Hurlyburly (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hurlyburly (1998)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Hurlyburly Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Anthony Drazan directed this comedy-drama with a David Rabe screenplay adapted from Rabe's 1984 play about a trio of guys who work in the film industry and share a Hollywood Hills house. The three are casting agents Eddie (Sean Penn) and Mickey (Kevin Spacey) plus unemployed actor Phil (Chazz Palminteri), whose life teeters on a precipice after a split from his wife. Exotic dancer Bonnie (Meg Ryan) arrives to give Phil a few sexual jolts, while Darlene (Robin Wright Penn) bed-hops from Mickey to drug-wired Eddie. Producer Artie (Garry Shandling) sends over a "care package," young drifter Donna (Anna Paquin in her first adult role). Shown in competition at the 1998 Venice Film Festival.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language, sex)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: David Rabe
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 22, 1999
New Line Home Entertainment


Sean Penn
as Eddie
Robin Wright
as Darlene
Meg Ryan
as Bonnie
Kenny Vance
as Store Manager
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Hurlyburly

Critic Reviews for Hurlyburly

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (14)

Hurlyburly earns its keep, in the end, with writerly flash and dramatic virtuosity.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 19, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Detroit News
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | September 24, 2007

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

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

Full Review… | March 2, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Hurlyburly

A great movie with incredible characterization.

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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

Laura Cameron

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.

Mike T.

Super Reviewer

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