Basquiat (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes


Basquiat (1996)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Basquiat Photos

Movie Info

Jeffrey Wright is superb in this biopic as Jean-Michel Basquiat, the artist who rose from homelessness to fame and fortune, only to die of a drug overdose at age 27. Writer-director Julian Schnabel, who is also an artist, vividly re-creates the 1980s New York art scene from firsthand experience.

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Jeffrey Wright
as Jean-Michel Basquiat
David Bowie
as Andy Warhol
Dennis Hopper
as Bruno Bischofberger
Gary Oldman
as Albert Milo
Michael Wincott
as Rene Ricard
Claire Forlani
as Gina Cardinale
Benicio Del Toro
as Benny Dalmau
Courtney Love
as Big Pink
Christopher Walken
as The Interviewer
Willem Dafoe
as The Electrician
Parker Posey
as Mary Boone
Elina Löwensohn
as Annina Nosei
Chuck Preiffer
as Tom Kruger
Paul Bartel
as Henry Geldzahler
Tatum O'Neal
as Cynthia Kruger
Chuck Pfeifer
as Tom Kruger
Esther G. Schnabel
as Esther Milo
Jack Schnabel
as Jack Milo
Lola Schnabel
as Jacqueline Milo
Michael Chow
as Himself
Steven Randazzo
as Maitre d' at Ballato's
Michael Badalucco
as Counterman At Deli
Joseph R. Gannascoli
as Guard At Hospital
Hope Clarke
as Matilde
Brian Wright
as Young Jean Michel
Denise Burse
as Mary On TV
as Nemo
Leonard Jackson
as Jean Michel's Father
Vladamir Parenago
as Medieval Villager
Dave Shelley
as Photographer
William Seymour
as Mr. Chow's Maître D'
Richard Butler
as Medieval Villager
Joe Glasco
as Medieval Villager
Steven Parenago
as Medieval Villager
Jose Luis Ferrer
as Medieval Villager
Irene Kiss
as Medieval Villager
Richard the Ox
as Medieval Villager
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Critic Reviews for Basquiat

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (9)

There isn't a boring shot anywhere, and writer-director Schnabel is clearly enjoying himself as he plays with expressionist sound, neo-Eisensteinian edits, and all sorts of other filmic ideas.

March 31, 2010 | Full Review…

Wright is brilliant.

September 16, 2004 | Rating: 4/5
Top Critic

[Jeffrey Wright] gives a performance of almost mystical opacity.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

The film is an elementary illustration of a life with suicidal overtones, but reduced by [director Julian] Schnabel to a sort of kind, lyrical and almost sweet homemade tale. [Full review in Spanish]

April 4, 2018 | Full Review…

Modest effort to illuminate the turbulent life of the New York artist.

May 5, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Schnabel made his film about Basquiat, which carries its own validation. He's also made something of a work of art in its own right.

September 30, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Basquiat


Modern artist Jean-Michel Basquiat rises to fame with the help of Andy Warhol. This film bolsters its indie kudos by including cameos from about every actor on the indie scene at the time, including Christopher Walken, Tatum O'Neal, Courtney Love, and Parker Posey. However, though the names in the cast are as good as they get, the film is not. There are so many unanswered questions, like what is it that makes Basquiat's art unique. We see many people praising his work, but the work doesn't speak for itself, like Jackson Pollock for example, and there aren't any moments that allow us to see what cultural or artistic vein Basquiat has tapped into. Thus, his insouciance toward the artistic process reminds me of Thierry Guetta from Exit through the Gift Shop, who emerges from that film looking like a first-class douche. Also, what could a beautiful, seemingly intelligent woman like Gina see in Basquiat? Their courtship and the end of their relationships are glossed over, and it seems like the brilliant Claire Forlani is under-used simply to fill the role of the supportive girlfriend that all films like this are required to have. David Bowie's performance as Andy Warhol is a tired caricature; I longed to see the musician tapped out by Guy Pearce -- let a real actor take the part. Overall, I liked the beginning, the first ten minutes or so, but the rest of the film leaves me knowing nothing new about Basquiat or why I should care. Post-Script: the design of the Diet Pepsi can in the film didn't come out until after the film's events took place.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


To most people Basquiat was a man who painted and shit. To me, he was just some guy who went to college for a few weeks and learned that its fun to fuck up his current girlfriend's life by painting his important art on their not important purses, dresses, and even sometimes on a canvas like other more typical artists tend to paint on. in conclusion, may basquait be remembered as the tolerable artist he was, as a man who was in a band with Vincent Gallo for six days, and a man with no respect for the countless banks, restaurants, and record stores that he loved to spraypaint his trademark "Fuck off, corporations!" message on as he "shot himself up" into fame's dirty veins.

Coxxie Mild Sauce
Coxxie Mild Sauce

Super Reviewer

Thi s Movie was about Jean Michel Basquiat who was a black artist who became friends with the famous Andy Warhol. Jean died at 27 from a herion overdose, this movie shows where he came from and the sucess he achived. Jean like Andy was way out there, but being way out there isn't bad, it's to bad more of us are not way out there. Most will not enjoy this movie, but I sure did. The music tracks were faboulus. Andy Warhol was played by David Bowie. Its a great movie give it a try.

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

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