Liberal guilt, with a few good laughs, a lot of frantic activity, and the occasional backfire.
A glossy, flat, fake Hollywood attempt at black social comedy.
Hal Ashby's feature directing debut is a poignant social satire about racial tensions in New York, extremely well acted by Beau Bridges and Lee Grant in an Oscar-nominated role.
| Original Score: B+
An uneven comedy of manners that bears checking out for its on the money painfully poignant moments.
| Original Score: B
An elder spokesman of New Hollywood's vanguard, former editor Hal Ashby's debut film keeps veering away from expectations and easy answers.
| Original Score: 4/5
The script has a few uneven moments, none of which damage the overall quality of the film, and Willis captures the atmosphere of both rich and poor New York lifestyles with an impressive visual style.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Beau Bridges heads the uniformly excellent cast as a bored rich youth who buys a black ghetto apartment building and learns something about life.
The Landlord remains one of the funniest social comedies of the period, as well as the most human.
It's a compelling and adventurous spectacle, which feels simultaneously like a time capsule and a crucial influence on such recent films as The Royal Tenenbaums and Half Nelson.
The Landlord succeeds thanks to terrific performances, political nous, flawless photography from Gordon Willis, a handful of sublimely witty moments and an overall sense of rebellious fun.
It adds up to a more honest, if less optimistic, portrait of American race relations than we usually see in the movies.
| Original Score: 3/4
| Original Score: 3/5