Barney's Version Reviews

  • Paul Giamatti, dialing down his trembly-voiced neurotic energy to good effect, gives a holy hell of a performance...

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • But the filmmakers have been, if anything, too dutiful, too careful, and the movie that results from their conscientious, devoted labor illustrates the terrible, paradoxical trap into which well-intentioned literary adaptations so often fall.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • Barney's Version is worth seeing for Giamatti's boisterous yet nuanced portrayal and the energetic but wry performance from Hoffman.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • Yes, it's well acted and frequently touching. But it's the thoughtful, tasteful indie-film version. It's not exactly Barney's version.

    Dan Kois — Washington Post

  • 'Barney's Version'' is a smart, well-acted two hours at the art house, full of witty observations and fellow feeling. But, really, it has no business being a movie.

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • Barney's Version misses every opportunity for raucous picaresque fun that the book throws its way, while squandering a wealth of transatlantic performing talent led by Paul Giamatti.

    Ella Taylor — Village Voice

  • There isn't a moment in "Barney's Version" that doesn't feel like a labor of love.

    Joe Neumaier — New York Daily News

  • Paul Giamatti can do spunky (Cinderella Man) and stately (John Adams), but he's at his best turning potentially loathsome men into sympathetic characters that command your attention.

    Chris Vognar — Dallas Morning News

  • Barney's Version could use some editing and shaping, to be sure, but its core characters -- and core performances -- are sharp and clear even against its fuzzy, unfocused plot.

    James Rocchi — MSN Movies

  • There is a lot of truth in "Barney's Version." It is a mercy that Barney cannot see most of it.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • I wish I responded to this shrewdly acted, rather dutiful picture the way I did to the tumultuous Richler adaptation I saw and loved as a 13-year-old, "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz," starring a vibrant young Richard Dreyfuss.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • This has the overstuffed feel of a sprawling, life-spanning story that's been wrestled down to feature length.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • That rumpled grumpus Paul Giamatti seizes the title role in Barney's Version, summoning irresistibility and irritability to create a character as endearing as he is galling.

    Carrie Rickey — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • The biggest shock of recognition comes from looking at Giamatti's deeply flawed Barney and spotting a bit of ourselves gazing back.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • The parts are greater than the whole in "Barney's Version," a rambling look at a shambling man's adventures in love.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • The fact that we can stand to watch Barney without walking out is testament to Richler's story, Michael Konyves' screenplay and Lewis' direction.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

  • Giamatti is an ideal casting choice, but even this talented actor can't sell a lovable-jerk story that forgot to put in the lovable.

    Kyle Smith — New York Post

  • One of the most successful adaptations yet of a Richler novel. And with Guy Dufaux's sun-dappled lensing, it's also one of the most beautiful.

    Peter Howell — Toronto Star

  • What really sells it as a story is star Paul Giamatti's boisterous, wide-ranging and seductive performance.

    Liam Lacey — Globe and Mail

  • The script doesn't need to convince us that the prickly and incorrigible Barney Panofsky is, in the end, someone worth caring about. Paul Giamatti's performance already did.

    Dana Stevens — Slate

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