Exit Through the Gift Shop

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Exit Through the Gift Shop Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Curious docu about street artists has some strong language.
  • R
  • 2010
  • 85 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 12 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

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

Positive Role Models & Representations

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


Some scenes show cops arresting street artists.


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


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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bygigi94025 February 8, 2011

Fantastic, engaging documentary that will appeal to teens

I thought this was a fantastic up lifting story. I would recommend googling the movie after you watch it to find the interviews with the editors which are fant... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byFonderRonder March 29, 2021


I watched this in my art class and I thought it was so good that I watched it with my little brother and family at home after that, and I really liked it! It is... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old November 5, 2018

Street Art Documentary

The person who made the film was a street artist vandalizing to make a point, Banksy. This is not who you want young children to be, so I rated it thirteen and... Continue reading

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love interesting people

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate