Critics Consensus

Crumb is a frank and surreal chronicle of artistic expression and family trauma, offering an unblinking gaze into the mind and work of cartoonist Robert Crumb that will endear as much as it unsettles.



Total Count: 43


Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,574
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Movie Info

A fascinating, funny and finally troubling documentary about the prolific, iconoclastic underground cartoonist Robert Crumb.

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Critic Reviews for Crumb

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (2)

  • The movie isn't a testimonial or a valentine. It's unpredictable and galvanizing: an empathetic portrait of the artist that also unveils a trenchant view of an American family's dashed illusions.

    Jan 14, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Crumb's sense of humor is his saving personal grace and the movie's insurance policy against total immersion into the morbid. But just so you know, Crumb fully earns its most revealing screen credit: 'David Lynch Presents.'

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/4

    Mike Clark

    USA Today
    Top Critic
  • Zwigoff's film rarely feels exploitative, and the fascination of Crumb and his family should not disguise the director's skill and sensitivity in marshalling his material.

    Dec 13, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Crumb may be rough around the edges, even occasionally tedious, but what Zwigoff manages to uncover is honest, captivating and strangely visceral.

    Oct 14, 2010 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…
  • (An) offbeat and often uncomfortably revealing portrait of the legendary underground comic book artist Robert Crumb and his brothers, Maxon and Charles...

    Aug 11, 2010 | Full Review…
  • an absolutely disarming documentary and one of the very best of its kind

    Aug 10, 2010 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Crumb

  • Nov 17, 2014
    Interesting and orthodoxly made documentary about the noted underground cartoonist Robert Crumb and his family, which took nine years to be completed. The director Terry Zwigoff won widespread acclaim for this work of art about the controversial artist. Jeffery M. Anderson (later critic for the San Francisco Examiner) placed the film on his list of the ten greatest films of all time, labelling it "the greatest documentary ever made." I would not go even close that statement, because it is a typical talking documentary, with interviews about childhood, portrayal of his family and friends, his life philosophy and examples of his work. The guy is an odd one but he is amazing artist who makes this documentary interesting, his humour adds the entertainment, and his family adds reality and tragedy. Walking the fine edge between life and death, with the dark thought always present in the background, his saviour is his art, R-rated but, for him, liberating and invigorating. The story of Crumb is real, and it is all about the experiences and characters of the Crumb family, particularly Robert Crumb's brothers, Maxon and Charles, his wife and children... sadly, his sisters declined to be interviewed, but I understand that if you take that all three brothers were growing as social misfits, and the oldest committed a suicide only a year after the documentary was shown, living secluded life in his room for many years before that. Of course, Zwigoff had the consent of the Crumb brothers, some questioned the ability of the more disturbed brothers to provide that consent, because even in the movie, Charles, the oldest brother (they are all amazing artists), in the beginning refused to be a part of it. Robert Crumb initially did not want to make the film, but eventually agreed. There was a rumour that Terry Zwigoff made Crumb cooperate by threatening to shoot himself. During the nine years that it took to make the documentary Zwigoff said he was "averaging an income of about $200 a month and living with back pain so intense that I spent three years with a loaded gun on the pillow next to my bed, trying to get up the nerve to kill myself." If you are in a mood to watch a provocative and haunting documentary about one of the best cartoon artists of the 20th century (Time magazine art critic Robert Hughes calls him "the Brueghel of the last half of the 20th century") , do not miss this one, regardless the fact that Robert Crumb and wife Aline had drawn a "scornful" cartoon about the film in The New Yorker.
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Oct 12, 2014
    The documentary profiles Robert Crumb, a cartoonist with a fucked up family and a perverse artistic sensibility. A film with depth and probing intellect, Crumb is occasionally uncomfortable and devilishly funny. Its subject is unabashed in his perversion, but the film's real strength is its ability to look beyond the surface of things and give its audience a glimpse into the source of Crumb's disquietude. Overall, more about the man than his art, Crumb is an interesting profile.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jun 10, 2013
    Interesting but not riveting portrait of influential oddball underground cartoonist Robert Crumb, I suppose in large part because of a lack of dramatic development that unexpectedly occurs in docs like <i>Stevie</i> and <i>Hoop Dreams.</i> Examines the pithy question "How much of the man is in the art?" To help explain his comics which have at times been accused of misogyny and racism, we get an unflinching look at the contributing factors that shaped his unique viewpoint, key among them his mess of a family. I came away impressed by the amount of detail in his works, the sheer mind-boggling volume of drawings he has composed, and his resolute rejection of Corporate America
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 02, 2012
    Odd and wonderful study about Robert Crumb and underground comics with a dark view of America, sex and family.
    Lucas M Super Reviewer

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