The Tenants
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A pair of writers inhabiting an abandoned New York tenement building become locked in an antagonistic battle of wills in director Danny Green's adaptation of novelist Bernard Malamud's studied exploration of faltering race relations. The time is the early '70s, and Jewish writer Harry Lesser (Dylan McDermott) is finally nearing completion on the novel that has taken him almost a decade to write. The last tenant in a crumbling inner-city apartment building, Harry soon discovers that he is no longer alone in the building when an illegal squatter named Willie (Snoop Dogg) claims a… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 32%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Alternately tedious and bombastic, the film never achieves a consistent tone, and the characters and situations, while seemingly played on a realistic level, are neither remotely credible nor satisfyingly surreal."
‑ Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
"The message about race relations in America conveyed by this choppy and psychologically cauterized screen adaptation of Bernard Malamud's 1971 novel is dire."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"The stripped-down production looks more like a play than a movie, but all the actors do a decent job with a script which turns increasingly preposterous at every turn."
‑ Kam Williams,
"The Tenants ranges from one-set character piece to race-centric speech-making to Cinemax style bedroom dealings... Well, at least it's not boring."
‑ Scott Weinberg,
"Danny Green's adaptation of Bernard Malamud's earnest 1971 novel about art and the clash between black and white feels about as anachronistic as the New York City rents cited in the film."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Snoop Dogg and Bernard Malamud don't often pop up in the same sentence, but they make an effective combination in a quiet little indie called The Tenants."
‑ Kyle Smith, New York Post
"The stage is set for a full-scale racial conflict, but neither actor is really up to the task."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"There's little that's right about The Tenants."
‑ Doris Toumarkine, Film Journal International
"...a good try from a first-time director that never quite hits the mark."
‑ Chris Barsanti,
"Middle-class Jewish liberal Lesser befriends semi-homeless African-American Spearmint, and from the moment their tenuous relationship begins, you know there's going to be trouble."
‑ Marcy Dermansky,
"Unremittingly bleak and hopelessly outdated."
‑ Jack Mathews, New York Daily News
"There's something about the no-exit, zero-sum logic of the film's rivalry that makes this dingy, grim little indie hard to look away from."
‑ Dana Stevens, Slate
"...a thoroughly dated and hopelessly irrelevant piece of work..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"[Snoop] and McDermot have a weird chemistry together and fascinating to watch."
‑ Eric Lurio, Greenwich Village Gazette
"This film version of 'The Tenants'is a disservice to author Bernard Malamud as well as to the audience."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
More reviews for The Tenants on Rotten Tomatoes