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Based on 11 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 38
    Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News

    Alternates between being amusingly pretentious and studiously dull. show more

  • 50
    David Sterritt Christian Science Monitor

    Its main value is the prolonged look it gives of the late artist Basquiat. show more

  • 38
    Jonathan Foreman New York Post

    Amateurish in the extreme, the film is a feast of bohemian cliché, bad writing and worse acting. show more

  • 50
    Ken Fox TV Guide

    As a piece of cinematic art, this meandering, shambolic film isn't much to speak of, but as a time capsule, it's priceless. show more

  • 58
    Kim Morgan Portland Oregonian

    Although amateurish, often poorly acted and containing dialogue and narration that comes off as pretentious and embarrassing, it's worth watching for the environment it envelops you in. show more

  • 58
    Sean Axmaker Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    Makes a great time capsule, a shot-on-the-streets glimpse into the texture of a bygone time, place and attitude, but a listless, lightweight odyssey. show more

  • 90
    Ernest Hardy L.A. Weekly

    Poignant, funny, and proof of Basquiat's magic. show more

  • 80

    Extraordinary real-life snapshot of hip, arty, clubland Manhattan in the post-punk era. show more

  • 70
    J. Hoberman Village Voice

    Doesn't dawdle and, despite some eye-rolling dialogue, is a generally amiable time-trip. show more

  • 40
    Dave Kehr The New York Times

    It's as a documentary that Downtown 81 is most successful, particularly at those moments when the somewhat unfocused filmmaking allows us to look past the foreground characters and catch glimpses of a vanished cityscape. show more

similar movies

  • Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (2010)

  • My Kid Could Paint That (2007)

  • Pollock (2000)

  • Llyn Foulkes One Man Band (2013)

  • The Runaways (2010)

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