Barrymore (2012)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Barrymore, set in 1942, follows acclaimed American actor John Barrymore (Christopher Plummer), a member of one of Hollywood's most well-known multi-generational theatrical dynasties. No longer a leading box office star, the film finds Barrymore reckoning with the ravages of his life of excess. He has rented a grand, old theatre to rehearse for a backer's audition to raise money for a revival of his 1920 Broadway triumph in Richard III. It leads him to look back on the highs and lows of his stunning career and remarkable life. -- (C) The Film Sales Company
Documentary , Drama , Musical & Performing Arts , Special Interest
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Christopher Plummer
as John Barrymore

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Critic Reviews for Barrymore

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (17)

Think of it as one great performer saluting another.

Full Review… | January 31, 2014
USA Today
Top Critic

Plummer commands the stage as easily and firmly as Barrymore must have. He makes us believe that Barrymore would indeed, as he tries to reach deep into his past and revive Richard, keep recalling his wives or breaking in to sing a pop song of the day.

Full Review… | January 31, 2014
New York Daily News
Top Critic

The interest is in Plummer himself-who he is, what he can do.

Full Review… | June 17, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

Mr. Plummer stumbles beautifully, poignantly and often, leering and searching through a haze of memory or, with concern edged with panic, calling for 'a line, a line' much as Richard III calls for a horse.

Full Review… | December 6, 2012
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

You wish you could be seeing this performance live, as it's meant to be seen - but lacking that, "Barrymore" on the big screen provides its own thrills.

November 30, 2012
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Plummer is marvelous, flitting between reminiscence and Shakespearean recitation as a gifted artist aware of his own wretchedness.

Full Review… | November 20, 2012
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Barrymore

Once upon a time, there was a great actor named John Barrymore(Christopher Plummer) who while specializing in the classics, also appeared in quite a few early sound films of Hollywood. By 1942, when this one person show was set, he was not the same person, years of alcohol abuse having damaged him beyond repair, ironically leaving him not unlike the character he played in "Dinner at Eight," a washed up actor who thinks he is still relevant. In Barrymore's case, it involves a last chance audition for Richard III. But he cannot even remember the magical words every actor has drilled into him, instead going off on tangents about his famous siblings. None of which is really that interesting or scintillating but the wonderful Christopher Plummer does what he can with such limited material. And that's got to be at least worth a look, right?

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer


Plummer is marvelous, flitting between reminiscence and Shakespearean recitation as a gifted artist aware of his own wretchedness.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

Barrymore is an unusual, yet entertaining, film. It is a "one man" movie, with Christopher Plummer stealing the show, accompanied by only one other man part of the time, Frank. However, the true meaning of Barrymore surpasses Plummer's excellent performance of the man, but instead is about Plummer himself. Plummer is an aging actor who wants to be taken seriously for one last role before he gets too old, just like John Barrymore. Well, he has succeeded.

Matthew Henegan
Matthew Henegan

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