User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 39
  2. Negative: 1 out of 39

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  1. 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. Expand
  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.
  3. 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. Expand
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. 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]
  2. 40
    "Larry Flynt" should have a slick, whorish look, but there's no juice in Forman's sleaze. Hustler's centerfolds look like Renoirs next to the cold-eyed way Forman shoots women's bodies.
  3. 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.