The Imposter - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Imposter Reviews

Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
October 12, 2012
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
October 11, 2012
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
September 13, 2012
The most fascinating aspect of the movie is why the missing boy's family believed the imposter's story.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
August 31, 2012
You may begin to wonder if you aren't being conned by the movie yourself.
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Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 24, 2012
"The Imposter" is one of the best films of the year.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Trevor Johnston
Time Out
August 21, 2012
You couldn't make this stuff up - and no one would buy it as fiction. But as a documentary, it's a different matter.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Mark Feeney
Boston Globe
August 16, 2012
Beverly Dollarhide, Nicholas's mother, says of the period after her son's disappearance, "My main goal in life at that time was not to think." Apparently, the filmmakers have taken a cue from her.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Tirdad Derakhshani
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 16, 2012
Layton's dazzling film is an exciting, edge-of-your-seat experience superior to any Hollywood mystery you're likely to see for a long time.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
August 16, 2012
"The Imposter" becomes more than just a missing-persons drama. It hints at something much darker: a real-life horror story, the full truth of which may never be known.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
August 10, 2012
This is one creepy mystery.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Mark Jenkins
Washington Post
August 10, 2012
"The Imposter" initially seems to be a tutorial in identity theft, as well as a cautionary tale about the susceptibility of people who have lost a loved one. But that's not the half of it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
August 9, 2012
It's ... practically unbelievable, but you won't be able to look away.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 9, 2012
Layton's film joins the top ranks of nonfiction films because he recognizes that in this case no solution could be as engrossing as the questions.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
August 2, 2012
This is as much a film about self-deception as it is about deception, and as such, it is a study in pain.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
August 2, 2012
This is a train wreck you think you see coming, but no matter how prepared you are the nature and extent of the damage will overwhelm you.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
July 26, 2012
As fiction, it would never fly. But "The Imposter" happens to be true, and it's a jaw-dropper.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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David Denby
New Yorker
July 23, 2012
The movie is fascinating, but it leaves you uneasy, because you don't always know who you're watching (actor? family member?), and you begin to feel that you're being scammed, too.
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
July 17, 2012
Rarely has the con game, and the human capacity to believe in improbable outcomes, been taken to such extremes as we see in "The Imposter"...
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
July 16, 2012
Director Bart Layton takes a story that was already fascinatingly weird to begin with and makes it even more compelling by structuring it as a shadowy film noir.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 13, 2012
This true story plays like a gripping psychological thriller, offering hard speculation and harder truths. You won't be able to get it out of your head.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ian Buckwalter
The Atlantic
July 13, 2012
Centered on a 15-year-old cold case, there should be no real surprises here. Why, then, is the experience of watching The Imposter one of edge-of-the-seat disbelief and nerve-jangling thrills?
Full Review | Original Score: 8.8/10
Top Critic
Farran Smith Nehme
New York Post
July 13, 2012
See it and marvel that the least plausible lies are the ones we tell ourselves.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
July 12, 2012
"The Imposter" is slippery, manipulative, unstable and smoothly confounding. It's also one of the most entertaining documentaries to appear since "Exit Through the Gift Shop," a film similarly obsessed with role playing and deception.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
July 12, 2012
Sporting a sly grin that's just this side of sinister, Bourdin makes a riveting subject, not least because he could still be an unreliable narrator.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
July 11, 2012
It tells a true story that is so oh wow! unbelievable, so deeply, compellingly stranger than fiction, that you don't so much watch the film as get addicted to it.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
July 10, 2012
Go and be stunned.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
July 10, 2012
The story still harbors queasy mysteries at its center, as true-crime TV pro Layton micro-analyzes every step of the case, via interviews with the Texans, Bourdin, and the FBI.
Top Critic
William Goss
Film.com
March 21, 2012
Doesn't just offer up the closest thing to the honest truth in a still slippery case, it doles out the real-life revelations with a skilled precision that keeps the film exciting without ever becoming exploitative.
Top Critic
David Rooney
Hollywood Reporter
February 10, 2012
That old idiom about truth being stranger than fiction is an understatement when applied to Bart Layton's enthralling documentary.
Top Critic
Noel Murray
AV Club
January 25, 2012
Layton controls the information so tightly that he's able to spring a few surprises on the audience, including one towards the end designed to get us to understand how easy it is to buy into a well-told story, even when there's no evidence to support it.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Peter Debruge
Variety
January 24, 2012
The Imposter makes slick work of its wily subject, using atmospheric reenactments and stark, soul-baring interviews to explore a mind-boggling case of false identity.