The Imposter

2012

The Imposter

Critics Consensus

Despite its true-crime trappings, The Imposter is an utterly gripping and sometimes heartbreaking documentary thriller cleverly told with narrative flair.

96%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 114

78%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 93,657

TOMATOMETER

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

AUDIENCE SCORE

78%
Average Rating: 3.9/5

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Movie Info

Nicholas was 13 the day he disappeared (June 13, 1994). He would have been 16 and 8 months when he was reported found in Spain (October 7, 1997)... In 1994 a 13-year-old boy disappears without a trace from San Antonio, Texas. Three and a half years later he is found alive, thousands of miles away in a village in southern Spain with a story of kidnap and torture. His family is overjoyed to bring him home. But all is not quite as it seems. The boy bears many of the same distinguishing marks he always had, but why does he now have a strange accent? Why does he look so different? And why doesn't the family seem to notice these glaring inconsistencies? It's only when an investigator starts asking questions that this strange tale takes an even stranger turn... -- (C) Indomina

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Critic Reviews for The Imposter

All Critics (114) | Top Critics (35)

  • Director Bart Layton pieces together a story you wouldn't believe if it wasn't true.

    Sep 19, 2018 | Full Review…
  • In the annals of forged identity flicks, this is a towering Everest, dwarfing the deceivers in the likes of Catch Me If You Can and F for Fake.

    Oct 12, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • This is edge-of-your-seat stuff and the difficulty is in the telling of the tale. To give any of this film away is a crime. You simply have to see it for yourself.

    Oct 11, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The most fascinating aspect of the movie is why the missing boy's family believed the imposter's story.

    Sep 13, 2012 | Rating: 3/4
  • You may begin to wonder if you aren't being conned by the movie yourself.

    Aug 31, 2012 | Full Review…
  • British director Bart Layton has only slightly fictionalised this extraordinary story for his documentary, which is told more as a thriller than a statement of hard fact.

    Aug 24, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Imposter

½

It is hard to believe that this shocking, unbelievable true story actually happened, since what begins as an apparently simple case of imposture turns out to be something much more horrific once you look deeper into it - something that must be seen to be believed.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

I wish they hadn't given away the impostor thing in the beginning, but the storytelling and suspense creation was masterful. For a documentary, this narrative was really gripping.

Letitia Lew
Letitia Lew

Super Reviewer

½

It'd have been even better if they'd made a movie based on these events. The interviews, at times, shatter the involvement with the documentary film. But yeah, it gave a picture of how far a criminal's mind can reach, despite having quite a different appearance than the missing child. Making it in fully movie format would have helped the twist better.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

½

"The Imposter" is one of the best, most memorable, and most unnerving documentaries I have ever seen; a masterclass of it's format. It's factual interviews meld incredibly well with terrifically shot recreations, and unforeseeable twists that make the doc play as a thriller, with the brooding menace of David Fincher's best work. Like all of the best documentaries, "The Imposter" will leave you in disbelief, and scouring ever little detail on the subject via wikipedia afterwards. You won't soon forget it.

Michael S
Michael S

Super Reviewer

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