Catfish

Catfish Image
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 87 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: In late 2007, filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost sensed a story unfolding as they began to film the life of Ariel's brother, Nev. They had no idea that their project would lead to the most exhilarating and unsettling months of their lives. A reality thriller that is a shocking productIn late 2007, filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost sensed a story unfolding as they began to film the life of Ariel's brother, Nev. They had no idea that their project would lead to the most exhilarating and unsettling months of their lives. A reality thriller that is a shocking product of our times, Catfish is a riveting story of love, deception and grace within a labyrinth of online intrigue. (Rogue Pictures) Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 29
  2. Negative: 2 out of 29
  1. Nev and the filmmakers prove to be charismatic, and at times hilarious, investigators of the unfolding mystery.
  2. 83
    Catfish is absolutely riveting, and even nerve-wracking as Joost and the Schulmans get progressively closer to learning more about their "friends."
  3. Catfish is fascinating. At the same time, it emits a condescending, pitying odor.
  4. Catfish was built to charm, not indict, and on that front it makes for a diverting seriocomic wade into the pitfalls of Internet-based immediacy, and by extension, the manipulative mysteries of documentary assemblage.
  5. Although Catfish is opportunistic, even borderline exploitive, it gets at-by indirection, through the back door-the magic-carpet aspect of this scary new medium. Real people are so complicated and irreducible, you know?
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    It seems to play as vastly different movies depending on who's looking at it.
  7. I'll respect the studio's wishes to abbreviate all plot description. God knows, they're marketing it like the second coming of "The Crying Game," though the revelations that await Nev are only shocking if you believe P.T. Barnum was really in possession of a genuine Fiji mermaid.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 33
  2. Negative: 5 out of 33
  1. Oct 3, 2010
    10
    I could not disagree more with the critics who described this film as "condescending" and "sleazy." I found it riveting, suspenseful (not aI could not disagree more with the critics who described this film as "condescending" and "sleazy." I found it riveting, suspenseful (not a thriller, as others have mentioned, but suspenseful nonetheless), heartbreaking, and compassionate. Contrary to A. O. Scott of the New York Times' opinion, I thought it WAS "a brilliant exploration of the hidden corners of contemporary reality." See it before anyone wrecks it for you, and see it knowing as little about it as possible. Expand
  2. Sep 27, 2010
    9
    OK, so they ads/trailers are tricks to get you into the theater. This is definitely not a thriller. But if you can get over the fact that theyOK, so they ads/trailers are tricks to get you into the theater. This is definitely not a thriller. But if you can get over the fact that they pulled a fast one on you, what you'll find is a great story & acting, and very well developed & interesting characters. Definitely one to see. Expand
  3. Sep 28, 2011
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I liked Catfish. Doesn't matter if it's real or not, though I tend to think it's mostly true. The rawness of it all... it rang true to me!

    Apparently a lot of people saw a trailer and were disappointed by the film because the trailer made it out to be some horror slasher film, but I never saw the trailer before watching it, so I never had any of those silly expectations. It was what it was, and the humanity of the people involved just really got under my skin. I guess a lot of people, including me, would rather choose to believe that it's real. You know, I certainly wouldn't be surprised or shocked at all if they eventually came out and admitted it was fake. But there's this latent desire to believe in amazing feats of happenstance, and with this film, we want to believe that a couple of average guys in NYC could just stumble into creating this rather astounding and compelling documentary. But if it turned out to fake, it wouldn't be much of a change in my appreciation of the thing. It'd just mean that a couple of incredibly talented guys in NYC had instead created this rather astounding and compelling fictional story. PS: But dude, what was up with that male tramp stamp? Like seriously... that was probably the most unbelievable part of the film for me. Nev must be out of his goddamn mind.
    Expand
  4. Jan 2, 2011
    7
    Chatting and texting with a woman which he never met in real life for 8 months, Nev Schulman was in love (on Facebook). His brother ArielChatting and texting with a woman which he never met in real life for 8 months, Nev Schulman was in love (on Facebook). His brother Ariel decided to film Nev's relationship with "Megan", a girl he met while doing some business with her mother online. Not knowing where the documentary was headed, Ariel's determination proved itself to be worthwhile. More than half of the film is a guy chatting with a girl online, so the premise may make some uncomfortable. But the last 30 minutes of the film unravelled some disturbing moments that you could only imagine. Catfish proved that online dating isn't helping anyone with a problem yet damages them even more. Perhaps the message isn't what a lot of people want to hear since the story might relate to them, but it is the damn truth. Expand
  5. Jan 31, 2011
    6
    The story was incredibly engaging and mysterious. At first. While it was very good and exiting, even suspenseful at times, the mystery wasThe story was incredibly engaging and mysterious. At first. While it was very good and exiting, even suspenseful at times, the mystery was solved earlier than anticipated and as a result i found the last 30 minutes or so lackluster, boring and as a result i wasn't very compelled to finish it. After sitting through that last bit I wasn't really glad I stuck around and the end sort of made the whole conflict of the movie irrelevant. Also I think the trailers and stuff are over-hyped because it seems like it will "shock you" when in reality the secret is uncovered rather calmly, but i suppose that's just good marketing. While this review has been mostly negative don't get me wrong, i loved the first half. I just think the movie hit it's climax and died down too early, leaving the last bit lingering on. Expand
  6. Jan 12, 2011
    5
    I'd say overall, not so good. It did turn out to be somewhat of a surprise, but not really in a good way. I'll save a better critique for aI'd say overall, not so good. It did turn out to be somewhat of a surprise, but not really in a good way. I'll save a better critique for a better film. Expand
  7. Dec 22, 2010
    0
    Why is this so heavily promoted by film critics? A documentary that never quite feels genuine, is mildly interesting and does not have aWhy is this so heavily promoted by film critics? A documentary that never quite feels genuine, is mildly interesting and does not have a surprise ending or twist as avidly advertised, was a total waste of my time. Expand

See all 33 User Reviews

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