'Barney's Version' Critic Reviews

100%
MovieWeb:   3 reviews
80%
Rotten Tomatoes:   134 reviews
  • Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    75
    Paul Giamatti, dialing down his trembly-voiced neurotic energy to good effect, gives a holy hell of a performance...
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • A.O. Scott New York Times (Top Critic)
    50
    But the filmmakers have been, if anything, too dutiful, too careful, and the movie that results from their conscientious, devoted labor illustrates the terrible, paradoxical trap into which well-intentioned literary adaptations so often fall.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Peter Bradshaw Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    60
    It's all as warm and fuzzy as the smoke from Barney's cigars, and just as much of an acquired taste.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Claudia Puig USA Today (Top Critic)
    Barney's Version is worth seeing for Giamatti's boisterous yet nuanced portrayal and the energetic but wry performance from Hoffman.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Dan Kois Washington Post (Top Critic)
    75
    Yes, it's well acted and frequently touching. But it's the thoughtful, tasteful indie-film version. It's not exactly Barney's version.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Ty Burr Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    63
    'Barney's Version'' is a smart, well-acted two hours at the art house, full of witty observations and fellow feeling. But, really, it has no business being a movie.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Ella Taylor Village Voice (Top Critic)
    Barney's Version misses every opportunity for raucous picaresque fun that the book throws its way, while squandering a wealth of transatlantic performing talent led by Paul Giamatti.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Joe Neumaier New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    80
    There isn't a moment in "Barney's Version" that doesn't feel like a labor of love.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Chris Vognar Dallas Morning News (Top Critic)
    75
    Paul Giamatti can do spunky (Cinderella Man) and stately (John Adams), but he's at his best turning potentially loathsome men into sympathetic characters that command your attention.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • James Rocchi MSN Movies (Top Critic)
    60
    Barney's Version could use some editing and shaping, to be sure, but its core characters -- and core performances -- are sharp and clear even against its fuzzy, unfocused plot.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    88
    There is a lot of truth in "Barney's Version." It is a mercy that Barney cannot see most of it.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    63
    I wish I responded to this shrewdly acted, rather dutiful picture the way I did to the tumultuous Richler adaptation I saw and loved as a 13-year-old, "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz," starring a vibrant young Richard Dreyfuss.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • J. R. Jones Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    This has the overstuffed feel of a sprawling, life-spanning story that's been wrestled down to feature length.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Carrie Rickey Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    75
    That rumpled grumpus Paul Giamatti seizes the title role in Barney's Version, summoning irresistibility and irritability to create a character as endearing as he is galling.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    75
    The biggest shock of recognition comes from looking at Giamatti's deeply flawed Barney and spotting a bit of ourselves gazing back.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Tom Long Detroit News (Top Critic)
    59
    The parts are greater than the whole in "Barney's Version," a rambling look at a shambling man's adventures in love.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Bill Goodykoontz Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    80
    The fact that we can stand to watch Barney without walking out is testament to Richler's story, Michael Konyves' screenplay and Lewis' direction.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Kyle Smith New York Post (Top Critic)
    38
    Giamatti is an ideal casting choice, but even this talented actor can't sell a lovable-jerk story that forgot to put in the lovable.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Roger Moore Orlando Sentinel (Top Critic)
    63
    Barney's Version is a messy movie, the odd emotional moment sneaking in around rank melodramatics. And if that sounds a little like life itself, that's kind of the point.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Peter Howell Toronto Star (Top Critic)
    75
    One of the most successful adaptations yet of a Richler novel. And with Guy Dufaux's sun-dappled lensing, it's also one of the most beautiful.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Liam Lacey Globe and Mail (Top Critic)
    75
    What really sells it as a story is star Paul Giamatti's boisterous, wide-ranging and seductive performance.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Dana Stevens Slate (Top Critic)
    The script doesn't need to convince us that the prickly and incorrigible Barney Panofsky is, in the end, someone worth caring about. Paul Giamatti's performance already did.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Michael Rechtshaffen Hollywood Reporter (Top Critic)
    Highly entertaining and arguably the most satisfying Richler screen adaptation to date.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Peter Travers Rolling Stone (Top Critic)
    63
    It's an impossible task trying to squeeze Mordecai Richler's sprawling novel about an SOB into one little movie. But they lucked out with first-rate actors.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Richard Roeper Richard Roeper.com (Top Critic)
    90
    A master acting class, courtesy of Paul Giamatti and Dustin Hoffman.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
AVG. RATING 4.1 GREAT
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