Obscene - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Obscene Reviews

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Top Critic
David Jenkins
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
July 10, 2009
An entertaining and engrossing film.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Philip French
Observer (UK)
March 6, 2009
This film is an engaging portrait of the man and a fair assessment of his achievement.
February 27, 2009
While the filmmakers squander some excellent opportunities that might have helped to illuminate the contradictions in their subject, this remains a fascinating study of an unrepentant American maverick.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
James Christopher
Times (UK)
February 27, 2009
Obscene, is melancholic. The eerie contradiction is how chirpy and cheery this remarkable activist, and self-confessed sex addict, is at more than 80 years of age.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Peter Bradshaw
Guardian
February 27, 2009
An entertaining docu-tribute.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Louis Proyect
rec.arts.movies.reviews
January 29, 2009
Brilliant social history about one of the greatest publishers of the modern epoch, even if he is "Human, All Too Human"
Matthew Sorrento
Film Threat
November 23, 2008
With testimony from scads of heyday contributors and an infectious design reflecting Grove Press's innovative cover art ... the filmmakers could have shelved the weaker bits without missing a beat.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Ted Fry
Seattle Times
November 21, 2008
The focus of Obscene remains steadfastly on the man, thanks to a rich variety of archival and interview clips that span his entire career and a slew of colleagues, fiends and enemies.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Bill White
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
November 21, 2008
Rosset is a lively subject, and his interviews (over many years) provide an oral history of his life and times.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Andy Klein
Los Angeles CityBeat
November 12, 2008
... a justified tribute to [Barney] Rosset, who in his mid-80s is still feisty, with a refreshingly lighthearted attitude toward all he accomplished.
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 21, 2008
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Noel Murray
AV Club
October 2, 2008
Though Obscene tells the story without fully exploring its nuances, that story is both fascinating and more than a little inspiring.
| Original Score: B+
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo
Boxoffice Magazine
September 30, 2008
The doc formally mirrors its subject in its pacing, which balances the titillation/education of the doc's subject with consistent and pleasantly teasing speed and tone from start to finish.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
September 26, 2008
A compelling documentary about [Barney Rosset] directed by neophytes Neil Ortenberg and Daniel O'Connor.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 26, 2008
Daniel O'Connor and Neil Ortenberg's engrossing documentary about the life and times of publisher Barney Rosset, who spent much of his career advancing the cause of free expression, is a flawless match of style and subject.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Jules Brenner
Cinema Signals
September 26, 2008
Those who didn't live through this period and take for granted the totality of free expression enjoyed today will have their eyes opened by this homage.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
September 26, 2008
A warm, entertaining compendium of counterculture voices (including Jim Carroll and Amiri Baraka) and literary landmarks.
| Original Score: 4/5
Aaron Cutler
Slant Magazine
September 25, 2008
Obscene is a brief, pleasant time-killer that genially preaches to the choir yet, while it's always enjoyable, this review's readers should seek Grove books out first.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Joshua Land
Time Out
September 24, 2008
Filled with reminiscence and laughter, this lively and largely adoring documentary looks back on the life and work of Barney Rosset, best known as the longtime owner of Grove Press.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6

Times (UK)
February 27, 2009
Christopher Campbell
Cinematical
October 18, 2008
Rumsey Taylor
Not Coming to a Theater Near You
October 18, 2008
Top Critic

Variety
October 18, 2008
Top Critic

Los Angeles Times
October 18, 2008
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