Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work


Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work

Critics Consensus

Penetrating Rivers' coarse image, this compelling documentary offers an honest, behind-the-scenes look at her career -- and at show business in general.



Reviews Counted: 105

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,425


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.8/5

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Movie Info

A glimpse into the comedic process and private dramas of legendary comedian and pop icon Joan Rivers as she fights tooth and nail to keep her American dream alive.

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Critic Reviews for Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work

All Critics (105) | Top Critics (37)

  • This behind the scenes, behind the makeup, behind the plastic surgery documentary catches Rivers hard at work, ridiculously hard at work.

    Aug 23, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/4
  • 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.

    Aug 13, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Welcome to the on-screen psychoanalysis of Joan Rivers, of which she seems equal parts willing participant and antagonist.

    Jul 16, 2010 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • ... pretty funny.

    Jul 6, 2010 | Full Review…

    Caryn James

    Top Critic
  • Acting is about honesty, and there's something evasive about both this film and its subject.

    Jun 25, 2010 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A compulsively watchable look at Rivers, show business and the price one pays to try to continue succeeding in it.

    Jun 24, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work

In the wake of Joan Rivers' death, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding her legacy. Whether people are furious over her sometimes racist, misogynist, transphobic jokes, or happy to sing her praises for opening doors for female comedians, Joan Rivers has been a lot of things for a lot of people. This very eye opening and vulnerable portrayal of the comedy legend really leaves a lasting impression on you. While I didn't think the woman was completely invulnerable, I was unprepared for the stark contrast between her onstage persona and the woman seen in this documentary. Joan Rivers was giving, sweet hearted, and incredibly inappropriate in the best of ways. She took on a lot of stigma from her critics, she cared far too much about what people thought of her, and she was strong in the face of adversity and loss. As an entertainer, many people knew her and what she accomplished in life, but as a person no one really knew Joan like the people around her. This is a very good watch for those mourning, or who want to know the real Rivers, under the guise she donned.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

A very compelling documentary that takes a good look at one year in the life of a workaholic diva of yore who was born to be in the spotlight, and it proves to be quite revealing not only about her need of stardom and recognition but also about show business itself.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

This is a documentary that showcases a year in the life for comedian Joan Rivers. Follows her as she tries to get a Broadway show off the ground, continues her stand-up, and her appearance on Celebrity Apprentice. For a woman in her 70's she is very busy, and trying to remain as relevant as ever. At times she comes off as sincere and sweet, then she comes off very hypocritical. For example, she talks very dirty about some people, then says her feelings are hurt as she gets Roasted for comedy central. She's still very funny, and a polarizing figure in the entertainment world. I'm sure a lot of people can't stand her, and sometimes I can't, but here this is more interesting than entertaining. Seen a lot better documentaries, especially ones on comedians(watched one on Don Rickles a few years ago that was amazing), but if your a Rivers fan, then this is a must watch.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

Wow, just wow. This movie is probably one of the most incisive, honest, painful, melancholic, roller coaster portraits of Hollywood and the woman chugging in its cogs that I've ever seen. That scene where she's taking off her makeup and the camera just focuses on her creasy, plasticized eyes gradually sagging, sagging, sagging - the light goes down and it is just magic.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

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