(2008)

Critic Reviews

89

Metascore

Based on 31 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Variety
One of the most wildly entertaining docs of recent years.
100
The gorgeous music includes Ralph Vaughan Williams' wafting tone poem ''The Lark Ascending'' -- apt in describing an artist who might well be part bird.
90
Thorough, understated and altogether enthralling documentary.
88
The film runs 95 minutes, and you'll be holding your breath for most of them.
88
Engrossing and exhilarating documentary.
80
Pre the events of 9/11, the film might have simply been an entertaining, high risk tale of a death-defying feat related in both interviews, archival footage and photos and Marsh's usual meticulous and creative re-enactment vignettes. Post 9/11 you find yourself marveling that a man in far away France became smitten with the twin towers long before they became the target of terrorist attacks.
80
The most miraculous thing about Man on Wire is not the physical feat itself, 1,350 feet above the ground, but that as you watch it, the era gone, the World Trade Center gone, the movie feels as if it's in the present tense. That nutty existentialist acrobat pulled it off. For an instant, he froze time.
80
Village Voice
While largely lighthearted, Petit's walk and Marsh's film take on new meaning post-9/11. Man on Wire never mentions the events of that day, but the Trade Center's collapse continues to weigh on Petit, as if its destruction was every bit as tragic as the human lives lost that day.
75
Premiere
Much of this story is indeed entertaining: there's a tone of lighthearted mischievousness to the plotting and scheming of an illegal act that is essentially harmless.
67
The A.V. Club
It's a story worth telling, yes--but after 90 minutes, it's hard not to wonder if the storyteller can talk about anything else.

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