• Studio:
  • Release Date: Mar 13, 2013
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Mar 14, 2013
    38
    A great writer deserves a more penetrating and inquisitive documentary: Reverence is not the path to understanding.
  2. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Mar 14, 2013
    60
    Philip Roth turns 80 next week, and what better way to celebrate than to serve as the hero of his own story? It’s too bad, though, that this dully conventional biography doesn’t do justice to its subject.
  3. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Mar 14, 2013
    80
    There's nothing particularly dynamic about Livia Manera and William Karel's documentary Philip Roth: Unmasked. For some 90 minutes, it's pretty much just one guy talking. But what a guy!
  4. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Mar 13, 2013
    67
    Though it might be unreasonable to expect Karel and Manera to succeed where others have failed, simply punting on the amount of autobiography in Roth’s novels seems like a cheat. Sticking to what’s on the page pays off, especially with regard to Roth’s undervalued late novels, but also means he has them just where he wants them.
  5. Reviewed by: Ela Bittencourt
    Mar 13, 2013
    63
    In spite of the film's exhaustive chronology, those who deduce from its title that they're in for an unveiling, or an unraveling, of a major literary figure may come out empty-handed.
  6. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Mar 12, 2013
    90
    The directors plant a camera in front of Roth and get him talking. To smooth over edits, they show us book covers and old photos—Roth was dashing, charming, a little dangerous, one of his college friends tells us, but she doesn't need to say it. It's manifest, and it's still true. The film is especially recommended to anyone who thinks they hate him.
  7. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Mar 12, 2013
    80
    Fittingly enough, given that his great subject has always been himself, it is Mr. Roth who dominates the screen...He is, for 90 minutes, marvelous company — expansive, funny, generous and candid.
  8. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Mar 12, 2013
    60
    Fortunately, Roth himself proves to be a fascinating presence — soft-spoken, sharp and bearing a vague air of melancholy that offsets the surrounding adulation.

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