Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. 88
    A black comedy in the tradition of David Lynch, Luis Bunuel and the Coens assured piece of comic filmmaking.
  2. 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]
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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]
  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: 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.
  8. 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.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 64 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 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 »
  2. 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 »
  3. Dec 15, 2012
    I love the Coen brothers. I will get that out of the way first off. While I didn't love this movie, I did like it quite a bit. This film is full of interesting characters and even more interesting imagery. Like most thoughtful movies it is a lot unravel in written word for wannabe critics like myself. The acting and writing in this movie is first rate, the scenes with Turturro and Goodman are especially entertaining and the highlight of the film. This movie does drag a bit through the first half, and can feel a little like a rip off of The Shining at times. But overall this movie is more than a little interesting, worth more than one viewing and will keep you thinking about its meanings probably for years. Full Review »