the heart of the most beautiful girl in the school.

Watch it now


John Malkovich
as Professor Sandiford
Adam Scott
as Marvin Bushmiller
Jack Ong
as Professor Larry Okamura
Isaac Laskin
as Kiss-Ass
Scoot McNairy
as Army Jacket
Shelly Cole
as Filthy-Haired Girl
Michael Shamus Wiles
as Donald Baumgarten
Cristen Coppen
as Preppy Girl
Paul Collins
as Professor David Zipkin
Ezra Buzzington
as Leslie, Male Model
Kimi Reichenberg
as Suburban Girl
Richard Bakalyan
as Cranky Guard
Alex Ryan
as Nympho
Travis Walck
as Richard Natwick
Roxanne Hart
as Mom Platz
Michael Lerner
as Art Dealer
Marie L. Bain
as Mrs. Helen Sandiford
Osman Soykut
as Dad Hugh Platz
Katija Pevec
as Cynthia Platz
Steve Buscemi
as Broadway Bob D'Annunzio
Brian Turk
as Cliffy, Cousin
Edith Jefferson
as Doddering Aunt
Marc Vann
as Kevin
Zach Maurer
as Young Jerome
Charlie Talbert
as Vince's Editor
John Bliss
as Vince's Grandpa
View All

News & Interviews for Art School Confidential

Critic Reviews for Art School Confidential

All Critics (136) | Top Critics (38)

  • Curiously, this relentlessly cynical tone turns out sounding refreshingly original compared to the usual pieties in the genre.

    Jul 12, 2006

    Andrew Sarris

    Top Critic
  • No matter which is the real imitator, life or art, Art School Confidential does its own fine job skewering both.

    May 12, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

    Ted Fry

    Seattle Times
    Top Critic
  • The film loses its way with multiple subplots, becoming a hodgepodge that isn't particularly hard to follow, but, far worse, provides no compelling reason to bother.

    May 12, 2006 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • A movie with the odd, tired joke about art and artists, a college romance that isn't romantic, and a plot twist that doesn't twist at all.

    May 12, 2006 | Rating: 2/5
  • Zwigoff's angry exposé of this intense, tiny subculture isn't fair to anyone in the art world, but if you can stomach the overstatement, it's often scathingly funny. And it's sometimes scathingly smart.

    May 12, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • What keeps the film from being altogether snide and smug are the well-intentioned performances.

    May 12, 2006 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Art School Confidential

  • Jun 26, 2018
    This is a bona fide cult gem. I remember enjoying this film when it was first released and was riding the Zwigoff unrealistic expectations after Ghost World and Bad Santa. The film is smug and shallow, but that is the idea of the film. This is not your everyday mainstream indie film, this is the other one, the film you introduce to other film nuts like yourself. A strong cast delivers on the purposeful performances, Malkovich steals the show yet again. The film is funny, dark and about the lengths someone would go to, to ensure success at any cost. Great film, primed for rediscovery through cult status. 26-06-2018.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Jan 31, 2013
    Man, I wanted to like this skewering of the exploiters who claim to teach art, but the filmmakers didn't trust their own instincts enough, their own vision ... and so added some lame-o bit about a murderer on campus to "liven things up". Too bad. Nonetheless, their are some good performances, particularly Jim Broadbent as the undiscovered artist gestating in murky void, and Sophia Myles as "the muse" (what else?).
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 28, 2011
    An art student pursues a beautiful woman while a killer stalks the student body. I liked the film's almost oppressively cynical air. Multiple characters remark how the human species should be wiped off the planet, and the art teachers/successful artists pillory the art establishment at will. At the center of the film is an exploration of what art is or should do, and the filmmakers seem to suggest that all answers are wrong. Also, Sophia Myles is astoundingly beautiful. Her performance is uneven, occasionally the girl next door and occasionally the damaged cynic, but she exudes sexuality effortlessly, and it's easy to understand Jerome's obsession with her. However, the film is uneven. There is a plot twist that makes little sense, and Jerome's emotional state goes through unexplained peaks and valleys. Overall, there are flaws in the storytelling, but the film's dark heart is in a unique place, which ultimately makes it worth the time.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 28, 2011
    Professor Sandiford: Now, everyone don't be so hard on Jerome. He is attempting to achieve the impossible. He is trying to sing in his own voice using someone else's vocal cords.  I've read some negative reviews on Art School Confidential, but ultimately the film has John Malkovich, so I watched it anyway. I'm really glad I did too because I really enjoyed the movie. It was a well developed film that somehow kept me watching. You'd think it would be boring, but it is entertaining and actually fun in it's own way. The movie is weird and that's what it's got going for it. It uses it's weirdness to it's advantage, like most artists, I guess. All of the characters are eccentric and well developed. Each one has his or her own thing going for themselves in the art world. Jerome wants to be the best artist of the 21st century, but he isn't being well received by his fellow peers. Audrey is a beautiful woman who uses her looks as a model for artists to use in their works. Professor Sandiford is a teacher who like Jerome isn't well received, but he continues to try to make a name for himself. Vince is working on a film about the serial killer who is going around strangling women. These characters are all well played by the great cast the movie has.  Although not as funny as it could have been, it does have some pretty funny parts. If I knew more about the goings on at an art school, it probably would have been even funnier. Art School Confidential is really an underrated film that has a lot more going for it then people will give it credit for.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer

Art School Confidential Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features