Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 27
  2. Negative: 3 out of 27
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Mar 15, 2012
    70
    The story is gripping, compelling. One wonders what De Niro might have done with such a role 30, 35 years ago. De Niro -- whatever happened to him?
  2. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Mar 21, 2012
    50
    On the whole, the film feels detached and morose, just like its characters.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Mar 8, 2012
    50
    Mostly, though, Being Flynn is memorable for the sight of a once-great actor rousing himself to a performance the movie itself isn't prepared to handle.
  4. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Mar 7, 2012
    75
    What's admirable about Being Flynn is that it doesn't cave in to the standard Hollywood redemption formulas, with the father redeemed and the son inspired. It's more complicated than that.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Mar 2, 2012
    75
    Dano is still doing his ethereal, creepy underacting routine, but, compared with De Niro's scenery chewing, he seems almost dignified. The film, written and directed by Paul Weitz, has many touching moments and many more hokey ones.
  6. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Feb 29, 2012
    50
    Is it possible for an actor to go through the motions even as he's going over the top? In Being Flynn, Robert De Niro does phoned-in scenery chewing.
  7. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Mar 1, 2012
    50
    Paul Weitz has dialed things down considerably for Being Flynn, writing and directing with an earnest sensitivity that at times suits, at times undermines, the complexities of the story at hand.
  8. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Mar 1, 2012
    60
    There's no doubt that Being Flynn is an attempt at something painful and genuine – the movie itself yearns to make a connection, even if it can't quite locate the most effective channels.
  9. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Mar 1, 2012
    40
    Weitz – who did a great job adapting Nick Hornby's "About a Boy" into an affecting 2002 movie – can't bring the pieces together here.
  10. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Feb 29, 2012
    50
    Too small and dark to appeal to a large audience, it's not a movie to cherish.
  11. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Mar 2, 2012
    38
    The real coup de grace for this would-be serious-minded drama is the sledgehammer-subtle direction of Paul Weitz (who is also the screenwriter), who enabled his star's paycheck mugging in the execrable "Little Fockers."
  12. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Mar 5, 2012
    80
    And then there's the simple fact of De Niro, playing a delusional taxi driver. It's easy to imagine Being Flynn's story turning precious in the wrong hands, but Weitz and his cast spin it just right - as a narrative that is both emotionally real, and just writerly enough to suit its leading men.
  13. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Mar 24, 2012
    75
    It's an involving journey, remarkably free of sentimentality, deepened by the performances.
  14. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Mar 2, 2012
    63
    Here, you can feel De Niro's full engagement in a character that echoes his roles in "Taxi Driver" and "Awakenings." It's a great wreck of a performance that feels bruisingly true. At its best, when it keeps sentimentality at bay, so does Being Flynn.
  15. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Mar 8, 2012
    25
    A handful of acting moments aside, Being Flynn is a drama without much in the way of rewards.
  16. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Feb 27, 2012
    25
    If Robert De Niro knew what was good for him, he'd certainly distance himself from this director and find a new path.
  17. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Mar 16, 2012
    75
    He might be guilty of showboating, but De Niro's knockout performance is a declaration that the star of "Raging Bull" isn't ready to hang up his gloves.
  18. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Feb 29, 2012
    75
    Weitz's sense of play and the Badly Drawn Boy soundtrack each give Being Flynn an enjoyable lightness; meanwhile, the curdled, hidden rage lurking within both Flynns gives it an equally enjoyable edge.
  19. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Mar 16, 2012
    63
    In this tale of two lives, Being Flynn gets the emphasis wrong. The success that has many fathers is altogether predictable; it's the despicable orphan of failure who has us in his thrall.
  20. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Feb 27, 2012
    80
    Robert De Niro and writer-director Paul Weitz find the most congenial material either of them has had in quite some time in Being Flynn.
  21. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Mar 1, 2012
    50
    There is honest feeling, genuine humanity and real intelligence in this movie, but there is also a sense of caution, of indecisiveness, that undermines its potential power. Being Flynn is an honorably ambivalent film, finally unsure of what to do with the two strong, complicated characters at its center.
  22. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Mar 1, 2012
    50
    It's no wonder the movie is no walk in the park, even with a pretty soundtrack by Badly Drawn Boy (again, like About a Boy). It never feels inspirational - it's too gritty and dark - and there isn't a single easy solution in sight for either Nick or Jonathan.
  23. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Feb 28, 2012
    40
    Sadly, most of the film's dull edges have to do with De Niro, who is clearly in rest-on-his-laurels mode; at his worst, he approaches radioactive, Robin Williams levels of bathos, as when Jonathan - roaring like a bush-league Lear - is banned from the shelter for bad behavior.
  24. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Mar 1, 2012
    50
    Robert De Niro has made several unwise choices in roles recently, and his belligerent wannabe writer in Being Flynn definitely adds to that list.
  25. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Feb 27, 2012
    80
    The film surrounds its leads with a cast whose faces capture the ragtag dignity Flynn described in his book -- no overacting required, no emotional panhandling allowed.
  26. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Feb 28, 2012
    50
    What the actors are unable to get across emotionally (which is a lot - Dano and De Niro, both of them all big actorly tics, often seem like they were filmed in different rooms), Weitz hammers home via near-constant music.
  27. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Mar 1, 2012
    50
    The movie's emotional content was manifest as an absence. What stayed with me most memorably was the father's insufferable bombast and the son's sad passivity.
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 6
  2. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. May 5, 2013
    3
    This is really a boring movie, the film has non action, non humor, non good plot, about this movie you can't say positive things, only dadThis is really a boring movie, the film has non action, non humor, non good plot, about this movie you can't say positive things, only dad Danno and Di Nerro did good acting. The plot and the director is the worst, really there don't happen anything in this movie, only driking and f***ing, that's it. Don't waste your time on this movie. This movie is 102 min bored. Full Review »
  2. BKM
    Aug 23, 2012
    5
    Being Flynn is a dark and unpleasant film about the deeply fractured relationship between an aspiring writer and his alcoholic father. ThatBeing Flynn is a dark and unpleasant film about the deeply fractured relationship between an aspiring writer and his alcoholic father. That may sound like the basis for a deeply moving story about redemption and second chances, but writer/director Paul Weitz is so determined to avoid sentiment and easy answers that he drains the movie of any real feeling. Still, Dano and DeNiro are very good in the lead roles and the beautiful score by Badly Drawn Boy helps to keep it from being unwatchable. Full Review »
  3. Jul 3, 2012
    8
    I like things like this that have their roots in real life, interesting to see what some people have to go through, worth watching nothingI like things like this that have their roots in real life, interesting to see what some people have to go through, worth watching nothing amazing cinematic wise, a good story though. And life is about having stories to tell. Full Review »