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Based on 27 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 100
    Walter Addiego San Francisco Chronicle

    This Is Not a Film isn't just a film, it's a strong one. It's also an act of political defiance, a moving personal document and a meditation on what film is and can be. show more

  • 100
    Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal

    Against all odds, an unquenchable artist has made yet another piece of powerful art. show more

  • 80
    Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News

    It's irrefutably art, and undeniably vital. show more

  • 85
    Stephanie Zacharek Movieline

    A small but extremely significant message in a bottle. That metaphor is almost literal: The picture made its way to Cannes via a USB drive -- which was smuggled in a cake. show more

  • 95
    Ella Taylor NPR

    If you pay close attention, there's also an exhilarating evocation of how art is stubbornly made, and arbitrary authority put in its place, under the most confining conditions. Rene Magritte, whose famous pipe painting is slyly honored in the movie's title, would be jazzed. show more

  • 100
    Ty Burr Boston Globe

    In short, This Is Not a Film is the world within an apartment, and it is quietly devastating. show more

  • 88
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    Little by little, detail by detail, This Is Not a Film leads to a final scene of overwhelming power. I don't think it was even planned - no more than Panahi expected the little actress to take the cast off her arm. It simply happens, and then the film is over, having nothing more to say. Because, after all, it is not a film. show more

  • 88
    Slant Magazine

    In its way, this effort is both a forceful assertion of the most stifling brand of auteurism and a radical reconfiguration of its political potential. show more

  • 75
    Liam Lacey The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    Deft and ironic, mixing banal reality with poignant metaphor in a typically Iranian style. show more

  • 50
    Kyle Smith New York Post

    So there is courage and cheekiness here. What there is not is a story, or much insight or even anger; anyone expecting an indictment of Iran will be sorely disappointed. show more

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