Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15

Where To Watch

Stream On
Stream On

Critic Reviews

  1. A remarkably rich documentary possessing depth, range, insight and compassion.
  2. Davis does the most thorough job of capturing Basquiat, man, artist, and life force.
  3. 83
    The artist's arresting images speak for themselves, even though now only the bystanders are left to tell his story.
  4. 83
    This is the first full-length movie about his painting and his being that gets anywhere near close to comprehending both.
  5. A thoroughly engaging film about an inimitable New York painter.
  6. The man himself stares into Davis's lens, both confident and scared; for these moments alone, the movie is key.
  7. It places Basquiat's art in a cultural context with an enthusiasm and zest that make the many pictures shown come blazingly alive.
  8. 75
    Talking heads include friends, fellow artists, art dealers and former girlfriends. One contributor is Julian Schnabel, the painter and filmmaker who directed the 1996 biopic "Basquiat."
  9. I doubt that Jean-Michel Basquiat would have endorsed the subtitle. Indeed, The Radiant Child seems to inflate the very cliché that the rest of this film is keen to refute.
  10. 75
    Some of the most honest and tender observations come from Basquiat's girlfriend at the time, Suzanne Mallouk.
  11. Her (Davis) homage--tender, never hagiographic--also contains some biting analysis of the racism, both overt and insidious, that the artist was up against.
  12. 70
    Using clips from home movies, newsreels and public access TV, Davis does a heroic job of bringing the edgy and diffuse mixed-media New York art scene of the '80s back to life.
  13. 70
    In the interview, a charmingly self-effacing Basquiat displays a winning smile; perhaps no one could explain what drove him, or his 1988 death from a heroin overdose at 27, but we do learn of his alienation from his family.
  14. It doesn't dip much below the surface, but Tamra Davis' biography of her friend Jean-Michel Basquiat, who died in 1988, offers an informative introduction to one of contemporary art's most complex figures.
  15. People who have seen fellow painter Julian Schnabel's "Basquiat" - with its star-making portrayal by Jeffrey Wright - may reasonably trust its truth as a tribute over Davis' ostensibly more factual exercise.

Awards & Rankings

There are no user reviews yet.