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Hurlyburly (1998)

tomatometer

43

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 4

No consensus yet.

audience

65

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 5,901

My Rating

Movie Info

David Rabe's popular play of Hollywood immorality and decadence is brought to the big screen by director Anthony Drazan and an all-star cast that includes Sean Penn, Robin Wright-Penn, Kevin Spacey, Meg Ryan, Chazz Palminteri, Garry Shandling, and Anna Paquin. The film is set in the Hollywood Hills and tells the story of Eddie (Penn) a drinking-smoking-snorting-womanizing casting director and his philandering partner-roommate Mickey (Spacey). Along with their buddies Artie and Phil, they sit

R,

Drama

Jun 22, 1999

New Line Home Entertainment

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All Critics (60) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (14) | DVD (12)

Rabe has streamlined the dialogue, sacrificing a lot of funny throwaway lines without lessening the script's burden on our patience.

September 24, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

This black alleged comedy wouldn't be funny at all if it weren't for Kevin Spacey's droll wit and silly bleach do. Sean Penn's self-indulgent performance and the unfocused script make sitting through Hurlyburly a chore.

August 11, 2003
AboutFilm.com

Depicts hedeonism as a grim exercise in cynicism, betrayal and emptiness.

March 2, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Desperately seeking Mamet.

October 10, 2001 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

What may have worked on Broadway comes across on screen as pretentious and dull. ...neither funny nor revealing, just stuffy and longwinded.

May 7, 2001
Movie Metropolis

When the madness is all taking place in one room, as it does in the play, intensity is generated. When it's spread out across a variety of locations, the power of 'Hurlyburly' is quickly diluted...

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

The trailer defines the term as 'tumultuous commotion, uproar,' and it could not more aptly describe this high-strung but virtually plotless film.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Capsule Review

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: DustinPutman.com
DustinPutman.com

Instead of unproductively pilloring the movie industry, Drazan and Rabe locate Hollywood as the site through which society can treat its conflicts and ideals

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

It's amazing what you'll find if you're willing to look below the surface.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Juicy Cerebellum
Juicy Cerebellum

Talky film; but brilliant. Sean Penn is at his best.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Blunt Review
Blunt Review

This glib talk-fest is based on David Rabe's 1984 misanthropic play about friends caught in the web of Hollywood hype.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Hurlyburly

A great movie with incredible characterization.
November 20, 2006
mjgildea

Super Reviewer

Self-indulgent b.s. Spacey proves he can talk a million-miles-a-minute about a whole lot of nothing.
November 1, 2010
streamofconsciousness

Super Reviewer

I've read a lot of feedback to this film, which is by and large rather negative. I've noticed that people who dislike the characters occupying Hurlyburly often criticize the film itself as a result. We are not intended to embrace the lifestyles of these characters. This is a picture that encompasses a sub-culture and the neuroses of certain types of people. It is an intelligent, articulate piece with a venomous sense of cynicism and blunt sensibility. The men focused on are self-obsessed chauvinists, but they are not reduced to amplification of their flaws. Their pain and dilemmas are familiar, and they serve towards an unnerving portrait of emptiness. I loved this movie because I love great acting. Watching what some of these actors do with the script is so exciting and astonishing, particularly the brilliant Sean Penn. The writing and performances are phenomenal, but this is a movie that probably only appeals to people who like stage-oriented pieces.
June 24, 2009
michaelcorleone

Super Reviewer

With this cast, the film should have been so much better than it is. It's a pleasant enough ride, that ultimately goes nowhere.
July 31, 2009
threefolddado

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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