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Barfly (1987)

tomatometer

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 1

audience

83

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 7,422

My Rating

Movie Info

Charles Bukowski, the talented crown prince of self-abuse, wrote the short stories upon which the surprisingly entertaining Barfly was based. The film concentrates on alcoholic writer Mickey Rourke (the Bukowski alter ego) who carries on a hate-hate relationship with bartender Frank Stallone. Rourke makes the acquaintance of another of society's castaways, Faye Dunaway, who in addition to being a souse is said to be crazy. They move in together, even though Dunaway all but promises to be

R,

Drama, Comedy

Charles Bukowski

Sep 3, 2002

Cannon Releasing

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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (4) | DVD (10)

The first four letters say it all.

March 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (2)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mickey Rourke gives a splendid performance as Bukowski's alter ego, the boozy, offbeat and eccentric writer, and he also brings the best out of Faye Dunaway as his unstable companion.

March 17, 2012 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

As I write about Barfly, I do seem to be talking myself into greater admiration for it, or at least into a sense of welcome design beneath its superficial inertia.

January 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

Charles Bukowski's semi-autobiographical short story-cum-screenplay is rich fodder for filmmaker Schroeder, who squeezes all the available juice out of it in a sensitively directed film

June 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

A lowlife seriocomedy.

July 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

An audacious movie about skid-row existentialism.

August 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Captures Bukowski well.

January 5, 2004

Rourke and Dunaway are dynamite

April 27, 2003
Moviehole

A terrific little film that features the best performance Mickey Rourke has ever given. It drags you into its world and makes you care about the characters.

August 8, 2002
Countingdown.com

Audience Reviews for Barfly

Usually when you see two people in as rough a shape as Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway look on the poster you don't expect a hell of a lot of entertainment out of that movie. Just honest misery. Fortunately, the late Charles Bukowski wrote Barfly and its entertaining as all hell. Rourke appropriately seems to play a mumbling caricature of Bukowski and a still attractive Dunaway fits the bill nicely. The soundtrack is outstanding and for as much as Bukowski's script shuffles along as Hank Chinaski himself does, its definitely hysterical and you don't really seem to mind. Cram that in with director Barbet Schroeder's talent for filling the movie with all kinds of grit and characters and the good times are rolling...
June 7, 2010
mjgildea

Super Reviewer

A brilliant film with what I believe to be Mickey Roarke's finest piece of work as an actor. The film was written by poet-author Charles Bukowski, and Roarke's character is based on Bukowski himself.
Henry(Roarke) spends most of his time at the bar, getting into the occasional fistfight with the bartender Eddie which is so well portrayed by Frank Stallone, and gets involved with a haggard alcoholic portrayed by Faye Dunaway. Henry puts all the money he wins from his streetfights into his drink of choice, scotch and water, and occasionally buys one for the house, "To all my friends!"
There's really not much going on with the story itself, but this film is simply entertaining, and manages to keep some humor in it's dim premise. Simplicity is usually better, and this film is a good example of what can be done when the right group of artists are put together.
November 21, 2009
yona71

Super Reviewer

Good acting can only help a film so far, this one is an ugly, depressing experience.
September 23, 2007
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

A rotten and dismal film. I did like that it ended, exactly how it started.
August 17, 2007
YosemiteSamFan

Super Reviewer

    1. Henry Chinaski: Your mother's cunt stinks like carpet cleaner.
    – Submitted by Vortex T (19 months ago)
    1. Henry Chinaski: Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.
    – Submitted by Vortex T (19 months ago)
    1. Henry Chinaski: Don't worry, nobody's loved me yet.
    – Submitted by Sean T (2 years ago)
    1. Henry Chinaski: It takes a special talent to be a drunk. It takes endurance.
    – Submitted by Kara K (3 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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Foreign Titles

  • Barfly (1987) (DE)
  • Barfly (1987) (UK)
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