Downtown 81
Downtown 81 (2001)

The film is a day in the life of a young artist, Jean Michel Basquiat, who needs to raise money to reclaim the apartment from which he has been evicted. He wanders the downtown streets carrying a painting he hopes to sell, encountering… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: July 13, 2001
DVD Release Date: August 27, 2002
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Available Online

Critic Score: 73% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jane Sumner
Dallas Morning News

A fascinating if fragmented, dreamlike look at the downtown art-music-fashion scene of a yeasty, creative era.

John Petrakis
Chicago Tribune

Gives us a glimpse of the city as it was, suggesting that there was something revolutionary, even inspiring, about those days of not-so yore.

Mike D'Angelo
The Dissolve

Although Basquiat is effortlessly charismatic, he isn't given much to do; the film leans heavily on narration, much of which crosses the line separating poetic from pretentious.

Full review…
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer

A crudely poetic inventory of the people and places about to rock pop culture.

Kevin Maynard
Mr. Showbiz

It captures the youthful excitement of a burgeoning creative movement.

Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Invaluable because it catches the sights, sounds and moods of a city that are of a bygone era.

Full review…
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle

Performances by DNA and the Plastics alone are worth the price of admission.

Dave Kehr
New York Times

It's as a documentary that Downtown 81 is most successful.

Wilson Morales

It's not a great film, but rather disjointed as nothing really makes sense. But considering this is the only glimpse one would ever see of Basquiat before he was discovered by Andy Warhol, this film is somewhat of a masterpiece.

Full review…
More reviews for Downtown 81

Flixster Audience Score: 73% Flixster User Reviews
Edward Stymest
"Downtown 81" wants to be transcendent and wants to the cognoscenti on art and culture. I'm not sure if it achieves just that (it probably… More