Withnail and I

1987

Withnail and I

Critics Consensus

Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann prove irresistibly hilarious as two misanthropic slackers in Withnail and I, a biting examination of artists living on the fringes of prosperity and good taste.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 34

94%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 43,106

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Movie Info

Screenwriter Bruce Robinson made his directorial debut with this British comedy. Withnail (Richard E. Grant) is an unsuccessful, pill-popping actor; "I," or Marwood (Paul McGann), is Withnail's roommate and another equally underemployed actor. The time is 1969: Withnail is fast becoming a burned-out relic of the '60s, while Marwood is trying to reassimilate into society. The two take a trip to the country in hopes of rejuvenating themselves, but things go from worse to even worse. Given the intimacy and insight of the screenplay and dialogue, one shouldn't be surprised that Bruce Robinson (who adapted the film from his own novel) based Withnail & I on his own experiences. The film proves that certain "Age of Aquarius" types were just as bollixed-up in Britain as they were in America.

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Critic Reviews for Withnail and I

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (32) | Rotten (2)

  • It's much funnier, and sadder, watched stone-cold sober.

    September 10, 2007 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Set in 1969 England, it portrays the last throes of a friendship mirroring the seedy demise of the hippie period, delivering some comic gems along the way.

    September 10, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • It is at once a coming-of-age comedy and a fond farewell to an era.

    September 8, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Xan Brooks

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • A modern classic? A brilliant vignette of a certain time and attitudes? A self-indulgent jeu d'esprit? One thing is certain: Richard E. Grant touched greatness.

    September 7, 2007 | Full Review…
  • A biting script from writer-director Bruce Robinson and performances from Richard E Grant and Paul McGann as two 'resting' actors, Withnail and 'I', that neither has surpassed.

    January 26, 2006 | Rating: 5/6 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Grant - a teetotaller - delivers the performance of his life as the doomed thesp, whether it be demanding the "finest wines available to humanity", downing lighter fluid, or feeling like a pig shat in his head.

    November 3, 2001 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Nev Pierce

    BBC.com
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Withnail and I

  • Oct 27, 2018
    What elevates this British comedy above being a mere series of funny situations is Richard E. Grant, who embraces his role with a hilarious performance and makes this a hysterical film full of memorable lines and moments, even if some of the gags lack a proper punch line.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 06, 2013
    seemingly no beginning, middle or end & more a segment of goings on. veritably infectious due to quality acting and a sense of what once was captured
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Jan 15, 2013
    An almost surreal British comedy taking place in the '60s, Withnail and I is hilarious and strange, driven by great performances from the entire cast, especially Richard E. Grant as Withnail and Richard Griffiths as Monty. Very funny in an odd sort of way.
    Joey S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 15, 2013
    Utter hogwash from start to finish.
    Jack H Super Reviewer

Withnail and I Quotes

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