A warm, entertaining compendium of counterculture voices (including Jim Carroll and Amiri Baraka) and literary landmarks.
Jeannette Catsoulis - New York Times
An entertaining docu-tribute.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
[A] very fine documentary.
Michelle Orange - Village Voice
A compelling documentary about [Barney Rosset] directed by neophytes Neil Ortenberg and Daniel O'Connor.
V.A. Musetto - New York Post
- Los Angeles Times
David Jenkins - Time Out
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
An entertaining and engrossing film.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
This film is an engaging portrait of the man and a fair assessment of his achievement.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Obscene, is melancholic. The eerie contradiction is how chirpy and cheery this remarkable activist, and self-confessed sex addict, is at more than 80 years of age.
James Christopher - Times [UK]
While the filmmakers squander some excellent opportunities that might have helped to illuminate the contradictions in their subject, this remains a fascinating study of an unrepentant American maverick.
Jamie McLeish - Film4
- Times [UK]
Brilliant social history about one of the greatest publishers of the modern epoch, even if he is "Human, All Too Human"
Louis Proyect - rec.arts.movies.reviews
With testimony from scads of heyday contributors and an infectious design reflecting Grove Press's innovative cover art ... the filmmakers could have shelved the weaker bits without missing a beat.
Matthew Sorrento - Film Threat
The focus of Obscene remains steadfastly on the man, thanks to a rich variety of archival and interview clips that span his entire career and a slew of colleagues, fiends and enemies.
Ted Fry - Seattle Times
Rosset is a lively subject, and his interviews (over many years) provide an oral history of his life and times.
Bill White - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
... a justified tribute to [Barney] Rosset, who in his mid-80s is still feisty, with a refreshingly lighthearted attitude toward all he accomplished.
Andy Klein - Los Angeles CityBeat
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Rumsey Taylor - Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Keith H. Brown - Eye for Film
Christopher Campbell - Cinematical
Though Obscene tells the story without fully exploring its nuances, that story is both fascinating and more than a little inspiring.
Noel Murray - AV Club
The doc formally mirrors its subject in its pacing, which balances the titillation/education of the doc's subject with consistent and pleasantly teasing speed and tone from start to finish.
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo - Boxoffice Magazine
Daniel O'Connor and Neil Ortenberg's engrossing documentary about the life and times of publisher Barney Rosset, who spent much of his career advancing the cause of free expression, is a flawless match of style and subject.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Those who didn't live through this period and take for granted the totality of free expression enjoyed today will have their eyes opened by this homage.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Obscene is a brief, pleasant time-killer that genially preaches to the choir yet, while it's always enjoyable, this review's readers should seek Grove books out first.
Aaron Cutler - Slant Magazine
Filled with reminiscence and laughter, this lively and largely adoring documentary looks back on the life and work of Barney Rosset, best known as the longtime owner of Grove Press.
Joshua Land - Time Out New York
This is the kind of art house documentary that inspires the right kind of social rebellion.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Obscene, a tribute to New York publisher Barney Rosset, is an entertaining reminder of the ferocity of the culture wars of the 1950s and '60s.
Tamara Straus - San Francisco Chronicle