Matthew Barney: No Restraint
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
How does artist Matthew Barney use 45,000 pounds of petroleum jelly, a factory whaling vessel, and traditional Japanese rituals to create his latest art project? Barney plowed the waters off the coast of Nagasaki to film his massive endeavor, Drawing Restraint 9. The documentary "Matthew Barney: No Restraint" journeys to Japan with Barney and his collaborator Bjork, as the visual artist creates a "narrative sculpture" telling a fantastical love story of two characters that transform from land mammals into whales.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 52%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"More interesting is Chernick's concise survey of Barney's intriguing early work, including weird Vaseline-covered sculptures and footage of him trying to draw while under physical restraints such as a harness, etc."
‑ Fred Camper, Chicago Reader
"Barney's art presents a cross between the creepiness of David Cronenberg and David Lynch and the grandiosity and business sense of George Lucas. Chernick's film unquestioningly admires it."
‑ Alan G. Artner, Chicago Tribune
"How it is that such a polarizing artist coule be the subject of such a tepid documentary is nearly as much of a mystery as the often convoluted allegory of Barney's art."
‑ Ian Buckwalter, DCist
"Better than the actual film it's the featurette for."
‑ Eric Lurio, Greenwich Village Gazette
"It's interesting to watch [Barney] work and see how he created some of the amazing visuals from Drawing Restraint 9."
‑ Edward Douglas,
"If Chernick set out to portray the couple's movie project as a bit frivolous and self-absorbed, she succeeded. But I doubt that was the intention."
‑ Sheila Farr, Seattle Times
"As blandly lucid as Barney is wildly and perplexingly imaginative."
‑ Ken Johnson, Boston Globe
"An essential companion piece for anyone who feels like they didn't get"
‑ Marty Mapes, Movie Habit
"An absorbing documentary that seeks to explain this most enigmatic of modern artists."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
"A skimpy Cliff's Notes for both the eponymous Vaseline-loving sculptor-filmmaker's career and, specifically, his most recent act of cinematic self-infatuation, Drawing Restraint 9."
‑ Nick Schager, Slant Magazine
"[Director] Chernick's stylish yet superficial report looks more like an orientation video for museum visitors."
‑ Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun-Times
"Alison Chernick's documentary attempts to provide some much-needed insight, combining a biographical and artistic portrait of the provocateur."
‑ Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
"... Chernick's film ends up being far more accessible than Barney's."
‑ Andy Klein, Los Angeles CityBeat
"Chernick may not answer every question about this beguiling and enigmatic film, but you wouldn't want it to: Mystery is an essential part of the Barney experience."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for Matthew Barney: No Restraint on Rotten Tomatoes