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Factotum (2006)

tomatometer

76

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 116
Fresh: 88 | Rotten: 28

Matt Dillon's performance is the highlight of this somewhat slow but fascinating portrayal of Charles Bukowski's alter-ego.

65

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 12

Matt Dillon's performance is the highlight of this somewhat slow but fascinating portrayal of Charles Bukowski's alter-ego.

audience

62

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 19,492

My Rating

Movie Info

Norwegian director Bent Hamer follows up his quirky and critically acclaimed Kitchen Stories with a heartbreakingly humorous look at the life of depressive writer Hank Chinaski -- the fictional counterpart of real-life author Charles Bukowski. Adapted from Bukowski's 1975 novel of the same name, Hamer's film follows the perpetually unemployed, alcohol-swilling Chinaski (Matt Dillon) as he drifts through the city streets in search of a job that won't come between him and his first love, writing.

Dec 26, 2006

$0.6M

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All Critics (118) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (88) | Rotten (28) | DVD (11)

The transplant didn't take in Barfly, and it works no better here in Factotum. In each case, the baying of the boozehounds just seems repetitious and banal -- the noise endures but the joy is gone.

December 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Quite dull, truth be told. As good as Dillon and Taylor are in their roles, making us side with them even as we despise them, there's not a whole lot that happens in a life ruled by the bottle, the butt and the shag.

December 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is one of the best movies of the year, and one of the two or three best performances.

September 22, 2006 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Factotum is right up there with Barfly as a distillation of Bukowskian badinage, despite the current film's sketchier provenance.

September 20, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dillon is better now that he's settled into sturdy middle age. He makes more sense; I never got him as a Tiger Beat centerfold.

September 15, 2006 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I just didn't think the comic touches were very subtle and very funny and the other stuff we've just seen before.

September 5, 2006 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The fact that Chinaski can be ably transplanted from the '40s to the early 21st century, and from LA to MN, speaks to his endurance as American literature's preeminent antihero, and Dillon seems to have a firm grip on this notion.

March 24, 2014 Full Review Source: Stop Smiling
Stop Smiling

A slouching portrait of Bukowski that's likeable, if superficial.

November 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine Australasia
Empire Magazine Australasia

Factotum is an existentialist indie film about the loneliness of the human condition, which is normally the cinematic equivalent of having a hole drilled in your head.

March 22, 2011 Full Review Source: ComingSoon.net
ComingSoon.net

An understated and atmospheric portrait of the artist as a young booze-hound built around a quiet but magnetic performance by Matt Dillon.

August 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Minimalism-a-thon, numb from the very start

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Dillon is an utterly excellent actor without ego.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

The entire production hangs on Dillon, but he's up to the task, serving up Hank's heart with bottom-of-the-barrel bravado.

April 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Norwegian director Bent Hamer ("Kitchen Stories") mines the rich literary soil of poet/novelist Charles Bukowski to issue forth a piquant cinematic showcase for Bukowski's talent and malaise.

April 20, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

Wryly funny and understated and surprisingly easy to watch.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Will not please devotees of narrative closure, but it's a must for anyone who lives by our hero's credo: 'If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't try at all.'

February 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinematical
Cinematical

Unfortunately -- like its lead character -- the film doesn't do much more than drift from one scene to another.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

This portrait of an artist as a young sot reels and swaggers towards some kind of redemptive conclusion but, in a truly bold move on the part of the filmmakers, never quite gets there.

July 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

The film unfolds at a leisurely pace and takes the form of a series of incidents and anecdotes, which works surprisingly well.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

Factotum isn't for everybody, certainly not the abstentious. But there's no denying it, Chinaski appeals to our inner anarchist.

February 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Dillon delivers with a cocky denseness that is at once hilarious and poignant...

January 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Bleak-ish, inebriated and quite exhilarating in the full-on Bukowski fashion.

December 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

It's not a great film but it might seem great because it does justice to the life force of an exceptional man who had something to say about not being mediocre.

November 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

At its best when it taps into the allure of indolence: The almost scandalous feeling of freedom that comes from sitting on a barstool in midafternoon, without a job, a schedule or responsibilities.

October 6, 2006
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Audience Reviews for Factotum

I miss the whole point of this movie, and rather then watch it a second time, I rather have pins stuck in my eyeballs, The best part of the movie was the line about the wine nats on the unemployment office. Could Matt Dilon fall any lower. 1 star
March 26, 2012
bbcfloridabound
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Deadbeat wannabe writer Henry Chinaski drifts from dead end job to dead end job while trying to hone his craft and find his next drink. Based on a hotch-potch of the works of cult literary figure Charles Bukowski, Factotum is a fair cinematic representation of his work; you get a few chuckles over his reckless abandon in the face of polite society and imagine how liberating it would be to be able to just not give a shit. But at the end of the day, most people who don't give a shit aren't charming, charismatic rebels; they're just assholes. For this reason, Factotum seemed to me to be just a collection of scenes of an asshole getting drunk and losing jobs, and that's it. I didn't warm to him, he didn't show me any insights into the modern world. He was just a self-involved, self-important bore who occasionally quoted Bukowski to justify his own sorry existence, which pretty much sums up this film. If it's comedy drunks you want, Withnail & I, Fear And Loathing, Leaving Las Vegas and Trees Lounge are all far, far better than this self indulgent cinewank.
February 1, 2011
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

At no point should you mistake this movie for being good. It is, in fact, a bad movie. It has a ton of inconsistencies and you rarely see 'Chinaski' honing his writing craft. That said, it has a few amusing moments, some decent acting, and it features a topless Marissa Tomei, which allows it to reclaim an additional star.
July 14, 2010
pingsley

Super Reviewer

Definitely one for the fans of Bukowski, that said, it?s not really how I pictured Henry Chinaski and I started to worry towards the beginning of the film but by the end I was more than satisfied. Bent Hamer (great name) does a great job as does Dillon, both obviously love and understand Bukowski's work. Read the books and watch this film!
September 29, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

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