Bartleby

Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 19
  2. Negative: 5 out of 19

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Critic Reviews

  1. Mr. Parker has brilliantly updated his source and grasped its essence, composing a sorrowful and hilarious tone poem about alienated labor, or an absurdist workplace sitcom, as if a team of French surrealists had been put in charge of "The Drew Carey Show."
  2. 90
    While Parker and co-writer Catherine di Napoli are faithful to Melville’s plotline, they and a fully engaged supporting cast — have made the old boy's characters more quick-witted than any English Lit major would have thought possible.
  3. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    80
    The neat thing about Jonathan Parker's modern-day Bartleby (Outsider Pictures) is that it brings out all the vaudeville undercurrents in Melville's dark tale and turns it into a surreal tragi-sitcom for our own era.
  4. This is a shrewd and effective film from a director who understands how to create and sustain a mood.
  5. 63
    Though this film can be clumsy, its ambitions are equally -- and admirably -- uncommercial.
  6. 63
    The film has been directed by Jonathan Parker; he adapted the Melville story with Catherine DiNapoli. It's his first work, and a promising one. I admire it and yet cannot recommend it, because it overstays its natural running time.

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