7.5/10
34,328
76 user 210 critic

The Imposter (2012)

Trailer
2:32 | Trailer
A documentary centered on a young man in Spain who claims to a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years.

Director:

Reviews
Popularity
2,806 ( 281)
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 11 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A filmmaker decides to memorialize a murdered friend when his friend's ex-girlfriend announces she is expecting his son.

Director: Kurt Kuenne
Stars: Kurt Kuenne, Andrew Bagby, David Bagby
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middle-class Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.

Director: Andrew Jarecki
Stars: Arnold Friedman, Jesse Friedman, David Friedman
Catfish (2010)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Young filmmakers document their colleague's budding online friendship with a young woman and her family which leads to an unexpected series of discoveries.

Directors: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Stars: Yaniv Schulman, Ariel Schulman, Henry Joost
Documentary | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of how an eccentric French shop-keeper and amateur film-maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner. The film contains... See full summary »

Director: Banksy
Stars: Banksy, Space Invader, Mr. Brainwash
Documentary | Crime | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.

Directors: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Kharey Wise
Documentary | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Conversations with death row inmate Michael Perry and those affected by his crime serve as an examination of why people - and the state - kill.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog, Richard Lopez, Michael Perry
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The accident made national headlines: a suburban mother drove the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway in upstate New York and crashed head-on into an SUV, killing herself and seven others. In ... See full summary »

Director: Liz Garbus
Stars: Jesse Temple, Brad Katinas, Diane Schuler
Jesus Camp (2006)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A documentary on kids who attend a summer camp hoping to become the next Billy Graham.

Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady
Stars: Mike Papantonio, Lou Engle, Becky Fischer
Blackfish (2013)
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A documentary following the controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales.

Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Stars: Tilikum, Dave Duffus, Samantha Berg
The Staircase (TV Mini-Series 2004)
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, presents a gripping courtroom thriller, offering a rare and revealing inside look at a high-profile murder trial. In ... See full summary »

Stars: Michael Peterson, David Rudolf, Caitlin Atwater
Documentary | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence.

Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky
Stars: Tony Brooks, Diana Davis, Terry Wood
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An urban mystery unfurls as one man pieces together the surreal meaning of hundreds of cryptic tiled messages that have been appearing in city streets across the U.S. and South America.

Director: Jon Foy
Stars: Justin Duerr, Marc Duerr, Kevin Riley
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicholas Barclay ...
Himself - Missing Person (archive footage)
Carey Gibson ...
Herself - Nicholas' Sister
Bryan Gibson ...
Himself - Nicholas' Brother-in-Law
Beverly Dollarhide ...
Herself - Nicholas' Mother
Frédéric Bourdin ...
Himself - Imposter (as Frederic Bourdin)
Nancy Fisher ...
Herself - Special Agent, FBI (as Nancy B. Fisher)
Philip French ...
Himself - Consul General, U. S. Embassy in Spain (as Phillip French)
Codey Gibson ...
Himself - Nicholas' Nephew
Charlie Parker ...
Himself - Private Investigator
Bruce Perry ...
Himself - Texas Children's Hospital (as Bruce D. Perry)
Allie Hosteiler ...
Herself - Nicholas' Neighbor
Kevin Hendricks ...
Himself - Nicholas' Childhood Friend
...
Frédéric Bourdin
...
Carey Gibson
Cathy Dresbach ...
Nancy Fisher
Edit

Storyline

A documentary centered on a young man in Spain who claims to a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There are two sides to every lie. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 August 2012 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Az Imposztor  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$22,379 (USA) (13 July 2012)

Gross:

$892,409 (USA) (21 November 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, Frédéric Bourdin's hair line is very defined and has dark hair. But by the end of the film he has a noticeable receding hairline. However, the film portrays his talking scenes as one long interview as his shirt never changes. See more »

Quotes

Himself - Imposter: Before I was born, I definitely had the wrong identity. I already didn't know - I was already prepared not to know who I really was. A new identity with a real passport, an American passport... I could go to the U.S., go to school there, live with that family, and just being someone and don't have never again to worry about being identified. I saw the opportunity.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 73 Questions: 73 Questions with Daniel Radcliffe (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Wayfaring Stranger
Written by David Eugene Edwards & Jean Yves Tola (as Edwards/Tola)
Performed by Sixteen Horsepower (as 16 Horsepower)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The less you know about the story, the more you'll enjoy it
9 August 2012 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This is the documentary, of the many I saw during the Perth Revelation Film Festival 2012, that has stuck to my memory, and the one that fascinated me the most.

The documentary revolves about the vanishing of a 13y.o boy, Nicholas Barclay, for his home in Texas in 1993, to be found in Spain with an apparent amnesia six years later. What happens after the young man call the Spanish Police is the core of the film.

The movie mixes interviews with the protagonist Frédéric Bourdin, Nicholas' family, American FBI and Consular officials, and has very atmospheric re-enactments done with Spanish actors and settings narrating the events occurred in Spain. The story is build up like in a thriller, and it will keep you glued to the screen, wanting to know what is going to happen next.

Layton has given the documentary the tone of a mystery movie in the re-enactments, but also in the interviews through the use of the chiaroscuro, camera positioning, hues of the film, and the tempo and way the events are presented - everything serves to build up suspense and mystery, and make you doubt and question yourself. Is this a real documentary or a mockumentary? Are we being fooled? The story is fascinating and amazing per se, but the way it is presented, is marvelous from a cinematic point of view as lets the viewer munch on a few philosophical themes: self-identity, reality and perception of reality, the connection between emotion and perception, and the use of cinematic narratives in documentaries based on real events, among other things.

One of the main downs of the movie is that Nicholas' family is somewhat ridiculed and vilified for the sake of the storyline. After all, we need of good, bad, stupid and clever characters in a story to create an interesting film. In the first place they are portrayed as ignoramuses; however, they are a suburban family living in a poor area of the USA, with little or none education; you cannot expect much of any person grown in this social environment anywhere in the world. In the second place, they are ridiculed for failing to detach themselves from their emotions and see something really obvious for the spectator; however its a characteristic of human nature and behavior to attach emotion to our thoughts and to interpret what we see according to our own personal individual viewfinder. We do so, all of us, every single day, in our daily lives, so you cannot expect traumatized and emotional people to see things as clearly as we see them from our seat in the cinema. In the third place, the movie implicitly blames the family, by letting some of the characters doing so, for the vanishing of Nicholas, without providing any evidence for it.

Still, this is a terrific documentary. The less you know about the whole story at the beginning, the more you will enjoy it. This is a documentary that attracts people to the genre because reinvents it. A proof that a documentary can be amazing, intriguing, entertaining, and thought provoking.


78 of 90 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
facts DeeS48
How is that level of incompetence even possible? asyakocaturk
Not so much about the movie, but about the actual events... trippingbomb
suggest similar docs to The Imposter here updownleftright
3 polygraphs? dmowen111
Ruin it for me. mrspotswood
Discuss The Imposter (2012) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?