Metascore
89

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 105 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: On August 7th 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire illegally rigged between New York's twin towers, then the world’s tallest buildings. After nearly an hour dancing on the wire, he was arrested, taken for psychological evaluation, and brought to jail before heOn August 7th 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire illegally rigged between New York's twin towers, then the world’s tallest buildings. After nearly an hour dancing on the wire, he was arrested, taken for psychological evaluation, and brought to jail before he was finally released. Following six and a half years of dreaming of the towers, Petit spent eight months in New York City planning the execution of the coup. Aided by a team of friends and accomplices, Petit was faced with numerous extraordinary challenges: he had to find a way to bypass the WTC’s security; smuggle the heavy steel cable and rigging equipment into the towers; pass the wire between the two rooftops; anchor the wire and tension it to withstand the winds and the swaying of the buildings. The rigging was done by night in complete secrecy. At 7:15 AM, Philippe took his first step on the high wire 1,350 feet above the sidewalks of Manhattan. [Magnolia Pictures] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 31
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 31
  3. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    100
    One of the most wildly entertaining docs of recent years.
  2. 100
    Thanks to Marsh's sensitive storytelling, Man on Wire manages to put Petit's performance into another, more ineffable realm: What began as a caper turned into poetry, and poetry became a prayer.
  3. 100
    Man on Wire is about the vanquishing of the towers by bravery and joy, not by terrorism.
  4. He had the fearlessness of a 104-story man and something more than a daredevil's brass.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    88
    The film runs 95 minutes, and you'll be holding your breath for most of them.
  6. Reviewed by: Margot Gerber
    80
    Pre the events of 9/11, the film might have simply been an entertaining, high risk tale of a death-defying feat related in both interviews, archival footage and photos and Marsh's usual meticulous and creative re-enactment vignettes. Post 9/11 you find yourself marveling that a man in far away France became smitten with the twin towers long before they became the target of terrorist attacks.
  7. 67
    It's a story worth telling, yes--but after 90 minutes, it's hard not to wonder if the storyteller can talk about anything else.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 34
  2. Negative: 4 out of 34
  1. Apr 14, 2012
    10
    It's about a man's pursuit of his dream to walk on a tight rope between the World Trade Center towers. The story and characters areIt's about a man's pursuit of his dream to walk on a tight rope between the World Trade Center towers. The story and characters are compelling enough on their own. But Marsh matches visuals to music in a way that makes this story more a work of art than a retelling. This movie owned me the first time I saw it. And I watch it again from time to time to remind myself how to dream. Expand
  2. RiaR.
    Dec 28, 2008
    10
    Extremely unusual, extremely inspiring. In a Prozac era, it is so uplifting to see someone with such a lust for life; someone who really Extremely unusual, extremely inspiring. In a Prozac era, it is so uplifting to see someone with such a lust for life; someone who really experiences life as beautiful. What an unusual person! Expand
  3. Apr 23, 2011
    10
    This movie is all about what art is : When somebody says something is impossible - let us begin with it. The artistic creativity of an artistThis movie is all about what art is : When somebody says something is impossible - let us begin with it. The artistic creativity of an artist is always a balancing act over the rules in human society. Expand
  4. JimmyD.
    Dec 21, 2008
    9
    Surprisingly exciting. A great thriller.
  5. Mar 19, 2013
    9
    8.5/10 Despite a couple of flaws, relatively speaking a great film.

    Miss: While not a long movie, it could have been trimmed up a bit.
    8.5/10 Despite a couple of flaws, relatively speaking a great film.

    Miss: While not a long movie, it could have been trimmed up a bit. It's an undeniably beautiful story, but I did find it a bit self-indulgent at times.

    Hit: Everything else about the film is very good, and I would recommend it to anyone. It's pretty amazing how much vintage footage is used in the film documenting everything from the construction of the twin towers to Phillipe practicing his tightrope skills and interacting with his friends. Everyone involved with the events being told gives are able to give some fascinating first-hand accounts. I enjoyed watching this film because it is an intimate look into the mind of someone who is very different than the average person. Phillipe had life-long goals and relentlessly pursued them, doing things that most of us could never imagine doing ourselves. This is a film I will remember for quite some time.
    Expand
  6. JimmySo
    Dec 21, 2008
    8
    Song of Innocence
  7. BadMovie
    May 1, 2009
    0
    Worst movie known to man. Dramatizations really ruin a documentary and this one is full of them. Main character is completely full of himself Worst movie known to man. Dramatizations really ruin a documentary and this one is full of them. Main character is completely full of himself and makes you want to hate him despite his semi-cool caper. The recent doc on Joy Division was 100 times better. I am a democrat and I now use the term "freedom fries" instead of "French fries" after watching this. Dont be fooled by the reviews like I was, the emperor has no clothes. Expand

See all 34 User Reviews

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