Basquiat - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Basquiat Reviews

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May 4, 2012
Very interesting movie about modern art. Now recognize as Fine art.
April 30, 2012
"you can never explain to one who uses gods gift to enslave that you have used gods gift to be free"
(need to watch this movie again)
½ April 14, 2012
Stays with you far afterwards.
March 27, 2012
Jeffrey Wright is yet again superb
Super Reviewer
½ March 20, 2012
The work of an artist is always more interesting than the artist themself, hence why biopics like Amadeus and Dragon work really well. This is another good one, that keeps the artist at bay and lets his work speak for itself. It's an all-star cast, the pacing is great, and they don't take the easy route of playing the race card. Good film.
February 8, 2012
a well made movie with a great cast of subtle actors. the acting is the only thing 2 enjoy about the move as well as some of the visuals. I didnt enjoy the story at all though nor did i like the main character like, he was 2 self centered and restraint for me 2 enjoy.
January 24, 2012
I remember seeing this biopic in my art class about six years ago. This was where I learned of Jean-Michel Basquiat, a troubled but talented modern artist famous for his grafitti paintings. It was so sad that he died at 27 in 1988, but his unforgotten fame has lived on ever since.
Super Reviewer
December 29, 2011
Watch this for FREE, on THIS website, Flixster, yes! (Through Hulu)

Let me give you 12 great reasons to see this film: 1. Benicio Del Toro 2. Gary Oldman 3. Willem Dafoe 4. Michael Wincott 5. Dennis Hopper 6. David Bowie 7. Sam Rockwell 8. Vincent Gallo 9. Courtney Love 10. Parker Posey 11. Tatum O'Neal 12. Christopher Walken.

I did not even recognize Jeffrey Wright, what a great job. Interesting character, inspired by an interesting guy, told in a creative style.

Great Soundtrack too, lot's of Stones!
½ December 21, 2011
All in all, it's a really awesome movie
December 20, 2011
There's a felling a much better script was written and showed to the amazing cast, cause the final product is nothing more that your typical underdog becomes famous, underdog can't handle the fame, underdog destroys himself Hollywood story, there's nothing new or interesting is just cliche after cliche, with a odd direction style that never gets anywhere, a overhanded anti-racism undertone and a protagonist that never connects with the viewer because of his immature overlapping of bad decisions. The performances are fine apart from Wright that never convinces has the great artist that he's supposed to be.
There'e no doubt that Basquiat's story would make an interesting movie, but unfortunately this just isn't it.
November 23, 2011
Excellent portrait on artist. Jeffrey Wright and the the cast on sideroles do good job.
Super Reviewer
November 17, 2011
It is a common practice in the film world to explore the lives of painters and artists, particularly those who lived and died by their art. Jean-Michel Basquiat is surely not an exception but rather a most definitive representation of it. He gives life and form to his countless statements through graffitis, shows his messily ecstatic but ultimately epochal visions through his paintings and evokes a new voice of artistic non-conformity by way of his creations.

But then, to counter this searing passion prevalent among artists like Basquiat, the film, directed by Julian Schnabel both with an attention to content and a slight delve into the experimental, then puts all of these into a final salvo towards self-destruction. Jeffrey Wright, one of the more impressive character actors of our time, delivers an unrecognizable performance as the title role. For roles like these, stars always have this tendency to either unnecessarily steal scenes or bury the real people they're playing in the afterthought of their very own persona. This is not the case for Jeffrey Wright. As I may describe it, his performance 'took its own form, life and time'.

His on-screen rendition of Jean-Michel Basquiat developed not through an obvious 'pen and paper'-bound emotional and psychological metamorphosis but through a more simple approach: Wright, as an actor, preferred not to merely play or portray Basquiat, but to embody him. Although he does not look like the late artist himself, Jeffrey Wright achieved to embrace the role not for the sake of showcasing some superficial acting prowess but to internally channel Basquiat as a human being. This unconscious but fruitful connection between Jeffrey Wright and Jean-Michel Basquiat was particularly enhanced by the fact that Julian Schnabel is also an artist/painter.

Considering that the artistic connection is fairly established between Wright, the mythical Basquiat and Schnabel, the film, in effect, has been much more transcendental and relatively honest in its emotional backbone and at the same time, also purer in its artistic merit.

The film's cast is great, with supporting roles by Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper, a bit of Christopher Walken as his usual patented self playing an interviewer (this therefore completes an unofficial "True Romance" cast reunion), Benicio Del Toro as Basquiat's friend and Willem Dafoe as an electrician. David Bowie is wonderful to behold as Andy Warhol, whose facial resemblance with the enigmatic pop artist himself immensely helped in his portrayal and also added some authentic weight into his performance.

Although there were scenes that were too dormant for their own good, the film is quietly successful in almost all levels, specifically on how it was able to lift itself into a higher form of human 'drama' without accidentally spelling it out with an additional 'melo'. "Basquiat", as a biopic, is quite unique in its position. The film does celebrate the short-lived life and genius of Jean-Michel Basquiat but does not overly glorify him. The film shows his bleak self-decline but does not fully capitalize in it to exaggeratedly highlight a drama that is more than the film can swallow.

"Basquiat" is urgent in its neutrality as an observer. An observer of a man whose voice was deemed as coming from the gutters but whose art was deemed as a gift. With this middle ground stance, the film, with a great black and white look upon the short and bittersweet life of a "young black painter in a white art world", is an uncommon triumph.
½ November 15, 2011
David Bowie and Dennis Hopper... best friends forever.
October 20, 2011
I can't stand anything about to Andy Warhol, that's just a side note!
October 20, 2011
Can get a little artsy at times, but that's the idea, isn't it? Not a bad movie really.
October 4, 2011
Less tedious and indulgent than other painter-under-emotional-duress biographies, such as "Pollock" and "Max", Basquiat is actually sort of enjoyable.
½ September 12, 2011
The film may not be one perfect symphony through and through, but there are plenty of glowing bits scattered all over the place. More than adequately setting up the punchline. An overwhelmingly, devastatingly accurate punchline.
½ August 19, 2011
Even after the film is over, the figure of Basquiat remains impenetrable, childlike and frustrating. It's as if Julian Schnabel refuses to break the cocoon that Basquiat had subconciously drawn around himself. Far from being a flaw, leaving the artist as deep a mystery as he starts frees the film from being a conventional biography, and enables Schnabel to create a jarring, moving, and artful depiction of an unpeaceful and short life.
August 6, 2011
about to watch "Basquiat" great flick you should watch this movie...
½ June 16, 2011
I have never heard of this man before, and I must say that I am not a fan of any of his work that they show in this movie. And not only do I not like his work I do not like who he is as a person, he treats people that were there before he was successful like scum, and the same with those who helped him get to where he is. Basquiat acts like an arrogant son of a bitch that does not deserve any of the success that he has. But when the movie ended and the epilog came up it just made me sad. This is a very well made movie that tells the true story of and American painter who really revolutionized graffiti, and the voice of American artists. Watch this if you are interested in art history or if you just enjoy a good true story.
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