Barrymore (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

Barrymore (2012)

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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

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Critic Reviews for Barrymore

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (17)

Think of it as one great performer saluting another.

January 31, 2014 | Full Review…
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.

January 31, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
New York Daily News
Top Critic

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

June 17, 2013 | Full Review…
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.

December 6, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
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 | Rating: 3/4
Seattle Times
Top Critic

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

November 20, 2012 | Rating: B | Full Review…
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

I was a little slow off the mark otherwise I would have been in the audience when they filmed Christopher Plummer doing his John Barrymore. Thank goodness HBO decided to pick it up and air it. A great theatrical performance is captured and kudos to Director Erik Canuel who offers appropriate off-stage moments that don't detract from the piece.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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