Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. 100
    Stimulating entertainment, as rigorously challenging and painfully funny as anything the Coens have done. But it's necessary to meet the Coens halfway. If you don't, Barton Fink is an empty exercise that will bore you breathless. If you do, it's a comic nightmare that will stir your imagination like no film in years.
  2. 88
    A black comedy in the tradition of David Lynch, Luis Bunuel and the Coens assured piece of comic filmmaking.
  3. Reviewed by: Jay Scott
    This hip morality tale is by no means perfect - it's not the masterpiece "Miller's Crossing" was - but it is stylish, intelligent, witty and more than slightly creepy.
  4. 100
    What "Raising Arizona" was to baby lust, "Barton Fink" is to writer's block -- a rapturously funny, strangely bittersweet, moderately horrifying and, yes, truly apt description of the condition and its symptoms.
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Scene after scene is filled with a ferocious strength and humor. Michael Lerner's performance as a Mayer-like studio overlord is sensational.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Though less than the sum of its brilliant parts, the Coens' latest will still be must viewing in 32 years. [21 Aug 1991]
  7. Reviewed by: Vincent Canby
    An unqualified winner. Here is a fine dark comedy of flamboyant style and immense though seemingly effortless techniqe...It's an exhilarating original. [21 Aug 1991]
  8. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Creepily beautiful, acted with relish, Barton Fink is a savagely original work. It lodges in your head like a hatchet. [26 Aug 1991]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 66 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. MikeG
    Dec 1, 2006
    Barton Fink is arguably the Coen Brothers masterpiece. Not a single scene is wasted, and that includes the washed out backgrounds, the costumes worn by the characters, and every single bit of juicy dialogue. In a movie filled with awesome supporting performances by John Goodman, Judy Davis, a scene-stealing Michael Lerner and even Tony Shalhoub, John Turturro is the glue that holds this film together. Some actors fail in Coen Brothers movies because they seem too much like spectators...not in their skin and almost watching the movie with the rest of us. Turturro is perfect - an inhabitant of the insane world he's in but also an interloper at the same time. As mentioned above, the dialogue is all wonderful, crisp, sharp, funny, and meaningful all at once. Watch this movie twice if you don't quite get it the first time...the pay-off is simply incredible. Full Review »
  2. Nov 1, 2013
    With some truly striking imagery camerawork from Roger Deakins, a characteristically bleak narrative from the Coens, and some thematically rich ideas all throughout, "Barton Fink" slides faultlessly across genres with surprising ease and grace. Full Review »
  3. Aug 1, 2013
    This is most certainly an odd movie. The acting and directing are predictably good and the plot is interesting for sure. A very cerebral film, this one is most certainly unsettling. Not sure how to react to this one other than; it is definitely a good film that will keep you intrigued throughout. Full Review »