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71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Based on the novel by Charles Bukowski, Factotum is the story of a man living on the edge; a writer who risks everything, tries anything, and finds poetry in life's pleasure and pain. (IFC Films)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Factotum is so sly and low-key hilarious that anybody can be in on the joke.
  2. 80
    The film looks great on the screen, and Hamer has commissioned a terrific musical score from Kristin Asbjornsen, who has set a few of Bukowski's poems to haunting, jazzy music.
  3. 80
    This is also an acidly funny work, even if the humor is that of a man who drinks to stave off the pain and madness of sobriety. In his finest performance since "Drugstore Cowboy," Dillon plays Chinanski with funereal grandiosity.
  4. Matt Dillon is pitch-perfect as Bukowski's alter ego Hank Chinaski.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    63
    It is fragmented and episodic, and many of Bukowski's best bits are oddly truncated.
  6. Reviewed by: Melissa Levine
    50
    None of it goes anywhere. It's just stylized alcoholism with a tired wink.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 13
  2. Negative: 4 out of 13
  1. DaveD.
    Aug 18, 2006
    10
    a excellent film in every way. supurb job by nervous new man matt dillion. He is still young in his carrer and this could be him at his best. A great story about a average american man who does not care about anyone but himself but eventually learns an importat life lesson that will warm your heart and inspire you. A all together insperational brilliant film. Expand
  2. JanDC
    Aug 24, 2006
    10
    Like it's been said, "writers cannot be successful if they're unwilling to let their hair hang loose and explore to achieve their best and ultimate inspirations! Indeed, a great stark and hilarious film. Expand
  3. AlexanderC.
    Aug 28, 2006
    10
    Another cult classic to add to the long list of cult classics from Matt Dillon, undoubtedlly the only icon of his generation and one of the best actors today. The film is ironic, cinic and crude and yet also beautiful, human and funny, simple and complex at the same time. True to Bukowsky's soul and one of the best films of the yaer. A little jewel. Expand
  4. ChadS.
    Apr 19, 2007
    7
    When a man hits a woman, there's usually a second time. In "Factotum", it's one punch thrown by Henry(Matt Dillon), one thud on the floor by Jan the thud-maker(Lili Taylor). Unlike "Walk the Line"(the whitewashed biopic of country legend Johnny Cash), the filmmaker doesn't want to portray their iconoclastic subject(Charles Bukowski) as a saint; this is an indie, after all, "Factotum" needs street(or at least, Sundance street) cred. But surely Henry Chinaski is prone to more than one violent outburst if he's some unrelenting drunk who can't hold onto a job. No drunk just hits the bottle; he'll hit jukeboxes, glass windows, and the corporeal flesh of bar patrons and fifty-cent whores alike, especially the fifty-cent whores. "Factotum" is episodic; it's nothing more than a meandering anthology of the women Henry happens to be shacked up with as he lurches from bar to crappy job to bar. Lucid or not, Bukowski/Chinaski had enough clarity to write "Factotum", the memoir that is the basis for this agreeable depiction of the infamous poet laureate of the streets. Dillon is good, but not great as Chinaski; or maybe, the filmmaker is at fault; maybe, he fell into temptation to myth-make. In place of genuine angst and other degrees of implosive behavior, he chose to uphold the romantic notion of a writer victimized by stampeding pink elephants; the pachyderms of proof. The elephants need thicker hides. Chinaski needs to be more tortured; more "Bukowski-in-a-china-shop"-like. Expand
  5. ThomasM.
    Sep 17, 2006
    5
    The acting is all top-notch, but this is a film that goes absolutely nowhere. Maybe that's the point, but if we are to be expected to remain awake throughout the films 94 minutes, some further revelations about this character might be in order. After 10 minutes, I knew everything about him that I was going to know. The rest was simply wallowing in the fetid path of this nearly moribund character. Expand
  6. PaulK.
    Aug 30, 2006
    4
    This is slow and nothing happens. There are no extraordinary performances either. Unless you're a diehard Dillon fan, skip it.
  7. CathyL.
    Oct 15, 2006
    0
    This is the second worst movie I've ever seen.

See all 13 User Reviews

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