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Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: As John Barrymore comes to terms with the ravages of his life of excess, he rents an old theatre to rehearse for a backer's audition to raise money for a revival of his 1920 Broadway triumph in Richard III.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Nov 14, 2012
    80
    Mr. Plummer stumbles beautifully, poignantly and often, leering and searching through a haze of memory or, with concern edged with panic, calling for "a line, a line" much as Richard III calls for a horse.
  2. 80
    God, I love Plummer's performance - the twiddling fingers, the tipsy sway of the head, the reverberating roar, as well as the pathos of a man who can't stop acting long enough to hear the cry of his own soul.
  3. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    Nov 13, 2012
    80
    It takes a minute for the film to move beyond a kind of gilded stasis, but once it does, it - and Plummer - are riveting.
  4. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Nov 12, 2012
    50
    The material itself has a formulaic solo-bioplay rhythm neither performer nor director can fully elude.
  5. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Nov 14, 2012
    50
    Two things to keep in mind when considering Barrymore, starring Christopher Plummer as the great John B: It was brilliant as a one-man stage show; it was never a good candidate for film.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Nov 15, 2012
    40
    Barrymore is a delicious opportunity to watch the great Christopher Plummer perform the role that won him a second Tony Award. But it's also a lesson in the pitfalls of personality-based minimalism. While Plummer acts his heart out, the script becomes one punchline after another.
  7. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Nov 11, 2012
    38
    Director Erik Canuel fails to deliver us from the inevitable hermeticism of the material.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Apr 14, 2014
    8
    Barrymore is an unusual, yet entertaining, film. It is a "one man" movie, with Christopher Plummer stealing the show, accompanied by only one other man part of the time, Frank. However, the true meaning of Barrymore surpasses Plummer's excellent performance of the man, but instead is about Plummer himself. Plummer is an aging actor who wants to be taken seriously for one last role before he gets too old, just like John Barrymore. Well, he has succeeded. Collapse

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