• Barfly
    2 minutes 6 seconds
    Added: May 9, 2008


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Barfly Reviews

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Michael G

Super Reviewer

July 3, 2008
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...
Eric S

Super Reviewer

November 21, 2009
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.

Super Reviewer

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

Super Reviewer

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

Super Reviewer

March 10, 2007
Disappointing, to say the least. I had never even heard of this movie, until it was covered in the documentary Bukowski: Born Into This - you see this script was apparently written by American literary legend, Charles Bukowski, in the later stages of his life (he has a brief cameo in the film). What it mentioned in the documentary was that Bukowski and his wife were quite disappointed in how the film turned out, and I can see why now. The script was written about his alter-ego, Henry Chinaski, who was the protagonist of much of his work in poetry & prose. Chinaski is basically a different version of himself, and as such, Rourke is essentially playing Charles Bukowski, and he fails in this respect. Rourke's performance is a somewhat over-the-top caricature. The script is great but Rourke's delivery saps a lot of meaning out of most of the material, leaving us with a vacuous dark comedy. I think a lot of that is also due to the director, Barbet Schroeder, though - he really doesn't show much respect for the material, and the fact that most of this would have come from Bukowski's actual life. He puts his own spin on it, but it really spins out of control and becomes something that, while watchable, you get the sense was meant to be an entirely different monster. Even Faye Dunaway, who I usually love, doesn't add much to the proceedings. It's an okay film, but I can't really recommend it. In the end it just made me want a drink.
Mike T

Super Reviewer

September 15, 2006
A very disappointing film considering the talent involved, but it's still worth a look for Bukowski enthusiasts. The screenplay is written by Charles Bukowski himself, and it encompasses almost all of the themes prevalent throughout his work. However, director Barbet Schroeder takes an approach to the material that I found to be underwhelming. Instead of exploring the script as a realistic drama, the film is played out as an outrageous black comedy. Mickey Rourke is particularly disappointing, since he's an actor I admire and respect so much. He takes big chances with this role and goes beyond over-the-top. Unfortunately, the result is a performance that feels forced and at times downright obnoxious. He also has moments of strength, but they're too sporadic. Faye Dunaway does the best acting in the film, playing a memorable and convincing supporting character. The writing is good, and deserves recognition, but the adaptation doesn't do it justice.
Chosen 7

Super Reviewer

November 5, 2007
From what I was a good film.
February 24, 2011
I grew up reading Bukowski's poems. I have almost all his poetry books. This movie was like meeting an old friend for me. Therefore 4 1/2 stars might be a little bit high. At first I felt a bit strange... Rourke's strange walk and Brando-esque talk... But then yes he was a complete Chinaski ! And seeing Bukowski at the bar for a few seconds was priceless !
August 22, 2007
After watching Factotum, I feel it necessary to review this movie. It is absolutely fantastic. Admittedly, Rourke plays Bukowski over-the-top, but that works for this movie in a way I've never seen in film. The mood and atmosphere are spot on for this film and I highly recommend this for every surly assh*le I ever meet.
July 14, 2007
Mickey Rourke gives the ultimaet portrayal of a drunken loser. Funny enough its based on a real person.
March 13, 2007
The greatest movie ever made, Rourke and Dunaway give spectacular insight into the life of Henry Chinaski...a funny look into the life of a drunken bum trying to make it as a writer. I LOVE THIS MOVIE!
March 28, 2007
Really liked this movie. Mickey Roorke plays a Drunk, who is at the bottom of the barrel and goes around fighting people. He is also a poet and\or writer who is being seeked by a Litature Magazine.
February 11, 2007
Nothing beats the prose of Bukowski, especially when it's done by Mickey Rourke, the best drunk you'll ever see.
February 6, 2007
I can't explain how a movie with no real plot could be so interesting. Bukowski is just that great.
January 10, 2007
An all-time favourite...probably because I can relate to ALL characters in this movie (and I'm not ashamed). Written by Bukoski, Barfly takes a peek into the life of yet another drunken, self obsesse write played by Mickey Roarke. Faye Dunaway co-stars and is fabulous as well.
December 25, 2006
Thought provoking. I do not know why I watch this movie every few years, but I do. It sparks a part of my brain that tries to work out behavior that I do not understand.
May 30, 2006
Mickey Rourke is a back-alley fighting drunk whose writings are discovered by a major literary magazine.
April 14, 2014
I'm not even that big of a fan of Bukoski's poetry or the man himself. This movie is funny, sweet, cruel and, I think, very re-watchable.
April 14, 2014
It was ok. Mickey Rourke used to be handsome.
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