Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 19
  2. Negative: 3 out of 19
  1. This poisonous, brazenly autobiographical comedy shows off the best of Mr. Allen's misanthropic humor.
  2. 30
    Increasingly, reviewing the latest Woody Allen movie has taken on the feel of a dreaded ritual, an annual excursion into careless filmmaking, desperate shtick, and vainglorious misanthropy disguised as cuddly neurosis.
  3. 20
    Deconstructing Harry is a mess: a shambling, narcissistic, sexist romp that is, worst of all, almost entirely devoid of laughs.
  4. Woody Allen's strongest and most mordantly funny movie in years, even if it is also his bleakest.
  5. 88
    This is in many ways his most revealing film, his most painful, and if it also contains more than his usual quotient of big laughs, what was it the man said? "We laugh, that we may not cry."
  6. 75
    It's a movie of moments, some of which are side-splittingly funny. Arguably, this is the most uproarious comedy that Allen has ever done.
  7. Woody Allen wrote and directed this inventive comedy, which has some good laughs but a very nasty edge.
  8. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    I've never been a fan, but in the space of a couple hours the Woodster gives both an explanation AND the finger to ALL of his critics. This is mean-spirited fun, just the way we like it!
  9. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    Unnervingly, it is both hilariously funny and quite disturbing, with Allen's neuroses and fixations manifested in some shocking ugliness and intimately personal revelations we'd rather not have seen confirmed.
  10. 40
    Although the performances by the star-studded cast are generally excellent, only Billy Crystal really manages to transcend the dour misery of Allen's script: His witty turn as a dapper Satan is a blessed relief from the neurotic gloom.
  11. Then along comes a movie like Deconstructing Harry, which marks the writer/director/actor's return to top form, once again using the stuff of his life to create the stuff of his fiction.
  12. Deconstructing Harry is Woody Allen's naughty-boy confessional movie, a disquietingly candid and funny portrait of a pathological narcissist.
  13. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Woody Allen is back in sharp comic form, though it's likely that his abrasive black comedy Deconstructing Harry will alienate as many people as it tickles.
  14. Reviewed by: David Stratton
    A tremendous, stellar cast is mostly confined to minor roles, but all shine under Allen's assured direction.
  15. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The film is smutty-mouthed and jumpy and free-associative, and Allen does everything but hurl his feces at the audience. The result is more rambunctious--and more fun--than any movie he has made in years.
  16. 60
    A fever dream about an aging, grasping, neurotic artist who brings his disastrous personal life, thinly veiled, into his work and ends up as a grotesque caricature of himself, alienating everyone who ever loved him.
  17. This runs a close second to September as his worst feature to date--marginally more bearable only because it's a comedy and a couple of gags are reasonably funny.
  18. A bravura act of self-revelation, its vivid portrait of one man's fears, fantasies and neuroses uses a mixture of reality, imagination and comedy to create one of the writer-director's most involving films.
  19. 80
    A provocative, but extremely profane work, it is surely Allen's bawdiest since "Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex."
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Aug 27, 2011
    Simultaneously mean-spirited and self-deprecating, Deconstructing Harry is Allen at his most misanthropic. The problem is that it is, in spite of itself, one of Allen's more interesting and compelling dramas, only taken through such a two-dimensionally sour vein, given its characters. Despite having individual sketches that are actually quite funny, this is the Allen movie where all the bad things people say about him are very true. Full Review »