The Life of Reilly Reviews

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Dave White
Movies.com
April 4, 2011
It was shot just before he died, so it's a nice record of his life in his own words, a life that included bizarre family situations as well as his solo navigation of Hollywood as a decidedly unconventional celebrity.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Rob Gonsalves
eFilmCritic.com
July 19, 2010
Gives us a sense of a full life of triumph and tragedy, an epic story told in 84 minutes by a master raconteur.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Robert Horton
HeraldNet
March 10, 2009
It doesn't pretend to be a movie, really, but it's an unexpected treat from a man who made a living out of being silly.
Rob Thomas
Wisconsin State Journal
March 10, 2009
See Life of Reilly and you won't see him as a pop culture footnote ever again.
Randy Shulman
Metro Weekly (Washington, DC)
March 10, 2009
The schmaltzy surface-nature of the show, however, is redeemed by Reilly's performance... and by a final story...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
March 10, 2009
...he's far more candid recalling his grand delusions in a school play than he is when he gets to Broadway and Hollywood.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
KJ Doughton
Film Threat
March 10, 2009
It... holds wrenching emotional power in its naked, warts-and-all history of one man's life...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
March 10, 2009
...it's a funny and frequently affecting reminiscence...
Jonathan W. Hickman
Entertainment Insiders
March 10, 2009
Unfortunately, I never caught Nelson live, but this film has to be the closest thing to it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Leydon
Variety
March 10, 2009
Life of Reilly is vivid proof that living well, and laughing heartily, can be the best revenge.
Jason Anderson
eye WEEKLY
March 10, 2009
...the man's sense of stagecraft and storytelling prowess are undeniable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Hank Sartin
Time Out
March 10, 2009
As this entertaining recording of his one-man show reveals, Reilly was a natural raconteur.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
David Noh
Film Journal International
March 10, 2009
Helmers Frank Anderson and Barry Poltermann had the bright idea to preserve Reilly's show on film, and... it is indeed an invaluable record.
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
March 10, 2009
The Life of Reilly lets us know how much the world has changed.
Richard Knight
Windy City Times
May 22, 2008
Charles Nelson Reilly's one-man stage show makes for a terrific one-man movie.
Tricia Olszewski
Washington City Paper
March 6, 2008
This is a story about all wide-eyed dreamers as much as it is about him: When Reilly reads off the roster of his classmates in a New York acting class for the dirt-poor, it's a simple act that's hugely inspiring.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
March 6, 2008
Director Barry Poltermann's sweet little evocation of a show business career captures Reilly at 'the twilight of an extraordinary life,' in Reilly's words.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
December 14, 2007
Reilly conjures a self-portrait that is insightful, hilarious and completely devoid of self-pity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 7, 2007
There's a genuine wonderment and breathless joy in Reilly's delivery that hints at what a fine stage actor he must have been, particularly when he describes going to a movie for the first time, or his thrill at first getting the lead in the school play.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Sean Axmaker
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
December 6, 2007
... a poignant tribute to the one-time Broadway star best known to the public at large as a game-show wit and Johnny Carson guest.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic

Variety
February 23, 2012
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