★★★★★ "This doco is unlike anything you've seen before" - Stuff.co.nz.
When two of artist Barbora Kysilkova’s most valuable paintings are stolen from a gallery at Frogner in Oslo, the police are able to find the thief after a few days, but the paintings are nowhere to be found. Barbora goes to the trial in hopes of finding clues, but instead she ends up asking the thief if she can paint a portrait of him. This will be the start of a very unusual friendship. Over three years, this cinematic documentary follows the incredible story of the artist looking for her stolen paintings, while at the same time turning the thief into art.
97% - Rotten Tomatoes
2020 Sundance Film Festival – WINNER Special Jury Prize for Creative Storytelling
★★★★★ - Stuff
"So typical of this frustrating year, that one of the very last films to open, should be one of the very best. Hugely recommended."
★★★★ - Times (UK)
"Benjamin Ree's extraordinary documentary feels like a movie - there's a heist, villains who are not what they seem, scenes of striking intimacy and some fabulous twists."
★★★★ - Observer
"Fascinating, confounding and continually surprising..."
★★★★ - Little White Lies
"A beautiful story about extraordinary compassion."
★★★★ - Guardian
"Astonishing portrait of two lost souls” "What an engrossing film"
★★★★ - Sunday Times (UK)
"The Painter and the Thief has more human interest, more narrative urgency, than most feature films."
★★★★ - CineVue
"An art heist film like no other and an arresting documentary of startling, often brutal, emotional honesty."
"A fascinating, perplexing ...always involving chronicle of a truly crazy relationship." - The Wrap