Barney's Version - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Barney's Version Reviews

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Sam Adams
Philadelphia City Paper
February 4, 2011
Even though it's based on a fictional autobiography, Barney's Version has the shapelessness of a real biopic.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
Village Voice
January 12, 2011
Barney's Version misses every opportunity for raucous picaresque fun that the book throws its way, while squandering a wealth of transatlantic performing talent led by Paul Giamatti.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
January 20, 2011
I wish I responded to this shrewdly acted, rather dutiful picture the way I did to the tumultuous Richler adaptation I saw and loved as a 13-year-old, "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz," starring a vibrant young Richard Dreyfuss.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Henry Fitzherbert
Daily Express (UK)
January 31, 2011
There's no faulting the acting but what the point is I have no idea.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
January 31, 2011
Do yourself and the normally appealing Giamatti a favour and watch Sideways again instead.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Tony Macklin
February 15, 2011
There's a murder mystery in both the book and movie versions of Barney's Version. Let me solve the movie's mystery -- Giamatti kills Richler's Barney.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.0/5
Chris Barsanti
February 4, 2011
This fitfully funny, mawkish romantic comedy gives Paul Giamatti (another) role of a lifetime, but along the way, sucks all the life out of its rakish source novel.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
December 2, 2010
Barney's Version's inconsistent conception of its protagonist is exacerbated by a larger unevenness of tone.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
December 3, 2010
Giamatti is an ideal casting choice, but even this talented actor can't sell a lovable-jerk story that forgot to put in the lovable.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Cole Smithey
January 10, 2011
[VIDEO] A vague murder mystery bookends the story, but "Barney's Version" spins with more narrative distraction than direction.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Geoff Berkshire
December 3, 2010
The actors are the whole show here, trapped in characters never really worth their time, or ours.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Amber Wilkinson
Eye for Film
January 16, 2011
More often than not, when emotion is called for, Michael Konyves lays on the scripting far too thick.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
March 27, 2011
Mordecai Richler's 1997 acclaimed best seller novel is never fleshed out.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 3, 2010
But the filmmakers have been, if anything, too dutiful, too careful, and the movie that results from their conscientious, devoted labor illustrates the terrible, paradoxical trap into which well-intentioned literary adaptations so often fall.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews
July 1, 2011
A minor improvement over Mordecai Richler's nigh unreadable book...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
February 11, 2011
This has the overstuffed feel of a sprawling, life-spanning story that's been wrestled down to feature length.
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
February 18, 2011
An acting showcase with more mood swings than its drunken protagonist.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Bob Westal
January 15, 2011
One thing that even relatively short novels often do that movies can have a hard time with is telling the story of a character's entire life.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
January 31, 2011
This adaptation of the late Canadian writer Mordecai Richler's playfully experimental novel about a man making sense of his wasted life feels rather like its antihero: inadequate.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Rachel Gordon
December 16, 2010
Despite the deficiencies in the script, everyone on screen works effectively hard to build a full story of a fairly average human being who can't seem to appreciate his own life, much less those around him.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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