Bukowski: Born into This

Packed with interviews and rare footage culled from every phase of Bukowski's past, this intimate portrait of writer Charles Bukowski reveals a tortured man who survived years of abuse to produce some of the most influential prose of his generation.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 3.9
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 83%
Critics' score: 83   Audience score: 86   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

A fan-boy hagiography of a mean-spirited alcoholic rather than a serious examination of a powerful writer and his writings.

Richard James Havis, Hollywood Reporter

An amazing, worthy journey. full review

Jane Sumner, Dallas Morning News

Provides an overview of Bukowski's work and allows us to gaze into the soul of a man who built a fortress of toughness around his vulnerable core.

Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News

The filmmaker knows when to shift the rhythm of his investigation. The authenticity of art is woven with the artifice of life. full review

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

How much was legend, how much was pose, how much was real? I think it was all real, and the documentary suggests as much. full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Dullaghan's raw and defining documentary about the man -- and the myth. full review

Allison Benedikt, Chicago Tribune

A portrait of a sometimes surly, often foulmouthed, always brilliant artist that is at once humane, horrific, hilarious and deeply moving. full review

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post

It is wide-ranging, it is fair, it is thorough, and although it admires, it is also tough enough to condemn. full review

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post

A great documentary about a fine writer and horrible human being. full review

Bob Longino, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Accomplishes beautifully what it sets out to do, which is to reveal the man behind the crusty, hard-drinking, tough-talking persona Charles Bukowski so artfully crafted. full review

Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

As a thorough examination of what made this boozing, brawling womanizer tick, Born Into This can't be beat.

Megan Lehmann, New York Post

Without straining, this definitive, deeply engrossing film biography makes a strong case for Charles Bukowski as a major American poet. full review

Stephen Holden, New York Times

Speaks for the idolaters without apology. Yet it maintains just enough level-headedness to show the darker, not-so-admirable aspects of the Bukowski legend. full review

Gene Seymour, Newsday

Charles Bukowski, the bard of post-war L.A.'s working-class underbelly, was no ordinary cult writer, and John Dullaghan's thorough, compelling doc Bukowski: Born Into This does a credible job of showing why. full review

Mark Holcomb, Village Voice

'Poet laureate of the gutter,' ranter, sexual boaster, bane of the middle class and lifelong outcast, the writer cultivated a persona that begs for documentary treatment, and he gets a good one in Bukowski: Born Into This. full review

Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle

You come out of the theater wanting to beeline to a bookstore, grab a copy of Post Office or Love Is a Dog From Hell, and adjust your opinion as necessary. full review

Ty Burr, Boston Globe

It reveals Bukowski to be a far grander artist than his bum's armor would suggest. full review

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
Similars Available on Instant
  • Release Year: 2003
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Runtime: 113 min
  • Available From: Dec 14, 2012
  • Queued by: 380 people
Directed By
John Dullaghan
Charles Bukowski, Sean Penn, Harry Dean Stanton, Bono, Taylor Hackford, Barbet Schroeder, Tom Waits

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