Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Kerry Lengel
    Aug 9, 2012
    90
    The metaphor is plain yet elegant: Ai is the clever cat busily devising ways to push through the barriers physical, cultural, mental -- that make humans less than free. And in China, of course, the biggest of those barriers is the one-party state.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Aug 2, 2012
    100
    Alison Klayman's documentary is one of the most engagingly powerful movies of the year almost completely on the strength of Ai's rumpled charisma and the confusion it creates in the bureaucratic mindset of the Chinese Communist Party.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jul 28, 2012
    83
    The title captures the man. He makes no apologies.
  4. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Jul 25, 2012
    100
    The Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has achieved a prominence that makes him, in effect, the Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn of the Twitter age. He's also the least stuffy of dissidents, and Alison Klayman's stirring, important documentary catches his complex humanity.
  5. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jul 26, 2012
    83
    Recently released from jail, Ai's full story remains to be told, but Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry competently summarizes his lasting relevance, regardless of what may happen next.
  6. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Aug 5, 2012
    90
    Watching Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is like experiencing a thrilling unfinished symphony: The story is enthralling, but it's not over, and there's no telling where it's going. Which makes what we see on screen all the more involving.
  7. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Jul 27, 2012
    85
    Ai is a great movie subject for many reasons, but one is that he understands the power of appearing larger than life on the silver screen.
  8. 88
    Ai Weiwei comes off as a man on a singular mission: to record the life around him before it is erased or distorted by a repressive government terrified by the smallest sign of nonconformity. His primary weapons: video cameras and Twitter.
  9. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Aug 2, 2012
    83
    You come away with an appreciation of the abstraction, scale and daring of Ai's art and, even more, a sense of the living man in his courage, humor and restlessness. It's an invigorating experience.
  10. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jul 28, 2012
    90
    Klayman's riveting, vérité-style film captures this burly, bigger-than-life figure over the past three years, as his activism has heightened, his art has grown increasingly confrontational and he has deliberately blurred the distinction between aesthetics and politics.
  11. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Jul 25, 2012
    83
    Klayman captures the earlier parts of that story so compellingly that the finale's "to be continued" quality ends up playing into the film's unspoken goal: raising awareness of one man's ongoing attempts to better the world through art.
  12. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jul 26, 2012
    90
    The fluidity and convenience of digital moviemaking tools explain some of its freshness, as does Ms. Klayman's history as a budding documentarian. It's clear from watching both the feature and its earlier iterations that, while she was learning about Mr. Ai, she was also learning how to tell a visual story. It's easy to think that hanging around Mr. Ai, a brilliant Conceptual artist and an equally great mass-media interpolater, played a part in her education.
  13. Reviewed by: Gabe Toro
    Jul 26, 2012
    91
    'Never Sorry' feels borderline unfinished, as it never draws that line between Ai Weiwei and the generation of successors to his throne that he has inspired. Perhaps it doesn't have to. Perhaps you're already one of them.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Nov 20, 2012
    6
    Ai Weiwei is an internationally acclaimed Chinese artist-activist who is provocatively condemning his motherland government for grave socialAi Weiwei is an internationally acclaimed Chinese artist-activist who is provocatively condemning his motherland government for grave social underbellies (in light of an unbalanced economy acceleration) as corruption nonfeasance and misfeasance among officials, systematic injustice, moral languor and freedom repression (a focal point is the aftermath of Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, whose casualties are over 80,000, among which are many children stayed inside shoddily-built school buildings) and valiantly spearheading (not the least in the artist field) a new wave of self-awakening among his fellow compatriots, which has promptly wrought government Full Review »
  2. Jan 1, 2013
    6
    It's a pretty standard documentary that gives you all the necessary information about Weiwei's past, why he's important, what his methods are,It's a pretty standard documentary that gives you all the necessary information about Weiwei's past, why he's important, what his methods are, how he functions in China, and so on. But that's all you get here: facts, explanations and the artist's inscrutable, bearded face. At one point we learn that even though Weiwei is married, he has a son with another woman. "It happens," he explains reluctantly. We never get to hear the women talk about that. The film always maintains a respectful distance from its subject, and while it tells a story that absolutely had to be told, this neutral style makes the experience much less engaging than it could have been. Full Review »