Mapplethorpe Reviews

  • Aug 26, 2019

    It is quite an achievement to make Mapplethorpe so bland, and so boring. The movie completely misses his manic nature - his ambition so overwhelming that he was, in fact, consumed by it. This is an enervated, lackluster character and the whole show reads more like linked powerpoints than a coherent story. The failure to ever show Mapplethorpe naked -or rather to show Matt Smith naked - was quite frankly cowardly and lends a hypocritical taint to the whole enterprise, making the man himself seem timid and conventional in a world where he demands that everyone else behave outrageously. The real documentary on Netflix is far better, far more informative and far more moving than this tepid attempt to tell his story.

    It is quite an achievement to make Mapplethorpe so bland, and so boring. The movie completely misses his manic nature - his ambition so overwhelming that he was, in fact, consumed by it. This is an enervated, lackluster character and the whole show reads more like linked powerpoints than a coherent story. The failure to ever show Mapplethorpe naked -or rather to show Matt Smith naked - was quite frankly cowardly and lends a hypocritical taint to the whole enterprise, making the man himself seem timid and conventional in a world where he demands that everyone else behave outrageously. The real documentary on Netflix is far better, far more informative and far more moving than this tepid attempt to tell his story.

  • Jul 21, 2019

    Matt Smith is amazing as Mapplethorpe!

    Matt Smith is amazing as Mapplethorpe!

  • Mar 31, 2019

    Despite a strong performance from Matt Smith as the titular provocateur-photographer-artist, Mapplethorpe the film is a very by-the-number biopic that charts his rise to fame in the 70s to his death in 1989. Smith is the best thing here, from his American accent to his naked physicality, he plays Mapplethorpe with much gusto and conviction. However, the script leans on the bland side and comes across as Mapplethorpe for Beginners, as it touches on various episodes in his life but fails to find any depth in any of them. His relationships with Patti Smith, his girlfriend, or Sam Wagstaff, his benefactor/mentor/boyfriend both left me wanting to know more while that with his family, in particular with his father and his younger brother, a budding photographer who wants to follow in his older brother's footsteps, are frustratingly unexplored. Mapplethorpe's homosexuality and sadomasochistic tendencies are also only coyly (and tastefully) touched upon, mainly through the incorporation of Mapplethorpe's original photos which is a nice touch, but the controversy his work creates with the anti-pornography lobby are only mentioned in passing. Writer-director Ondi Timoner's documentary background doesn't bring with it a more investigative curiosity which the film could have benefitted from, and that's a shame as there is more here to unearth, but this rather flat biopic ends up being a missed opportunity that doesn't really do Mapplethorpe's less than conventional life (and art) justice.

    Despite a strong performance from Matt Smith as the titular provocateur-photographer-artist, Mapplethorpe the film is a very by-the-number biopic that charts his rise to fame in the 70s to his death in 1989. Smith is the best thing here, from his American accent to his naked physicality, he plays Mapplethorpe with much gusto and conviction. However, the script leans on the bland side and comes across as Mapplethorpe for Beginners, as it touches on various episodes in his life but fails to find any depth in any of them. His relationships with Patti Smith, his girlfriend, or Sam Wagstaff, his benefactor/mentor/boyfriend both left me wanting to know more while that with his family, in particular with his father and his younger brother, a budding photographer who wants to follow in his older brother's footsteps, are frustratingly unexplored. Mapplethorpe's homosexuality and sadomasochistic tendencies are also only coyly (and tastefully) touched upon, mainly through the incorporation of Mapplethorpe's original photos which is a nice touch, but the controversy his work creates with the anti-pornography lobby are only mentioned in passing. Writer-director Ondi Timoner's documentary background doesn't bring with it a more investigative curiosity which the film could have benefitted from, and that's a shame as there is more here to unearth, but this rather flat biopic ends up being a missed opportunity that doesn't really do Mapplethorpe's less than conventional life (and art) justice.

