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 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Nov 2, 2014
    An esoteric and informative doc, plays out like an unfolding mystery. The filmmaker's ambivalence in regards to showing Maier's very personal and purposefully shielded work makes for interesting discussion, though this topic isn't delved into as deeply or passionately as we'd like. The focus of the film is more on the life and work of Vivian Maier, who proves to be an interesting enough subject to keep our attention for an agreeably brief running time. Worth a watch, maybe once. Full Review »
  2. 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 »
  3. 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 »