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The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne Image
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Find out how a poor, single, African-American mother from segregated 1930s America winds up as one of the world’s most notorious and fabled jewel thieves.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    May 27, 2014
    90
    It's part caper comedy, part revenge tale, and part glorious whopper.
  2. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    May 28, 2014
    75
    Directors Matthew Pond and Kirk Marcolina wisely keep this unrepentant charmer, in her 80s during filming, on-camera, save for when they’re interviewing fascinated writers and fed-up prosecutors.
  3. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    May 28, 2014
    70
    To Pond and Marcolina’s credit, this isn’t just a character study of an ever-adventurous klepto-gran. The documentary also raises questions about whether a professional liar can ever really stop lying.
  4. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    May 27, 2014
    60
    More shakily, Payne’s obvious pathology isn’t probed as deeply as it should be. A jaunty musical score smooths over what might have been a tougher profile about an expert liar, to self included.
  5. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    May 28, 2014
    60
    The Life & Crimes of Doris Payne has an embarrassment of riches in Ms. Payne’s story, and it’s often a ripping good yarn, but, as a film, it lacks the nimbleness and resourcefulness of its subject.
  6. Reviewed by: Elise Nakhnikian
    May 28, 2014
    50
    Even at 74 minutes, the documentary comes to feel arduous in its recycling of the same points and imagery, the filmmaking as plodding as its subject is polished.
  7. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    May 29, 2014
    50
    Unfocussed editing and Mark Rivett's unimaginative score contribute to a lightweight feel that is best suited to TV viewing.

See all 8 Critic Reviews