Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Dec 6, 2010
    60
    Even if you can forgive the crude JAP caricatures (et tu Minnie Driver?) and the blatantness of the film's attempts to make you sob, you're still left with lovely actors stuck in a lackluster cover version of the real thing.
  2. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Feb 17, 2011
    50
    The filmmakers try to make us sympathize with Barney by surrounding him with even more annoying types.
  3. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jan 20, 2011
    50
    Not having read the Richler novel, I can't comment on the movie's fidelity to it, but this has the overstuffed feel of a sprawling, life-spanning story that's been wrestled down to feature length.
  4. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Jan 11, 2011
    50
    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.
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 3 out of 15
  1. Mar 13, 2012
    6
    Barney's Version is not a perfect film, not by a long shot but it's clever enough in its writing and execution to be enjoyable despite theBarney's Version is not a perfect film, not by a long shot but it's clever enough in its writing and execution to be enjoyable despite the fact it is a film cut up into three separate sections and neither one ever really meshes with the other.
    Regardless of that, the film is a powerhouse in terms of acting performances with both Rosamund Pike and Dustin Hoffman giving career highlight performances. However the film belongs to Paul Giamatti as Barney because through his performance you can just about get past the jarring splitting up of the films narrative because the performance is so strong you'd follow it anywhere. That being said the split is incredibly noticeable with each part feeling almost like a different film. The first chapter is dark and twisted with some very black comedy and probably the most involving 30 minutes of the film. The second is lighter with a move towards more sarcastic humour which after a while grates, like Minnie Driver's character. It also includes a murder/accident plot that although important never feels relevant making the middle section of the film the weakest of the three. The final section is emotional, maybe a little too emotional, but it also explores the mundaneness of married life and how Barney has been affected by the people in his life better than the other two combined. With all this in mind it is a film that feels like it was made by three different people trying to say three different things and for that reason it can't be as powerful, moving or involving as it wants or needs to be, leading to an ending that should be poignant and bitter-sweet, but instead is entertaining but never powerful.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 18, 2011
    7
    A very enjoyable movie. Its something you would watch on a rainy sunday afternoon. It is not memorable by any means but it has a good startA very enjoyable movie. Its something you would watch on a rainy sunday afternoon. It is not memorable by any means but it has a good start and an excellent ending. Probably because the main character is not an overtly nice guy , it does detract somewhat from the experience; but when should movie making always feature a redeeming character! One to watch for sure. Full Review »
  3. Mar 13, 2011
    7
    Barney Panofsky is a complex character: obnoxious, unsympathetic, romantic, sensitive and a little bit sweet. Although there are friends andBarney Panofsky is a complex character: obnoxious, unsympathetic, romantic, sensitive and a little bit sweet. Although there are friends and family, most of the narrative revolves around his relationship with his three wives. As Barney, Paul Giamatti makes the film worth watching. He brilliantly examines all sides of this complex character. What's hard is that every scene goes on too long (which makes the movie too long) and Barney keeps repeating his bad behaviors (which makes the movie frustrating). While the performances and direction are strong, Barney's character just isn't appealing. Full Review »