The Painter and the Thief

critic Reviews

96% Certified Fresh Tomatometer Score96%
  • The Painter and the Thief uses the unlikely bond between a criminal and his victim as the canvas for a compelling portrait of compassion and forgiveness.
  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Alison WillmoreNew York Magazine/Vulture
    [A] strange, delicately made film, which manages to defy expectations about both of its subjects and the power balance between them.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Adam GrahamDetroit News
    It's a knockout.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Justin ChangLos Angeles Times
    [T]here are moments so intimate and unguarded that you may briefly dissociate and question what you're watching - a documentary, or its carefully scripted and acted narrative counterpart.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Brian TallericoRogerEbert.com
    The concept of being seen through someone else's eyes drives the best parts of The Painter and the Thief, a documentary that illuminates a great deal about the human condition even if it does kind of fizzle out in the third act.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Anthony LaneNew Yorker
    Ask not-or not only-what the painter does for the thief. Ask what the thief might be doing for the painter.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Joe MorgensternWall Street Journal
    The beauty of the film lies in the bond she forges with one of the thieves... The relationship between Barbora and Bertil, as she calls him, grows on camera from improbable friendship to spiritual love.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Loren KingNewport This Week (RI)
    The film's title hints at both fairy tale and Bible story, and both elements are present in director Benjamin Ree's compelling portrait of two seemingly different people drawn together through the redemptive power of art.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Courtney SmallThat Shelf
    Frequently blurring the line between artist and subject, The Painter and the Thief is an absorbing work.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Witney SeiboldCritically Acclaimed Podcast
    Looks - really looks - at the kind of person that is typically dismissed, and finds a deep friendship and connection. Sadly, it doesn't conclude in a satisfying way.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Sean CollierBox Office Prophets
    It would be difficult, if not impossible, to write a fictional tale of unlikely compatriots as odd, nuanced and touching as this.
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