Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Mar 26, 2014
    91
    The finest rock doc since "Anvil: The Story of Anvil." Matt Berninger, lead singer of the National, is a 40ish indie-rock star who carries himself like a hip lawyer.
  2. Reviewed by: Gabe Toro
    Mar 24, 2014
    91
    With its rock doc trappings, it’s impossible to ignore that Mistaken For Strangers delivers on that front, with thrilling and candid on-stage footage that allows the band’s music to come alive: if you weren’t a fan before, you will be after the film.
  3. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Mar 27, 2014
    90
    A tale of two brothers, one band and a boatload of psychological baggage, Mistaken for Strangers is, like its maker, scruffy, undisciplined and eager to be loved. The big surprise is how easy it is to comply.
  4. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Mar 26, 2014
    88
    Not since “American Movie” has there been such an entertainingly clumsy, warts-and-all documentary about making a movie, this time courtesy of Cincinnati filmmaker Tom Berninger.
  5. Reviewed by: Josh Modell
    Mar 27, 2014
    83
    Mistaken For Strangers is as much a film about its director as it is about The National, which may qualify it as an entirely new kind of rock doc.
  6. Reviewed by: Ali Plumb
    Jun 23, 2014
    80
    It could easily have been a workaday music doc, but amid all the gigs, pit stops and sound checks emerges a funny and wry story of brothers at work.
  7. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Apr 3, 2014
    80
    A documentary that's insightful, sweet and often hilarious.
  8. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Apr 10, 2014
    75
    What might have been just another anodyne promo piece or solipsistic valentine instead becomes a funny, eccentric and finally deeply poignant depiction of art, family, ­self-sabotage and the prickly intricacies of brotherly love.
  9. 75
    Berninger is hero and villain of this comic essay in ineptitude masquerading as a rock band on tour doc.
  10. Reviewed by: Susan Wloszczyna
    Mar 28, 2014
    75
    Mistaken for Strangers was a group effort. And also an act of love.
  11. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Mar 27, 2014
    75
    Only the band's continuing popularity makes his journey stand out. Like its director-star, Mistaken For Strangers struggles admirably but can only go so far before letting the established talent win out.
  12. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Mar 26, 2014
    70
    Mistaken For Strangers, which covers Tom’s time with the band and his subsequent attempts to piece together a movie about that time, is a sweet, funny, and sad film, but also an exceedingly odd one.
  13. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Mar 24, 2014
    70
    Less a rock-doc than a surprisingly affecting look at sibling dynamics in a creative family where one brother is vastly more successful than the other.
  14. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Mar 24, 2014
    70
    Mistaken for Strangers, a documentary about indie group the National, comes off like an exercise in self-deprecation. As much a diary film as a rockumentary, it almost compulsively veers away from its ostensible subject.
  15. Reviewed by: Jim Farber
    Mar 27, 2014
    60
    The movie reveals plenty about the budding relationship between Matt and Tom. In the end, the film offers a portrait of fraternal commitment that’s both strange and sweet.
  16. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Mar 26, 2014
    60
    The brotherly-love epiphany to which the film builds does effectively pluck the heartstrings, but there’s a lingering sense that we’re being had.
  17. Reviewed by: Kenji Fujishima
    Mar 24, 2014
    50
    Adds up little more than an anguished man using the hook of following his famous brother in order to gaze, however critically, at his reflection for 75 minutes.
  18. Reviewed by: Simon Abrams
    Mar 25, 2014
    40
    Mistaken for Strangers doesn't reveal anything about Tom but his own insecurity.

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