Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Mar 28, 2014
    Maier is a great artist who discounted adulation entirely. Her life was a masquerade; her genius, quite literally, was unexposed.
  2. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Mar 26, 2014
    More connect-the-dots detective thriller than traditional doc, John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s revelatory riddle of a film unmasks a brilliant photographer who hid in plain sight for decades working as an eccentric French nanny.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Apr 24, 2014
    One part personal mystery and one part art-appreciation class.
  4. Reviewed by: Mary Houlihan
    Apr 4, 2014
    It’s a big puzzle that the filmmakers piece together in an intriguing and engrossing way.
  5. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Apr 3, 2014
    Vivian Maier is a great Chicago story. And what she did for, and with, the faces, neighborhoods and character of mid-20th century Chicago deserves comparison to what Robert Frank accomplished, in a wider format, with "The Americans."
  6. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Apr 24, 2014
    Hers is a sad story, but the fact that she never received recognition during her lifetime isn't part of its sadness.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Aug 30, 2014
    vivian maier's photography is stunning. for that alone, watch the film. the stories told about her as a nanny are intriguing. her employers (there were lots-how she went from family to family, making deep impressions on each, is remarkable. as a nanny myself, i can't imagine working with so many) all remember her very vividly. the film would've been far stronger if maloof had kept himself out of it and simply narrated. he's a serious artist and collector, but his presence makes the film seem sometimes goofy and light. neither quality describes maier's work. Full Review »
  2. May 23, 2014
    An engaging documentary about an enigmatic recluse -- and an incredible talent -- whose works weren't discovered until after her passing. The film features a montage of beautiful images and a mystery story that's as compelling as any fictional film. Full Review »
  3. May 14, 2014
    Very enjoyable as I am a photographer myself, but honestly the story is intriguing enough and well shot that you need not be a photobug to actually enjoy it. I kinda wish it had been longer and even more in depth. It definitely left you wanting to know more...asking more questions about why this woman kept her work a secret, what problems she may have had etc. I went into this with tempered expectations and enjoyed it more than anticipated. Her photos speak for themselves. Full Review »