Critic Reviews

77

Metascore

Based on 25 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Entertainment Weekly
It reveals Bukowski to be a far grander artist than his bum's armor would suggest.
88
Chicago Sun-Times
How much was legend, how much was pose, how much was real? I think it was all real, and the documentary suggests as much.
88
Wants to claim Bukowski (1920-1994) as a 20th-century West Coast Walt Whitman -- a people's poet of modern degradation. Through a selective presentation of his writing and a reverently crass treatment of his life, it makes a funny, often intensely moving case, and you're having such a good time that you're glad to let it.
75
New York Daily News
He's not someone you may wish you'd known, but he's a fascinating street character.
75
It's the portrait of an artist who had neither time nor respect for literary niceties -- he was, in the words of publisher John Martin, a "man of the street writing for the man of the street."
75
Chicago Tribune
Raw and defining documentary about the man--and the myth.
75
Excerpts from Schroeder's long video documentary about him, and from the flawed melodrama "Barfly" they made together, add more variety.
75
New York Post
The dirty old man who became a cult poet and author was a true original, and every minute he's on screen, whether it's reading from his brutally honest work or musing on a hard-lived life for the cameras, it's hard to look away.
75
Some of the most affecting moments in the film show Bukowski walking the streets of his Los Angeles, a barren suburban hell, as he reads his poems and the words appear on and then fade from the screen.
63
Premiere
Dullaghan's film is a bit too straightforward and introductory to be declared a definitive portraiture. The gold nuggets worth sifting for lie in the anecdotal minutiae.
50
The Hollywood Reporter
Despite the fact there's no lack of raw material, Bukowski fails to place its subject's actions and statements in any psychological or literary context. It's simply a celebration of Bukowski's misogyny and self-abuse.

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