Art School Confidential - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Art School Confidential Reviews

Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
July 12, 2006
Curiously, this relentlessly cynical tone turns out sounding refreshingly original compared to the usual pieties in the genre.
Top Critic
Ted Fry
Seattle Times
May 12, 2006
No matter which is the real imitator, life or art, Art School Confidential does its own fine job skewering both.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
May 12, 2006
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
May 12, 2006
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.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
May 12, 2006
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
May 12, 2006
What keeps the film from being altogether snide and smug are the well-intentioned performances.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
May 12, 2006
By the end, it feels as if Zwigoff and Clowes skimmed through a sketchbook without figuring out how to make a fully realized painting, a task that might have mattered less had the movie been either thematically more ambitious or more consistently funny.
Top Critic
Michael Booth
Denver Post
May 12, 2006
There's not a single person to like in Art School Confidential, a crucial mistake in a movie filled with mean, shallow and self-absorbed characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
May 12, 2006
Simply runs out of things to do once it establishes its ground rules of defining stereotypes and mocking pretension.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
May 12, 2006
There is something in the Zwigoffian universe that values such characters [as Jimmy]; having abandoned all illusions, they offer the possibility of truth. I also much enjoyed Broadway Bob.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
May 12, 2006
Even if one disagrees with some of its points, as I do, it offers plenty to mull over.
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 12, 2006
It becomes the sort of thing Zwigoff usually holds in contempt, and how depressing is that?
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
May 11, 2006
Enjoyable and reprises the same dyspeptic attitude that infused Ghost World, but ultimately it lacks its predecessor's originality and humanity.
Top Critic
Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
May 11, 2006
It's pleasant enough, features fine acting in smaller parts, rises occasionally to laughs or plot, but its ambitions and its accomplishments are modest.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Josh Levin
Slate
May 11, 2006
The movie accomplishes the simple-enough task of demonstrating that art school types are pretentious and self-centered. What it fails to reveal is why anyone should care.
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 11, 2006
Against this atmospheric background the characters have the depth of stick figures.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
May 11, 2006
The movie wants to skewer the vapidity of the faddish art world and those who long to break into it, but the film is angrier than it is humorous, and it is ultimately overcome by its own bile.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
May 11, 2006
Proposes to paint a black comedy, but instead has the outsize ears and lopsided, leering grin of bad caricature.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 11, 2006
It's a ruckus, veering from one picaresque episode to the next in its eagerness to debunk Hollywood clichés and art world stereotypes, but I prefer untidy novelty to paint-by-numbers storytelling any day.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
May 11, 2006
Risks more highs and lows than the plaintive, even-toned Ghost World. But both, improbably, have made themselves more or less at home on screen.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
May 11, 2006
It's often as naive as it is knowing and can feel as unfocused and sketchy as a film one of Strathmore's students might make.
| Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
May 5, 2006
In handing such a major role to such an untested actor (he's the son of film director Anthony Minghella), Zwigoff takes a risk that ultimately doesn't pay off.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
May 5, 2006
Every teacher is a burn-out, every student is a fraud and experimental artists are the worst burn-outs and frauds of all.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
May 5, 2006
Jerome eventually learns that talent has nothing to do with the success he craves - and, sadly, talented filmmakers and actors don't add up to much in Art School Confidential.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
May 5, 2006
There are two movies vying to occupy the same space here: a teen comedy about artistic pretension and academic double standards, and a darker, nastier movie about a serial killer.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
May 5, 2006
A low-key satire of the consensual illusion of art world success, Art School Confidential deftly evokes the peculiar, funny-sad heartbreak of the aspiring genius.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
May 5, 2006
Is it satiric? Is it sincere? Go figure, but know this for sure: There's nothing confident about Art School Confidential.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
May 4, 2006
Terry Zwigoff and Daniel Clowes plod through a grouchy attack on and example of the pretense and hypocrisy of self-declared artists.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
May 4, 2006
Zwigoff captures quite well the backstab aspects of this world, its rampant phoney baloneyness. But his funk doesn't allow him to capture something far more enticing: the power of true artistry.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
May 4, 2006
[The film] is at once an awkward coming-of-age story, a scabrous take-down of art-world hypocrisy, and even a murder mystery in which a serial strangler preys on Strathmore's nascent aesthetes.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
May 3, 2006
Whether the joke's meant to be on us or on the storytellers, I'm not buying the punchline.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
May 3, 2006
Art School Confidential shows the kind of backbone needed by limp parodies like Thank You for Smoking and American Dreamz.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
May 2, 2006
Possibly there has never been a movie about the art world that's as much of an eyesore as the coming-of-age oddity Art School Confidential.
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
May 2, 2006
Art School Confidential is replete with humorous detail -- in that respect, the student art projects are particularly fine -- but it's the attitude that rules.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
May 1, 2006
It was dead, pitch perfect. And realistic and funny.
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
April 27, 2006
Art School Confidential constitutes two-thirds of a worthy follow-up to Ghost World, but it doesn't feel nearly as substantial.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Dennis Lim
Village Voice
January 31, 2006
A satisfyingly bilious satire.
Top Critic
Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
January 26, 2006
Art School likely will entertain a sophomoric audience and etch some winning college-kid figures, but art house audiences will be disappointed by its paint-by-numbers storytelling.
Top Critic
David Rooney
Variety
January 23, 2006
[The film] feels insubstantial, echoing without equaling both the coolly ironic edge and heart of Ghost World.