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70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: Before entire networks were built on populist personalities; before reality morphed into a TV genre; the masses fixated on a single, sociopathic star: controversial talk-show host Morton Downey, Jr. In the late ‘80s, Downey tore apart the traditional talk format by turning debate of current issues into a gladiator pit. His blow-smoke-in-your-face style drew a rabid cult following, but also the title “Father of Trash Television.” Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie dissects the mind and motivation of television’s most notorious agitator. [Magnolia Pictures] Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Jun 6, 2013
    90
    This pull-no-punches portrait shocks and amuses with equal frequency.
  2. 90
    Downey found a way to channel his working-class audience’s anger against liberal shibboleths and not incidentally take down both his dad and his surrogate dad — Teddy ­Kennedy. It’s a ­riveting Oedipal tragedy.
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Jun 10, 2013
    80
    An entertaining, affectionate documentary created by three self-professed fanboys, which proves as nostalgic for the host himself as for a bygone broadcast era, before the reality-TV explosion allowed the inmates to fully take over the asylum.
  4. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    Jun 6, 2013
    70
    Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie is as fair a portrayal the weak-chinned warrior will get — and fairer than he deserves.
  5. Reviewed by: James Adams
    Aug 29, 2013
    63
    Évocateur is never less than watchable. At the same time, you have to wonder who’s going to watch it. In an era when fame seems measured in increments even shorter than Warhol’s 15 minutes, a 91-minute documentary about a bug-eyed, chain-smoking sociopath who soared high and fell fast so long ago smacks of folly and misdirected energy, like trying to make a biography out of a footnote.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 6, 2013
    60
    As a look at how we got from there to here, “Evocateur” is one for the time capsule.
  7. Reviewed by: Nick McCarthy
    Jun 4, 2013
    50
    Inflammatory talk-show host Morton Downey Jr. sparked, delighted, and quickly faded like a firecracker--not unlike the erratic, quick-fire presentation of his persona in this documentary.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

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  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of