Exit Through the Gift Shop

  • Review Date: January 24, 2011
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 85 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Curious docu about street artists has some strong language.
  • Review Date: January 24, 2011
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 85 minutes

Age(i)

2
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10
11
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Art is what you perceive it to be, and making it is an achievement in itself.

Positive role models

The artists featured come across as fearless and far from complacent, though they're technically breaking the law.

Violence

Some scenes show cops arresting street artists.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Some swearing, primarily “s--t” and “f--k.”

Consumerism

No overt brand names, though some of the artists featured in the film have collectible works of art.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A lead character smokes cigarettes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this fascinating documentary features street artists whom some may label as subversive; their work is incredible and dynamic, but some consider them vandals. Also, questions have been raised about the veracity of the film's lead subject, though that actually heightens the interest in watching it. Expect some swearing ("f--k" and "s--t") and an examination of a type of art that purposefully crosses a line -- a point that might intrigue some teens.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Thierry Guetta, a former Los Angeles shopkeeper, turns accidental documentary filmmaker and artist in EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP. Guetta is an avid videographer, and street artists became his favorite subject. After hobnobbing with the likes of such artists as Swoon and Shepard Fairey, who became famous for his rendition of Barack Obama’s countenance, Guetta befriended the famously reclusive Banksy, who gives him the task of attempting to make art himself. Guetta becomes Mr. Brainwash and takes to the task immediately, deciding to create a massive show and hyping it up in the media.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This rags-to-artists tale is compelling, indeed, and every frame is worth watching. Guetta is a strangely fascinating subject, both as a documentarian wannabe and as an artist wannabe who captivates. (His show was hugely attended.) The film affords an appealing, if slightly roundabout, look at the world of street art -- the thrill of the process, the lure of the rebellion.

But you can’t help wondering, as you watch, whether we, as viewers, have become part of someone’s subversive art piece. The film, after all, is directed by Banksy, who’s presented here as a subject but then ends up documenting the filmmaker. Confused? Not surprising -- but, hey, it’s an adventure nonetheless.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about street art: What makes it so compelling? What do the artists get out of creating it? What do viewers get?

  • Is graffiti vandalism or art?

  • What about the documentary filmmaker, Thierry, whose work is central to the film? What kind of artist is he?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 24, 2010
DVD release date:December 14, 2010
Cast:Banksy, Rhys Ifans, Thierry Guetta
Director:Banksy
Studio:Oscilloscope Pictures
Genre:Documentary
Run time:85 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:some language

This review of Exit Through the Gift Shop was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old April 16, 2011
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
Very good movie, I thought it was a little bit too much about that stupid guy, Terri, but other than that very well made. A must see movie for sure.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written byAR16 October 28, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Make art NOT war!

Art is a wonderful thing. This documentary gives its viewers an inside look into the deeper meaning of what street art really is. It also helps you understand what makes a person a "true artist" or not.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old March 23, 2011
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

One of my favorite movies!

I really love this film! It has strong language, but with what's in movies these days, it seems somewhat mild because there is absolutely no violence of sex.
What other families should know
Too much swearing

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