Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work Reviews

August 23, 2010
This behind the scenes, behind the makeup, behind the plastic surgery documentary catches Rivers hard at work, ridiculously hard at work.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
August 13, 2010
The new documentary on Joan Rivers is so in your face, so fraught with harrowing, oversized personal stuff, you might want to get a theatre seat a couple of rows behind where you normally sit, to safely take it all in.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
July 16, 2010
Welcome to the on-screen psychoanalysis of Joan Rivers, of which she seems equal parts willing participant and antagonist.
Full Review | Original Score: B
June 25, 2010
Acting is about honesty, and there's something evasive about both this film and its subject.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
June 24, 2010
A compulsively watchable look at Rivers, show business and the price one pays to try to continue succeeding in it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
June 23, 2010
Rivers comes across as someone much more complex and vulnerable than her abrasive "Can we talk?" persona. There's a real woman under there, and she's pretty great.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 18, 2010
The undeniably fascinating and entertaining documentary that looks at the audacious entertainer in the seventy-fifth year of her life.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
June 18, 2010
Were James Brown still with us, he'd have to at least share his "hardest working man in showbiz" honors with Rivers.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
June 18, 2010
It's one of the best movies ever made about the brutal and unforgiving world of show business, and what it takes to survive in it for decades.
Read More | Original Score: 5/5
June 18, 2010
The insecurities that seem to feed Rivers's often angry humor -- and that have left her face looking like a mask frozen in horror -- are left unexamined.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
June 18, 2010
By the end of Stern and Sundberg's portrait, you feel a great fondness for this tough cookie, who says she plans for her career to outlast George Burns' -- who was still working in his mid-90s.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
June 17, 2010
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, a hilarious and unsettling look at the rewards and costs of compulsive celebrity, shows Rivers in all her multifaceted glory.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 17, 2010
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is one of the smarter, more unexpectedly touching documentaries of the year, and I recommend it to you whether you love Rivers or loathe the very thought of her. How is this even possible?
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
June 17, 2010
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is [a] testament to the enduring resilience and indefatigable wit of its subject. Age cannot wither her, nor Botox stale her infinite hilarity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 17, 2010
Rivers comes across as a consummate professional but also a genuine person, ruthlessly honest about her life decisions and utterly devoid of self-pity.
June 17, 2010
Stern and Sundberg made The Devil Came on Horseback (about the massacres in Darfur) and The Trials of Darryl Hunt (about a wrongful incarceration nightmare), and they have a fine eye for detail.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
June 17, 2010
She remains one of the funniest, dirtiest, most daring and transgressive of stand-up comics, and she hasn't missed a beat.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
June 14, 2010
You really do get the sense that she is tuning out the camera half the time and you're getting honest glimpses of everything.
June 14, 2010
The portrait that emerges is of a woman who is vain, anxious, profane, reckless, honest and frequently brilliant.
June 11, 2010
This is a smart, sharp woman with a full life under her 20-year-old skin. Go ahead and make fun of her -- just try harder.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
June 11, 2010
To their credit, the filmmakers don't try to make her look good, and while they omit some of her uglier routines, they don't (perhaps can't) ask you to love her. That's a wise move.
Read More | Original Score: 5/5
June 11, 2010
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work compellingly presents a strong woman with no shortage of anger, resentment and regrets -- but not an ounce of self-pity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
June 11, 2010
Joan Rivers is a comic force of nature, and this no-bull documentary offers a profanely hilarious peek into the 75th year of her life, on the road and off. Fasten your seat belts.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
June 11, 2010
"Oh grow up," Rivers used to snap. You wonder if she ever will.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
June 10, 2010
It's one of the best documentaries ever made about show business, about what it really consists of and what it demands.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
June 10, 2010
The strength of Stern and Sundberg's film is that they let her bomb sometimes. Rivers certainly can be wickedly funny, but not always, as anyone who has watched her over the years knows.
June 10, 2010
Who would have guessed that Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work would turn out to be a stirring portrait of indomitability?
June 10, 2010
She is by turns blue, bitter, hilarious, unbroken; a Hollywood-style portrait in infinite ambition. In that role, Rivers is unforgettable.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
June 10, 2010
A Piece Of Work is funny, heartbreaking, and casually profound about the insatiable need for validation and approval that fuels so much stand-up comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
June 10, 2010
Stern and Sundberg definitely fulfill the Prime Directive of every celebrity documentary, which is making a famous person -- especially one the audience "knows" and has strong feelings about -- seem recognizably human.
June 9, 2010
She's a teller of hilarious gutbucket truths as surely as Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor ever were. Yet while they were consumed by their demons, Rivers is just the opposite. Letting her demons run wild is what saves her, every day.
Full Review | Original Score: A
June 9, 2010
You don't get winsomeness, innocence and cuddle-me charm. Nobody will ever tap her to play Doris Day. But you do get one unique dame with a love she doesn't sell cheap, and a hidden heart bigger than her Botox budget.
June 9, 2010
It's easy to think of comics, especially time-tested ones like Rivers, as mechanical laugh-generators. Stern and Sundberg allow her to reveal the deep-rooted humanity of those ever-present quips, and the effect is humbling.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
June 8, 2010
For all the frenzied activity, Joan Rivers is less informative dish than infomercializing cliché.
June 7, 2010
Co-directors Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg observe a year in the life of a woman who trailblazed for today's female comics and remains as driven, hard-working and career-focused as ever.
June 7, 2010
Doc provides plenty of laughs while proving there's more to Rivers than plastic surgery jokes and red-carpet chatter.
June 7, 2010
This is a thoroughly exhilarating, thoroughly depressing portrait of the agony and ecstasy of celebrity.