Critic Reviews



Based on 16 critic reviews provided by
Steeped in what may be the ultimate postmodern irony: Talen's impromptu, defiant piece of performance art with political undertones has actually taken on a spiritual dimension.
The character isn't just shtick, though. As Billy, Talen has staged many protests in Times Square and anti-shopping "interventions" at retailers, where the managers, to say nothing of the New York police, often have failed to see the humor - he's been arrested dozens of times.
Chicago Tribune
It’s a wickedly effective indictment of America’s consumer compulsion, our mindless shopping and the multinational corporations controlling it all.
Village Voice
Much like Spurlock's hit "Super Size Me," this production is slick, well-paced, and tremendously entertaining.
Loud, proud and cheeky, the film runs roughshod over corporate behemoths Disney, Starbucks and Wal-Mart as it preaches a sermon of simplicity and consumer awareness.
The movie has a sharp point -- Americans shop too much -- but it's a problem that its bellowing hero, always accompanied by his red-robed Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir, is so off-putting; a crazy guy who wouldn't sound so crazy if he just didn't act so crazy.
At the very least, the documentary What Would Jesus Buy? might make a viewer think twice about that next purchase at the Gap.
Despite effective moments, VanAlkemade's film is too diffuse. He gives us snippets of the group's spirited performances, but their effect on audiences remains unclear.
You know that deflated feeling you get after you've spent a lot of time and money shopping - and have little to show for your efforts? This disappointing biography, about performance artist Reverend Billy, does an awfully good job recreating it.
The A.V. Club
It's neither conceptually bold nor slyly satirical when Billy dresses up as a Southern evangelical and sings made-up hymns about "the shopacalypse."

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