The People vs. Larry Flynt

Critics Consensus

The People Vs. Larry Flynt pays entertaining tribute to an irascible iconoclast with a well-constructed biopic that openly acknowledges his troublesome flaws.

88%

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Total Count: 57

80%

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User Ratings: 44,444

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Movie Info

Pursued by opponents who say his "Hustler" magazine breaks decency laws, pornographer Larry Flynt (Woody Harrelson) hires lawyer Alan Isaacman (Edward Norton) to help fight his legal battles. A zealot shoots the men near a Georgia courthouse, and though Flynt discovers he'll never walk again, his fighting spirit -- like his love for stripper Althea Leasure (Courtney Love) -- stays strong. Ultimately, the unlikely free speech warrior takes his biggest case to a showdown at the Supreme Court.

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Critic Reviews for The People Vs. Larry Flynt

All Critics (57) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (50) | Rotten (7)

Audience Reviews for The People Vs. Larry Flynt

  • Dec 14, 2013
    Milos Forman's The People Vs. Larry Flynt is a stunning drama about Larry Flynt, and the founding of the now famous porno magazine Hustler. At the heart of its story is not only the rise of Flynt, but also the right to free speech, which makes this a well layered drama that tells a truly engaging story. With great performances by Woody Harrelson in the lead role, Courtney Love and Edward Norton, The People Vs. Larry Flynt is a well crafted movie that Forman manages to keep you engaged due to a well written script that really sucks you into its story. Forman is one of my favorite directors and his dedication to the genre of film has made him one of the finest directors in the medium. The film presents a very interesting topic, one that is scared for everyone that is disgusted at censorship. Even if you don't agree with what Flynt has done in terms of his profession, you can agree that it is up to yourself to decide what is in good taste and what is not. I won't state my personal beliefs on Larry Flynt, but the film here works very well because not only is it an interesting story that is well acted and entertaining from start to finish, but it holds the values of free speech at its core, and that's why it's such a compelling film. I really enjoyed the film, and thought that the performances were top notch, the direction was immaculate and that it was a well made picture that shouldn't be seen as just the rise of a porn entrepreneur, but as a picture display the beauty of free speech and how it comes to protect us due to the fact that we are free to choose certain things for ourselves. Milos Forman has had a great filmography, and this film is yet another strong film to add to it. The People Vs. Larry Flynt is a great drama that definitely shouldn't be missed.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Feb 14, 2012
    A great means to debate the whole notion of freedom of speech and expression. The fact of that matter is that if you have free speech, you will have free speech and expression that you don't like and you have to accept it.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 12, 2011
    Quite a powerful film in regards to the First Amendment which gives us the right of free speech and press which is exactly what this film revolves around. It is the story of Larry Flynt's pornographic films and magazines; most notably Hustler which really made him the entrepreneur he is. Flynt loses the use of his legs due to an assassination attempt confining him to a wheelchair. Woody Harrelson stars as Larry Flynt and turns in a fine piece of character work. The brilliant Edward Norton portrays his lawyer Alan Isaacman which allows for first rate acting on both counts. And I must mention Courtney Love's brilliant portrayal of Flynt's drug addicted wife Althea. I think one thing that gives this film it's strength is that it proves the point of the industry that is often frowned upon, but is within the rights of every citizen should they wish to be involved in it. "If the First Amendment will protect a scumbag like me, it'll protect all of you- 'cause I'm the worst." Larry Flynt
    Eric S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 25, 2011
    Thios is a biopic about the life, career, and mostly, the legal troubles of Hustler Magazine publisher :Larry Flynt. Say what you will about the man's personal life, antics, and the business that he is a part of. You don't have to like the man or what he does (even his attorney admits he doesn't care for pornography), but you cannot deny that he made some important contributions to American spciety by giving people jobs, but more importantly fighting for basic constitutional rights. Like everything, there is a bias here that favors Flynt, and makes him out to be a rather sympathetic guy. The film also takes liberties as expected, but overall, this is more about ideas, concepts, and principles, than the story of a man who went from being a bootlegger as a kid to one of the biggest proprietors of smut. All of that is in this film of course, but Milos Forman and the writers put more focus on the former than the latter, as I think they should. I am disappointed that they might have been too sympathetic and less acknowledging of Flynt's less savory side, but they don't completely ignore it. Also, even with an R rating, they could have gotten away with showing just a tad more of the risque stuff that made Flynt legendary. The real Larry Flynt, when asked who he thought should play him responded with Michael Douglas. His wish was not granted, but Woody Harrelson does a pretty good job, even if he's not a complete ringer. He's the focus, but he's backed by a notable cast including his real life brother as Flynt's brother, Courtney Love (who is surprisingly pretty good) as his troubled (4th) wife Althea, whom he realy truly did love, Edward Norton as his attorney Alan Isaacman, as well as bit parts fulfilled by Vincent Schiavelli, Crispin Glover, and James Cromwell., As stated, Woody is really good, Love is good, Norton is pretty decent, and the bit players are good, albeit underfocused on. I don't know if all of the trials Larry Flynt went through are featured here, but it covers some major ones, most significantly Hustler Magazine V. Falwell in which televangelist Larry Falwell sued Flynt over an unflattering albeit satirical parody that suggested Falwell lsot his virginity to his mother in an outhouse. Since this is a fairly well known case, I don't think I'm really spoiling it by saying who won considering the verdict is quite a landmark and is more significant than maybe most people realize or are aware of...it was Flynt. With the content of the film and the ideas that are being defended therein, it really didn't move me. They were preaching to the choir. I agree wit hsome of what Flynt fought for, and I actually do have respect for the man, though he really isn't the savoriest of people. I've seen interviews with the real Larry, and despite what he does, he is a rather classy and smart guy. It doesn't seem that way in the movie (at least hardly ever), but hey, this is entertainment, not a documentary. You should give this a look. It's got good performances, capable direction, a decent script and is just a joy to watch.
    Chris W Super Reviewer

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