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Ratings & Reviews

The Art of the Steal

Not Yet Rated In Theaters 02/26/2010 , 101min.
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Viewer Score
Viewer score based on 39 ratings
Critic score based on 19 reviews

Your Reviews

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April 16, 2010
This is a must see movie . As a supporter of the arts, I am embarassed that I had not followed this situation. I knew that The Barnes Museum was a very special place, similar, in many ways, to Boston's jewel, The Gardner. How sad for Philadelphia that they would rather 'rape; their treasures and do such an injustice to a man's will, rather than hire PR people to bring more tourism into Philly
March 21, 2010
Very well done and illuminating. A look into the politics of art and how these politicians and public "charitable" organizations gain power at the expense of what they are purported to save. Barnes had noble ideas about art education and immersion and to see this dismantled is cause for concern.

Critic Reviews powered by Metacritic ™

Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
As a movie, Steal is as finely wrought as the decorative ironworks that hang on the walls of the Barnes between Picassos and Seurats. Yet as a narrative of the facts, it is as one-sided as a plaintiff's brief. Full Review
David Edelstein
New York Magazine
Calculated to enrage and pulling it off like gangbusters, Don Argott's documentary The Art of the Steal pits the legacy of the late Albert C. Barnes's Barnes Foundation (which boasts arguably the world's finest collection of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art) against the social-climbing, philistine, downright Nixonian machinations of Philadelphia's wealthiest--who gamed the system and pried the collection loose in defiance of Barnes's legal will. Full Review
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
Argott treats Barnes' story as an intellectual crime thriller, uncovering each new surprise -- and a seemingly endless parade of villains -- with a deadpan flourish. Full Review
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
What The Art of the Steal documents most dramatically is the irresistible pull of irreplaceable art. Full Review
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
Energetically entertaining if a bit one-sided. Full Review

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