  • Mar 16, 2019

    Huh? Are the producers creating accounts to give it a higher rating? This film...where do I start/ I can see the love an attention that went into it but I don't see the experience behind the camera that was needed to step to the level of the subject. Feels like a real wasted opportunity to give a great artist a great film. Needed a lot more work at the script level in my humble opinion. Presentational and not at all immersive - the documentary is what you want to watch for a deeper understanding.

    Huh? Are the producers creating accounts to give it a higher rating? This film...where do I start/ I can see the love an attention that went into it but I don't see the experience behind the camera that was needed to step to the level of the subject. Feels like a real wasted opportunity to give a great artist a great film. Needed a lot more work at the script level in my humble opinion. Presentational and not at all immersive - the documentary is what you want to watch for a deeper understanding.

  • Mar 10, 2019

    The critics can suck it. This was a very interesting biopic. I don't care what made him tick; I wanted to know about the man and his life. This film delivered and the acting was top notch.

    The critics can suck it. This was a very interesting biopic. I don't care what made him tick; I wanted to know about the man and his life. This film delivered and the acting was top notch.

  • Mar 02, 2019

    I saw this film last night and I was enthralled. It is so well done and great soundtrack by the way. Excited to see the Director's cut that is coming out in six months...perhaps that will change the minds of the critics. The film was shot in 19 days on Super 8 and looks authentic to its era. Acting is brilliant, I felt like I was in the scene. I highly recommend this film. Ondi did a stellar job both with writing the script and directing.

    I saw this film last night and I was enthralled. It is so well done and great soundtrack by the way. Excited to see the Director's cut that is coming out in six months...perhaps that will change the minds of the critics. The film was shot in 19 days on Super 8 and looks authentic to its era. Acting is brilliant, I felt like I was in the scene. I highly recommend this film. Ondi did a stellar job both with writing the script and directing.

  • Feb 18, 2019

    Saw some of his pictures at the Guggenheim and they were utter garbage. He was a disgusting person taking disgusting photos!

    Saw some of his pictures at the Guggenheim and they were utter garbage. He was a disgusting person taking disgusting photos!

  • Oct 16, 2018

    Utterly disappointing. The casting and wardrobe take you out of the film so abruptly you can barely remain engaged. The acting just did not deliver a believable performance and the relationship between Robert and Patti completely undermined.. she looks more like some nagging prop and Robert made to be someone you loath even when he was dying. Just a bad movie if you are a true lover of Robert's work this is not worth watching.

    Utterly disappointing. The casting and wardrobe take you out of the film so abruptly you can barely remain engaged. The acting just did not deliver a believable performance and the relationship between Robert and Patti completely undermined.. she looks more like some nagging prop and Robert made to be someone you loath even when he was dying. Just a bad movie if you are a true lover of Robert's work this is not worth watching.

  • Sep 22, 2018

    While the script could use some work in its back story and sequence transitions, this biopic nevertheless does a capable job of telling the life story of famed erotic art photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, warts and all. Featuring a superb performance by Matt Smith in the leas role, the film courageously takes chances -- big ones -- in bringing Mapplethorpe's story to life, especially in its uncompromising presentation of the highly charged eroticism of the photographer's work. This unreleased offering, currently playing at film festivals, may not be perfect, but it's certainly bold in its approach and deserves a shot at public screenings. Sensitive viewers should take note, however, that the film is sexually explicit and not for the easily offended.

    While the script could use some work in its back story and sequence transitions, this biopic nevertheless does a capable job of telling the life story of famed erotic art photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, warts and all. Featuring a superb performance by Matt Smith in the leas role, the film courageously takes chances -- big ones -- in bringing Mapplethorpe's story to life, especially in its uncompromising presentation of the highly charged eroticism of the photographer's work. This unreleased offering, currently playing at film festivals, may not be perfect, but it's certainly bold in its approach and deserves a shot at public screenings. Sensitive viewers should take note, however, that the film is sexually explicit and not for the easily offended.

  • Apr 25, 2018

    Great Biopic! Truly captured the 'tortured' artist. loved that they shot using film!

    Great Biopic! Truly captured the 'tortured' artist. loved that they shot using film!