Critic Reviews

79

Metascore

Based on 34 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
She's a teller of hilarious gutbucket truths as surely as Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor ever were. Yet while they were consumed by their demons, Rivers is just the opposite.
91
A Piece of Work is the antithesis of Jerry Seinfeld's engaging but superficial 2002 documentary "Comedian": where the innately private Seinfeld holds nearly everything back, Rivers loudly broadcasts the kind of fears, anxieties, and ambitions most people would do anything to hide.
85
NPR
As the film demonstrates over the course of a full year with her, and not a great year by any stretch -- there is more to this particular hard-charging, egomaniacal, joke machine than gets revealed onstage.
80
A highly entertaining documentary revealing a serious talent behind the one-note present-day reputation.
80
Variety
Mixing hilarious standup footage with admiring if not exactly cuddlesome behind-the-scenes glimpses.
80
It's easy to think of comics, especially time-tested ones like Rivers, as mechanical laugh-generators. Stern and Sundberg allow her to reveal the deep-rooted humanity of those ever-present quips, and the effect is humbling.
80
Rivers appears to have more energy than most 30-year-olds; she gets more done in a day that some of us could accomplish in a week.
75
It's all about personality and Joan's inimitable style, which fills every second of its 84 minutes.
70
New York Magazine (Vulture)
By turns desperately funny and unfunnily desperate?
70
Village Voice
For all the frenzied activity, Joan Rivers is less informative dish than infomercializing cliché.

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