Diner - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Diner Reviews

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Dan Jardine
January 10, 2016
The male quintet of friends is amusingly lampooned in Levinson's clever and cutting script, a refreshingly honest depiction of an era often bathed in sepia-toned nostalgia.
Full Review | Original Score: 76/100
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
June 2, 2014
Levinson's dialogue feels fresh and improvised, yet it hits its mark every time, and the performances he gets are complex and original.
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor
June 2, 2014
With so much going for it, then, why doesn't 'Diner' emerge as a major statement? Mostly because of the recurring weakness of its screenplay.
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
June 2, 2014
The film is wonderfully cast and played.

June 2, 2014
Though nothing much happens this is a skilfully written comedy-drama that plays close attention to character and boasts fine performances by a quality cast.
John Ferguson
Radio Times
June 2, 2014
This gentle, warm-hearted comedy drama about a group of young men in 1950s Baltimore was director Barry Levinson's debut feature and it remains among his finest work.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5

People Magazine
June 2, 2014
All the performances are remarkable. Rourke won't stay unknown for long. But the ultimate triumph is Levinson's. He captures both the surface and the soul of an era with candor and precision.
John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews
May 20, 2012
not a great film, but it certainly is memorable
Full Review | Original Score: B
Cole Smithey
June 6, 2011
As confused as its male protagonists are about their proper place in the world, it's their relationship to women that beguiles them most. It's also their path to maturity.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
May 19, 2009
Thoroughly enjoyable nostalgia film about lost youth that's as refreshing as a cup of coffee from a Greek diner.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Variety Staff
June 26, 2008
For all his painstaking accuracy, Levinson has also concocted a dark and depressing period story devoid of a single person without a major problem or character flaw.
Emanuel Levy
June 12, 2006
Made by an insider, Baltimore's son Barry Levinson, who gets the texture and characters right, Diner is one of the most perceptive youth tales about the gulf between the sexes before the subject became a debatable issue.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5

Empire Magazine
May 6, 2006
A witty and biting screenplay is excellently portrayed by an ensemble, who would all soon become big stars.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
January 26, 2006
Not a lot to it, but the sense of period is acute, the script witty without falling into the crude pitfalls that beset other adolescent comedies, and the performances are spot-on.
Edward Havens
September 13, 2005
Even with all its accolades, it's still an underappreciated gem
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 23, 2004
Diner is often a very funny movie, although I laughed most freely not at the sexual pranks but at the movie's accurate ear, as it reproduced dialogue with great comic accuracy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
February 4, 2004
Diner features a group of twentysomething friends whose camaraderie, hijinks and troubles ought to resonate with many viewers.

TV Guide
July 30, 2003
A thoughtful, charming sleeper.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Janet Maslin
New York Times
May 20, 2003
Movies like Diner -- fresh, well-acted and energetic American movies by new directors with the courage of their convictions -- are an endangered species.
Michael Atkinson
November 6, 2001
Diner is a naturalistically acted movie, but Rourke is so fluent with streetwise gesture and cool grace that he makes his costars look like the Three Stooges.
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