Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 2 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    30
    In all, this film is a major disappointment with a few powerful highlights.
  2. We're really celebrating Hollywood's freedom to create biographies of anyone, no matter how high or low on the social ladder, and still come up with the same banal characteristics, messages and conclusions. In this sense, The People vs. Larry Flynt doesn't champion, so much as squander, freedom of speech.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Apr 20, 2014
    8
    Woody Harrelson performs at the height of his acting ability as the eponymous Prince of Porn, embodying Larry Flynt with a riotous irreverence interspersed by moments of superbly nuanced vulnerability and pain, particularly in the scenes where Flynt dissolves almost completely into madness. The chemistry between Harrelson and Courtney Love (who plays Flynt's wife Althea) is fantastic; they depict, in a way that's quite bittersweet, how the two came to need one another. The acting in this film is magnificent, and makes it worth seeing, especially for Harrelson and Love. "The People vs. Larry Flynt" is highly entertaining, and provokes some interesting thought about the ideal of freedom of speech, and what it should and does protect. Full Review »
  2. Aug 7, 2012
    10
    This movie is truly amazing. Woody Harrelson's portrayal of Larry Flynt is so realistic and Courtney Love's portrayal of his wife is truly mesmerizing. What can't this woman do? Edward Norton's character is also amazing and realistic. A truly amazing, funny, but yet tear jerking and gasping film. Truly one of the best movies of all time. Full Review »
  3. Mar 5, 2012
    9
    The People vs. Larry Flynt is a truly great biopic. When telling the story of such a controversial public figure, filmmakers are required to make their views of the person clear from the off, to come down definitively on one side of the argument or the other. Director Milos Forman and veteran writing duo Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski choose to present Larry Flynt as a defender of liberty, a man who bravely fought against the hypocritical American legal system to preserve what he believed in. Their argument is presented extremely convincingly, and Woody Harrelson's natural charisma and bad-boy charm make Flynt an extremely engaging, entertaining protagonist. A baby-faced Edward Norton is also extremely impressive in his second big-screen role playing Flynt's despairing lawyer Alan Isaacman, and Courtney Love is simply mesmerising as Flynt's increasingly broken-down and drug-addled wife Althea Leasure. What the film gets just right is the balance between fact and fiction - enough of the true events in Flynt's life remain to make the film credible as a biopic, but there is just enough romanticising to make the story dramatically effective and emotionally involving. If you want the facts about Larry Flynt's life and career, warts-and-all, then there are documentaries about, and both entertainment and academia-based books featuring the publisher widely available. If you're prepared to indulge a bit of artistic licence for the sake of big-screen drama, then The People vs. Larry Flynt is a very rewarding viewing experience. It has great performances, tragedy and comedy aplenty, and it bravely confronts attitudes to some of the more morally frowned-upon industries in society, making you think, and consider the validity of your own attitudes to the world. Simply put, it's a really good watch. Full Review »