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Charles Bukowski, the talented crown prince of self-abuse, wrote the short stories upon which the surprisingly entertaining Barfly was based. The film concentrates on alcoholic writer Mickey Rourke (the Bukowski alter ego) who carries on a hate-hate relationship with bartender Frank Stallone. Rourke makes the acquaintance of another of society's castaways, Faye Dunaway, who in addition to being a souse is said to be crazy. They move in together, even though Dunaway all but promises to be unfaithful for the price of a drink. Rourke has a chance to clean up his act when offered a large… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The first four letters say it all."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Charles Bukowski's semi-autobiographical short story-cum-screenplay is rich fodder for filmmaker Schroeder, who squeezes all the available juice out of it in a sensitively directed film"
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
"Captures Bukowski well."
‑ Mark Robison, Reno Gazette-Journal
"Mickey Rourke gives a splendid performance as Bukowski's alter ego, the boozy, offbeat and eccentric writer, and he also brings the best out of Faye Dunaway as his unstable companion."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A lowlife seriocomedy."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Rourke and Dunaway are dynamite"
‑ Clint Morris, Moviehole
"As I write about Barfly, I do seem to be talking myself into greater admiration for it, or at least into a sense of welcome design beneath its superficial inertia."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"An audacious movie about skid-row existentialism."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"A terrific little film that features the best performance Mickey Rourke has ever given. It drags you into its world and makes you care about the characters."
‑ Larry Carroll,
More reviews for Barfly on Rotten Tomatoes