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Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Based on the novel by Pulitzer Prize-Winning author Bernard Malamud, The Tenants is a socio-political piece set in an abandoned New York apartment building in the early 1970s. It is the story of a Jewish novelist, Harry Lesser, struggling to complete his latest work, and his antagonistic relationship with a black writer who moves in down the hall. (Millennium Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. 70
    Stilted and gloomy as it sounds (and sometimes is), The Tenants gets by on its nimble approximation of Malamud's robust prose, subtle turns of deadpan humor and gut-tingling menace, and remarkable performances. McDermott does credible work here, but Snoop's casting is a stroke of genius.
  2. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    70
    There's something endearingly bookish about a movie whose single most frightening shot involves the possibility of an ax being taken to a typewriter.
  3. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    63
    Harry likes Willie's white girlfriend, played by the Australian actress Rose Byrne with a riveting, sad sexiness. So much screen time is devoted to the men that her part is underwritten, but there are novels in her eyes.
  4. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    50
    Keeps grimly glued to its one-note premise, relieved by nary a glimmer of humor, surprise or personality.
  5. The message about race relations in America conveyed by The Tenants, a small, serious, but choppy and psychologically cauterized screen adaptation of Bernard Malamud's 1971 novel, is dire.
  6. The stage is set for a full-scale racial conflict, but neither actor is really up to the task - McDermott seems lost in his voluminous beard and Snoop Dogg spits his lines out.
  7. Unremittingly bleak and hopelessly outdated parable of American race relations.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2

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