Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Summary: On April 8, 2000, Mark Hogancamp was brutally attacked outside of a bar by five men. Revived by paramedics, Mark had suffered brain damage and physical injuries so severe even his own mother didn’t recognize him. After nine days in a coma and 40 days in the hospital, Mark was discharged withOn April 8, 2000, Mark Hogancamp was brutally attacked outside of a bar by five men. Revived by paramedics, Mark had suffered brain damage and physical injuries so severe even his own mother didn’t recognize him. After nine days in a coma and 40 days in the hospital, Mark was discharged with little memory of his previous life. Unable to afford therapy, Mark decided to create his own. In his backyard, he built Marwencol, a 1/6th scale World War II-era town that he populated with dolls representing his friends, family and even his attackers. After a few years, Mark started documenting his miniature dramas with his camera. Through Mark’s lens, these were no longer dolls – they were living, breathing characters in an epic WWII story full of violence, jealousy, longing and revenge. And he (or rather his alter ego, Captain Hogancamp) was the hero. When Mark’s stunningly realistic photos are discovered by an art magazine, and a prestigious gallery comes calling, his homemade therapy suddenly becomes “art,” forcing Mark to make a choice between the safety of his fictional town and the real world beyond it. [The Cinema Guild] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Kevin Thomas
    Oct 25, 2013
    100
    Watching Marwencol, Jeff Malmberg's probing documentary on Hogancamp's undertaking, is an exhilarating, utterly unique experience.
  2. Reviewed by: Stan Hall
    Oct 24, 2013
    91
    One of the most affecting true-life character studies in quite some time.
  3. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jan 13, 2011
    90
    This moving documentary sidesteps the usual art-world debates over the authenticity and legitimacy of outsider work; instead director Jeff Malmberg simply immerses us in Hogancamp's world, just as Hogancamp immerses himself in the title town and its horrors.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Dec 17, 2010
    88
    Hogancamp's alliance with director Jeff Malmberg in this artful and poignant film marks a victory in the war against the self.
  5. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Dec 7, 2010
    75
    If you have even a passing interest in outsider art, you owe it to yourself to see Marwencol.
  6. 75
    Jeff Malmberg's documentary Marwencol is at its best when it focuses on Hogancamp's little world, and lets the artist walk the viewer through his town's increasingly dense mythology.
  7. 60
    When it comes to capturing the man behind the phenomenon, however, the film never progresses beyond a superficial, weird-yet-wonderful portraiture.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jun 18, 2012
    10
    What if art become a form of therapy? This film portrays the strory of this bizarre man using an extraordinariness and miraculousness of artWhat if art become a form of therapy? This film portrays the strory of this bizarre man using an extraordinariness and miraculousness of art as a therapy to help him able to cope with the expensive lesson he had learnt from the cruelty and heartedness of people who share the same world as himself. It is new, strange and conducts the super unfimiliar life circumstance of this man with such an enormous maniacal expression. A strange yet very beautiful documentary. Collapse
  2. Nov 22, 2010
    9
    Reminds me of recent documentary Catfish, in that it captures an incredible story that could never have been foreseen at the beginning of theReminds me of recent documentary Catfish, in that it captures an incredible story that could never have been foreseen at the beginning of the project; however, unlike Catfish, this documentary would have been very interesting with or without its several surprises. What does it look like for art to be therapy? This story gives an incredibly intriguing answer to that question. Expand
  3. Aug 29, 2011
    7
    Marwencol is a touching story of a man that lost everything in a bar fight. He now creates the world that he never had with action figures andMarwencol is a touching story of a man that lost everything in a bar fight. He now creates the world that he never had with action figures and barbie dolls in great detail. It's an interesting story and any filmmaker would pick up on such a unique centerpiece for a film. However sometimes it seems that the film tells us more about what hasn't happened and less about what has. Still a great documentary. Expand

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