• Released
  • February 29, 2012
  • (Limited 2/29)
  • NR , 1 hr 15 min
  • Documentary

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
Against all odds, an unquenchable artist has made yet another piece of powerful art.
Full Review

Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
In short, This Is Not a Film is the world within an apartment, and it is quietly devastating.
Full Review

San Francisco Chronicle

By Walter Addiego
This Is Not a Film isn't just a film, it's a strong one. It's also an act of political defiance, a moving personal document and a meditation on what film is and can be.
Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
This is a great film, and a triumph of creativity and courage over repression.
Full Review


By Ella Taylor
If you pay close attention, there's also an exhilarating evocation of how art is stubbornly made, and arbitrary authority put in its place, under the most confining conditions. Rene Magritte, whose famous pipe painting is slyly honored in the movie's title, would be jazzed.
Full Review

Slant Magazine

In its way, this effort is both a forceful assertion of the most stifling brand of auteurism and a radical reconfiguration of its political potential.
Full Review

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
Little by little, detail by detail, This Is Not a Film leads to a final scene of overwhelming power. I don't think it was even planned - no more than Panahi expected the little actress to take the cast off her arm. It simply happens, and then the film is over, having nothing more to say. Because, after all, it is not a film.
Full Review


By Stephanie Zacharek
A small but extremely significant message in a bottle. That metaphor is almost literal: The picture made its way to Cannes via a USB drive -- which was smuggled in a cake.
Full Review

New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
It's irrefutably art, and undeniably vital.
Full Review

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Liam Lacey
Deft and ironic, mixing banal reality with poignant metaphor in a typically Iranian style.
Full Review
90 out of 100
Universal acclaim
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.