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76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Inventor Tim Jenison seeks to understand the painting techniques used by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Jan 8, 2014
    100
    An exquisitely fun documentary.
  2. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Feb 27, 2014
    90
    It’s fascinating and funny while forcing us to consider the line between technology and art.
  3. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Jan 31, 2014
    88
    The movie is straightforward, brisk, engaging, and sometimes even moving. One might entire feeling wary that the movie, in depicting an attempt to duplicate Vermeer's achievement, might also glibly undercut it; but that's not the point at all. Rather, Tim's Vermeer wants to expand the audience's understanding of what the actual practice of art is.
  4. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Feb 13, 2014
    75
    It's an odd film, ultimately rewarding, because it's about an odd venture.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Mar 6, 2014
    75
    Jenison, who had never painted a thing in his life, does indeed produce a beautiful work, but we should never forget that Penn and Teller are professional bamboozlers, and their attempt to re-frame the definition of genius might be nothing but smoke and mirrors.
  6. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Mar 19, 2014
    67
    With its brief running time and revelatory story, this neat, fascinating documentary ought to be required viewing for art history students everywhere.
  7. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jan 31, 2014
    40
    Shooting in unattractive, hard-edge digital, Teller condenses Mr. Jenison’s years-long pursuit into 80 glib, alternately diverting, exasperating and tedious minutes.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Feb 2, 2014
    9
    Anything narrated by Penn Jilette is, by definition, awesome. But this story is remarkable. Tim, unlike so many today, has an incredible can-do spirit & attitude. He doesn't give up when faced with obstacles. He doesn't whine. I'd love to see what he's up to next. And I'd love to see what his painting would go for on the open market. It's lovely. Collapse
  2. Feb 5, 2014
    9
    “Tim’s Vermeer” is a documentary involving Tim Jenison, the noted inventor and visual arts entrepreneur, and his inquiry into the style and methods used by Johannes Vermeer who Mr. Jenison considers to be the finest artist of the 17th Century or, for that matter, any Century.
    Jenision ‘s aim or goal is to answer the question: “How did Vermeer do it” and were optical assists used in the creaton of his art. With input from artists such as actor Martin Mull and artist David Hockney, under the able narration of Penn Jillette and direction of Teller, Mr. Jenison shares with the audience his scientific means of trying to discover and prove what optical devices were used by artist Vermeer under the same circumstances and limitations that faced Mr. Vermeer in the 1600’s. This is an absorbing film with Jenison sharing each effort, success and setback as he, although not an artist himself, seeks to create a Vermeer painting using the techniques he hypothesizes the artist used some 400 years ago.
    This film is not only for art buffs, but for those of us ready to witness an inventor who, with tenacity and spirit, works tirelessly to achieve the desired result. I give this film an 8.5 and highly recommend that it be seen by as many viewers as possible.
    Expand
  3. Mar 12, 2014
    8
    Inventor Tim Jenison developed a theory that Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer used some sort of optic technology to create his paintings. After interviews and research he sets out to create his own version of one of Vermeer's classics by working from a real environment. This is a fascinating concept and an amazing procedure that took years to realize. The documentation of the tedious final process is the only time the film starts to lag. Otherwise, it's interesting to anyone who enjoys an intriguing confluence of art and technology. Expand

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