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: Mike Clark
    100
    Forman finesses the story's grimmer aspects as he did in "Cuckoo's Nest," and his ability to switch moods on a dime remains unsurpassed.
  2. 100
    Love proves she is not a rock star pretending to act, but a true actress, and Harrelson matches her with his portrait of a man who has one thing on his mind, and never changes it.
  3. The film catches us by surprise in its moving portrayal of the love between Larry and Althea, played by Courtney Love in a performance that glides from kinky abandon to stark tragedy.
  4. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    100
    Raucously entertaining.
  5. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    100
    Forman imbues the material with exactly the right dry, satirical flavor, yet this story is still a Frank Capra little-guy-against-the-system picture.
  6. A blazing, unlikely triumph about a man who is nobody's idea of a movie hero. Smart, funny, shamelessly entertaining and perfectly serious too.
  7. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    100
    Courtney Love's performance as stripper Althea Leasure is an amazement. Funny, unfettered and almost scarily alive in front of a camera, she's the definition of a "natural."
  8. 100
    Enormously entertaining and surprisingly touching.
  9. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    90
    Althea is a ferociously vibrant character, and Love goes all out to infuse her with a wildness seldom seen on screen. Love holds nothing back, and her energy and her heartache energize the movie.
  10. Provocative and engrossing.
  11. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    Vastly entertaining.
  12. There's a gentleness and open-mindedness in that touch and throughout the film that's a little at odds with the shallower script. But, in the end, that humanity pays. [27 Dec 1996]
  13. Reviewed by: Barbara Shulgasser
    88
    With its fine courtroom scenes, excellent performances, great writing and superb direction it reminds me more than anything else of Barbet Schroeder's "Reversal of Fortune."
  14. 88
    Tells a good, intelligent story that keeps us interested and involved.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Sep 8, 2014
    9
    Although this movie is essentially about a sleazy porn magazine publisher, The People vs. Larry Flynt never feels sleazy itself, thanks to great direction and a script that promotes the message of civil liberties without exploiting itself. There is character development, great performances, and clear themes and messages. It may run a bit long in the middle passages, but it is still an important film about standing up for what's in the boundaries of the law, and not exactly what is popular or moral. Full Review »
  2. 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 »
  3. 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 »