User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 46
  2. Negative: 5 out of 46

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  1. Jan 22, 2011
    2
    The spine in this relentlessly episodic story is Barney's penchant for booze-soaked bad behavior. If only it were interesting booze-soaked bad behavior. I mean, I'll forgive a bad boy his flaws but Giamatti's got nothing to play except his character's desire to escape the scenes he's in. I had the same problem. If, like me, you're attracted by the talents of Mordecai Richler and Paul Giamatti, prepare yourselves for two hours and twenty minutes of disappointment, paper-thin characters, tedious histrionics and amateurish plot contrivances. Expand
  2. May 25, 2011
    4
    A good try, but in a lot of parts of the movie I just felt buring, That movie makes me remember the Italian movie style wich I am not a fan, but in general I thiks it was regular
  3. Dec 1, 2011
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie stinks!

    It's one of those movies with a pretty good cast but you never heard of it so you roll the dice and start watching and by the end you realize that you've wasted 127 minutes of your life.

    Blend together Mr. Hollands Opus, The Notebook, Goodbye Columbus, and The Apprenticeship of Dudey Kravitz and you end up with this un-entertaining hodge podge. The acting is terrible and the plot doesn't really make sense. On top of that, this is one of those movies that covers several decades so the actors wear stupid makeup and wigs that make them older and younger but the effect is unconfusing and at times laughable. Some characters age, others do not, huh? Dustin Hoffman stays about the same throughout, even when he's dead at the end.

    The whole murder subplot makes no sense. At the end they throw in some gratuitous Alzheimer stuff for no apparent reason.

    Giamatti's a fine actor but hot here. Hoffman as Barney's father is ridiculous, he look's younger than his son. It's ridiculous that Miriam leave Barney because of one stupid mistake except that's it's even more preposterous that she would ever be with him in the first place.
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Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Mar 3, 2011
    67
    The performances are superlative, as is much of the film's Jewish flavor. The ham is barely noticeable.
  2. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Feb 24, 2011
    75
    It's a breezy and charming film in all, well-acted, playful and filled with real joie de vivre.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Feb 18, 2011
    88
    That character flaw makes for some great shock-fueled laughs in Lewis' film -- Giamatti does full-on comic rage as well as anyone.