Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 94 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Exit Through the Gift Shop, the first film by renowned graffiti artist Banksy, became the hottest ticket at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival where it made its world debut. Banksy is a graffiti artist with a global reputation whose work can be seen on walls from post—hurricane New Orleans to the separation barrier on the Palestinian West Bank. Fiercely guarding his anonymity to avoid prosecution, Banksy has so far resisted all attempts to be captured on film. Exit Through the Gift Shop tells the incredible true story of how an eccentric French shop keeper turned documentary maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner – with spectacular results. The film contains exclusive footage of Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Invader and many of the world's most infamous graffiti artists at work, on walls and in interview. As Banksy describes it, "It's basically the story of how one man set out to film the un—filmable. And failed." [Paranoid Pictures] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    One of the best, most karmically satisfying comedies of the year, much to the chagrin of the people who are in it.
  2. 100
    Subversive, provocative and unexpected, Exit Through the Gift Shop delights in taking you by surprise, starting quietly but ending up in a hall of mirrors as unsettling as anything Lewis Carroll's Alice ever experienced.
  3. Reviewed by: Justin Lowe
    Hugely entertaining documentary challenges conventional concepts of legitimate art and the creative process.
  4. 88
    What makes Exit Through the Gift Shop so fascinating -- and it is riveting, regardless of your interest in the art world -- is the eloquent way in which it illustrates how beauty and meaning really are in the eye of the beholder and how that eternal phrase still holds true: There's a sucker born every minute.
  5. 83
    A diverting, playful and puzzling documentary.
  6. Narrated by Rhys Ifans with the dryness of a dessicated toad, Exit Through the Gift Shop is both an exhilarating testament to serendipity and an appalling testament to art-world inanity.
  7. 50
    As a study in prankhood, this Banksy film can’t touch “F for Fake,” Orson Welles’s 1974 movie about an art forger. Welles both conspired with his untrustworthy subject and held him at arm’s length, like a conjurer with his rabbit, and you came out dazzled by the sleight, whereas Exit Through the Gift Shop feels dangerously close to the promotion of a cult--almost, dare one say it, of a brand.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 18
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 18
  3. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Jan 25, 2011
    If the "Academy" were truly looking for the Best Picture, they would have to include this. It was better by far than any 2010 film I've seen, and yes that includes "Black Swan," "Inception," "Winter's Bone," "Social Network," and the way overrated "True Grit." Banksy's movie transcends the genre of documentary and lands in virtually unknown territory: factual, farcical, thought-provoking, and really damn entertaining. Is it a hoax? Possibly, but doesn't that only increase Banksy's brilliance? And if you're turned off by the later turn into absurd narrative and biting satire against the art community and popular culture, you can't argue with the first half which focuses almost exclusively on amazing street art sequences. I consider this alongside "Waltz with Bashir" as a documentary that blows all other docs out of the water. It is a total movie experience. Before seeing this I didn't know who Banksy was. One day later he's a personal hero. Expand
  2. Sep 13, 2011
    This is the best documentary i've ever seen. but that is probably cause i just love street art.
  3. Mar 26, 2013
    Perhaps the one of the best documentary/mockumentary to appear in the past decade, excuse the slash, because it is quite hard to tell if this is real or not, either way it is a truly fascinating look at the underworld art of the street, you may know it as graffiti.
    Infamous street artist Banksy has created this little film using footage of amateur (in every sense of the word) filmmaker Thierry Guetta, who spends most of his life with a camera in his hands. After beginning to follow his street artist cousin Invader around, Thierry is soon introduced to some of the most well-known artists in the world, including famous OBEY artist Shepard Fairey, who seems a bit disillusioned to Guetta, yet continues to let him follow him anyway.
    Guetta finally makes acquaintances with Banksy, who is surprised by Guetta's loyalty and persistent nature.
    As Banksy's hidden and hooded figure speaks to the camera, he does say that he places full trust in Guetta, particularly after a controversial piece of art at Disneyland involving a blow up doll.
    The film is one of the funniest things to witness, Thierry Guetta sort of seems like a lucky guy falling into the right places at the right time, he never shows much intelligence in what he does, never asking pressing questions but silly ones instead, and if this truly was a true documentary, then I'm sure the artists involved also don't quite know what to make of him, Banksy opening the film by saying that it started as a film about him but this guy was much more interesting was hilarious because perhaps its true, he is seemingly an overnight sensation by using other artist's work and throwing dashes of paint and photoshopped wigs on them to pass them off as his own. He did, however, incorporate the name of Mister Brainwash, so perhaps this was just utter genius, selling over one million dollars worth of art, yet barely taking part in any of the work itself.
    This is a very simple and witty take on a "legally grey area" of art, and just some of Banksy's art is showcased and we get a glimpse of just how talented this man is, and the risks that himself and other street artists take to evade the law in the name of beauty.
    Whether it was real or not, Exit Through the Gift Shop is certainly a must see for art and documentary fans alike, Mister Brainwash is certainly an enigma, but perhaps one that wasn't supposed to happen.
  4. Dec 11, 2010
    The film established this new idea of Banksy creating the street graffiti art, but that is a little misguided. But misguided or not, Exit Through the Gift Shop gives an entertaining look on modern art. We used to think that art is boring and perhaps useless, but the film proposes the idea of anyone can be an artist and succeed. The subject, Thierry, was originally a film maker turned into creating art. Most of the art is just photoshop work and Thierry just gave the idea, he did not make the art. Even though Thierry didn't make the art, he still is the famous one after the show. And throughout the film, you see that there's something wrong with this guy! But by the end of the day, he is the one with the money. And that brings up a very interesting question. How the hell did that happen? Exit Through The Gift Shop is entertaining, engrossing, and phenomenonly executed. The movie turns art into a very interesting subject to debate about. OscarBuzz: Best Documentary (Good chance) Expand
  5. Lyn
    Mar 12, 2011
    I did not see this as being quite as profound as some reviewers did -- but that's what I loved about it. Who says a documentary has to be wall-to-wall profundity about politics, war, assisted suicide, etc., to provide an enlightening experience? The peek into the art world, and the laughs, made this a real delight. Expand
  6. Jan 8, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. On a superficial level, this movie is an interesting documentary about the international street art scene (something most people probably expect when they go and see it) and its shining icon Banksy. However, early in the movie it becomes obvious that the main theme is the radical activism and persistency of a person when it comes to reaching his goals. Expand
  7. Feb 24, 2011
    Feels like Thierry Guetta's unpublished film "Life Remote Control" would have been a more interesting one to watch. But also feels MBW is just another front for Banksy to go commercial and sell his artwork... whatever it is the artwork alone is worth the watch. Expand

See all 18 User Reviews

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