Universal acclaim - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. 88
    What a sad film this, and how filled with the mystery of human life.
  2. Obviously a profoundly personal film, but it's also a smartly conducted tour through the world of building and design that Kahn towered over during the most successful phases of his career.
  3. The son is obsessive and petulant, punishing and self-pitying, and by the time he gets to a talk with his hurt old mother, we understand why.
  4. 88
    Nathaniel fares well with his father's fellow masters, although Frank Gehry seems evasive.
  5. 88
    The result is an immensely enjoyable portrait of a strange-looking, non-comforming genius who loved women as much as designing masterpieces but was never able to commit to them. In other words: great architect, lousy family man.
  6. Movies today rarely touch chords that are spiritual or deeply emotional, but Nathaniel Kahn's remarkable documentary My Architect: A Son's Journey does both.
  7. Not only is it the best documentary in a vintage season for nonfiction films (see "American Splendor," "Capturing the Friedmans," and "Spellbound"), it's also one of the best films of the year. It's as lyrical about the particulars of Kahn as it is about the universals of fathers and sons.
  8. The journey comes together to be one of the very best of the "in search of" documentaries: open-minded, informative, immaculately crafted, full of moving and highly privileged moments of discovery.
  9. 100
    A first-person documentary with the subterranean pull of a superb confessional novel.
  10. 83
    The most telling moment comes when his mother reveals that, despite all the subterfuge and false promises, she wouldn't have had it any other way.
  11. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    This fascinating portrait of an eccentric visionary and his chaotic triple family life is an accomplished, enormously satisfying non-fiction work.
  12. 90
    An inspired homage to his father's work, and a bracing, bittersweet testament of filial love mixed with pain and compassion.
  13. Reviewed by: Benjamin Forgey
    This is a bittersweet story, no question. But to the son's great credit, what emerges from his patient investigation is a remarkably rich, even sympathetic, portrait of the father.
  14. Reviewed by: David Schwartz
    Absorbing, beautiful documentary.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. JayH.
    Feb 4, 2008
    I am not quite sure why the fuss over a relatively unknown architect, who apparently wasn't even that great. He is a fascinating character however, but hardly admirable. He was a selfish man as well as a semi-genius - in some ways. It is a well done documentary, it is certainly well researched. I am less than enthralled over the man or his work. Full Review »
  2. KenL
    Aug 29, 2005
    An extremely interesting documentary by Louis Kahn's son. I really liked it. A story about a son trying to understand his father, with the backdrop of visiting most of his famous buildings. So, there are various themes -- the son's journey, the unusual life of Louis Kahn (and his three "families"), and the products of his work. A nice balance between interviews, vintage film of Kahn, Nathaniel's journey and Kahn's buildings. Also, a good Q&A session with the director on the DVD. Full Review »