Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Mar 22, 2013
    Coming on the heels of the Taviani brothers’ quasi-documentary “Caesar Must Die,” about the staging of “Julius Caesar” in a maximum-security lockup, Reality gives credence to the notion that Italian prisons are hotbeds of acting talent.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Mar 28, 2013
    The movie’s a funny, dark, increasingly razor-sharp inquiry into the metaphysics of modern fame — how the dream of “being seen” and thus validated on some primal level can completely unhinge the average schmo.
  3. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Mar 14, 2013
    Reality is a story about one man’s desire to make it big on the small screen, and something of a familiar exploration of the blurring between reality and its simulations. More elliptically and more interestingly, it is also a look at an Italy engrossed with rituals and spectacle, in watching and being watched.
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Mar 13, 2013
    His outrageous, self-destructive journey lands him in a place just as ironic as Rupert Pupkin’s in "The King Of Comedy," but it’s haunting and mysterious, too, reflecting the dream that consumes his life.
  5. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Mar 18, 2013
    While Reality is a mixed bag of satire, allegory and melodrama, it’s a rich mixture that an American remake would likely never pull off. This is a movie that will reward multiple viewings, from a filmmaker of tremendous technical ability, humor and heart.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael Atkinson
    Mar 12, 2013
    Garrone's film grows in your head afterward, making royal hash out of a cultural paradigm we'll be loath to remember years from now—if, by then, everything hasn't become "reality."
  7. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Mar 8, 2013
    Spoofing the pernicious effects of television, especially the so-called reality genre, doesn't require pinpoint aim, and at times Luciano seems as much a target of ridicule as the superficial, oversexed entertainment served up on the tube.
  8. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Mar 10, 2013
    The reality-show aesthetic pervades the movie as well. Garrone's roaming camera style draws you into each moment with extreme close-ups and long takes that wander through each scene and get lost in it. Luciano's plight is crushing because Garrone renders it with such detail.
  9. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Mar 21, 2013
    Garrone achieves something uniquely colorful, disturbing and trenchant about self-perception in an increasingly fishbowl-like society.
  10. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Mar 14, 2013
    The bright palette of Reality is an obvious way to underline the hero’s unraveling, but it looks good, and it works.
  11. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    Mar 11, 2013
    Matteo Garrone has a sure eye for outlandish set pieces that exhibit the expansive outlines of his ideas, but these spectacles are sporadic, and the spaces between them tend to lag.
  12. Reviewed by: Bill Stamets
    Apr 25, 2013
    The first-rate Italian comedy Reality — which fakes Pope Benedict appearing in St. Peter’s Square — likens consecration to elevating an “everyman” to pop celebrity.
  13. Reviewed by: Tom Dawson
    Mar 15, 2013
    The film belongs to Arena, outstanding as a man growing ever more delusional in his quest to acquire celebrity status.
  14. Reviewed by: Eric D. Snider
    Mar 18, 2013
    With a jaunty musical score by Alexandre Desplat and a pleasant visual style aided by Marco Onorato’s colorful cinematography, Garrone delivers a story that’s part fairy tale, part religious allegory and part scathing indictment.

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