Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 33
  2. Negative: 12 out of 33
  1. Is Joaquin Phoenix putting us on? After watching the terrifying, near-brilliant exposé I'm Still Here, in which the Oscar nominee's public and private unraveling becomes a sick joke, the question doesn't matter.
  2. An artful piece of exploitation vérité.
  3. A meditation on a life lived in the public eye, I'm Still Here is strange, riveting, and occasionally appalling stuff, any way you look at it.
  4. Whether true or a hoax, I'm Still Here represents real risk-taking that I can only applaud.
  5. 80
    I'm Still Here does leave us with one big question mark: What will Phoenix do next? How will he top such a flamboyant caper?
  6. There's a thrilling madness to Phoenix's Method.
  7. 75
    A sad and painful documentary that serves little useful purpose other than to pound another nail into the coffin. Here is a gifted actor who apparently by his own decision has brought desolation upon his head.
  8. 75
    Regardless of its veracity, this portrait of a drug-addled star who just wants to express himself artistically contains implications that exceed the filmmakers' intentions.
  9. 75
    You've never been quite this close to a movie star, and after enduring the experience you'll likely never want to repeat it.
  10. 75
    If this is a documentary, it's a profoundly embarrassing one, in which Affleck has exposed Phoenix's soul and found it shallow and damaged. If it's a mockumentary, though, its greatest value is in pointing out the media's gullibility, and reminding audiences that even in an age of limited privacy, they still have to question what they're told and even what they witness themselves. It's cruel either way, but riveting nonetheless.
  11. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    70
    This sporadically engrossing mockumentary, which gets better as it rolls along, must have been planned way back before Phoenix bombed on "Late Show With David Letterman."
  12. It's effective, entertaining in a remarkably uncomfortable way but entertaining all the same.
  13. My guess is that after years of being the trick pony, he wanted to see what it was like to be the ringmaster.
  14. 70
    An utterly fascinating experiment that apparently blends real and faked material to examine notions of celebrity, mental stability and friendship.
  15. 63
    Affleck's provocative, postmodern take on JP as half-joke, half-victim is the damnedest plunge into the dark heart of our "reality" culture since Sacha Baron Cohen invented Borat.
  16. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    Parts of it are close to genius; most of it is actively torturous to watch.
  17. Reviewed by: Mark Salisbury
    63
    One suspects the truth will only be revealed if or when Phoenix starts acting again. Certainly on this evidence, he's no great shakes at hip-hop.
  18. Reviewed by: Damon Wise
    60
    Affleck's meta-satire riffs amusingly on celebrity culture without hitting too many faux-doc highs.
  19. The movie is as damnably perplexing as the subject himself.
  20. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    50
    At once deeply felt and devastatingly cynical, I'm Still Here's bone-dry satire couldn't exist without the celebrity media feedback loop. But its apparent attack on the Hollywood machine is so insidery, so vicious, that to us-the everyday consumer-it's just not clear why this stunt needed to exist at all.
  21. It's hard not to feel punk'd and trapped amid the company of jerks.
  22. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Oct 23, 2010
    38
    It's all tiresome, muddied and artlessly made.
  23. 35
    The problem is, whether real, not real, or some Spector-headed stepchild of the two, meltdowns are still not inherently interesting.
  24. Fake or not, I'm Still Here is no fun to watch, and in fact Phoenix's situation comes off as so dire that it becomes a reason to doubt the film's authenticity. Filming someone having a mental breakdown is embarrassing and exploitative at best.
  25. If there was ever a human being who needed a visit from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, this is the guy.
  26. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    25
    It's really not much fun - in fact it's painful - to watch an actor on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It almost doesn't matter if the psyche in question is imploding artificially - as in staged - or organically.
  27. Unlike Sacha Baron Cohen's rude semi-documentary satires (Borat, Bruno), I'm Still Here never finds a satiric justification for all this grotesque behaviour.
  28. 12
    When I'm Still Here reached its climactic moment -- Joaquin Phoenix puking into a toilet -- I had never before felt quite so much like a toilet.
  29. Rarely has the question of a documentary's artifice mattered less. I genuinely hated this picture, almost as much as I've admired Phoenix's work in everything from "Gladiator" to "Walk the Line" and even the hackneyed but affecting "Two Lovers."
  30. The whole thing is such a tedious, foul-mouthed mess that it isn't even worth discussing as a riff on the Bob Dylan doc "Don't Look Back" or a meditation on slovenly semi-madness.
  31. I'm Still Here is amateurishly shot and edited, as if ineptness equaled some higher level of veracity. Ironically, it's the only Joaquin Phoenix movie anyone has cared about in years.
  32. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    0
    The worst thing about I'm Still Here is the fact that it exists.
  33. To judge from this agonizing documentary, sniveling man-child Joaquin Phoenix was put on earth to make us appreciate Crispin Glover for the level-headed fellow he is.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 36 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Sep 12, 2010
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. It would be just as entertaining to watch the Letterman appearance, the Miami nightclub show, and other public performances on YouTube than to watch this movie. Sadly, it gets boring . The final sequence is interminable. After years of Real World, The Hills, and other "semi-reality" shows, we don't really care how much is staged and how much is real. Just make it interesting. Compare this to the Joan Rivers doc from earlier this summer, and you can quickly understand which one was done well, and which one wasn't. I actually think that JP's got some talent - when he plays a couple of tracks for Puffy late in the film, I thought they were catchy. His voice is horrible, but it has its appeal. The guy is his own worst enemy, and a movie like this lifts the veil on his life in a way that just didn't need to happen. That is, if it's not all bs. Full Review »
  2. Feb 12, 2013
    10
    A work of art. Misunderstood by many...but its acting at its finest and a masterful social experiment.
  3. Feb 19, 2011
    7
    The reviews are hilarious. Undeniably balsy film. How can you call it a hoax when he's blowing lines and having sex with prostitutes? How can his rants be a hoax. It's pretty true to life, and it's a work of art, not a hoax. It's self-indulgent and not everyone's cup of tea, but I appreciated it. Full Review »