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Factotum

Based on Charles Bukowski's semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, this edgy drama centers on rootless jack-of-all-trades Henry Chinaski (Matt Dillon), a rebel writer with absolutely no desire to live a conventional life. Working blue-collar jobs in Minneapolis, Chinaski gets by just fine as long as he can indulge in his four primary loves: women, drinking, gambling and writing. Lili Taylor, Marisa Tomei and Fisher Stevens co-star.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 3.1
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 75%
Critics' score: 75   Audience score: 51   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

The transplant didn't take in Barfly, and it works no better here in Factotum. In each case, the baying of the boozehounds just seems repetitious and banal -- the noise endures but the joy is gone. full review

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail

Quite dull, truth be told. As good as Dillon and Taylor are in their roles, making us side with them even as we despise them, there's not a whole lot that happens in a life ruled by the bottle, the butt and the shag. full review

Peter Howell, Toronto Star

This is one of the best movies of the year, and one of the two or three best performances. full review

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

Factotum is right up there with Barfly as a distillation of Bukowskian badinage, despite the current film's sketchier provenance. full review

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer

Dillon is better now that he's settled into sturdy middle age. He makes more sense; I never got him as a Tiger Beat centerfold. full review

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle

I just didn't think the comic touches were very subtle and very funny and the other stuff we've just seen before. full review

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper

Dillon and director Hamer manage to give us a real Bukowski by avoiding the overly dramatic histrionics that sometimes marred Barbet Schroeder's similarly themed 1987 booze-drama, Barfly with Mickey Rourke.

Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer

An aimless movie about an aimless man is still an aimless movie. full review

Tom Long, Detroit News

One of the few films that gets to the heart of what a writer does and how he does it, without the clich├ęs of pages being torn from the typewriter, crumpled and tossed on the floor. full review

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press

While not really a complete film, Factotum functions as an atmospheric, diverting character study. full review

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic

This adaptation captures the late writer's unkempt soul.

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

At times, the picture recalls Jim Jarmusch at his very best, with all the self-indulgent parts cut out. full review

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Wins you over even as it dares you to keep watching. full review

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

It's a deadpan comedy that looks upon the world with an honesty and impassiveness worthy of its protagonist -- and of the author standing behind him. full review

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

Hamer illuminates Bukowski's dark, sleazy little corner. He makes us feel with Hank and, surprisingly, at times, feel for him. full review

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

In cherry-picking the more filmable episodes from the novel, Hamer and Stark have constructed a sort of poor man's Barfly, with an emphasis on drunken mischief. full review

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader

Hamer has created a tidy film about a fabulously messy man. full review

Ty Burr, Boston Globe

The beautiful joke of Factotum is that Dillon is nobility itself.

Anthony Lane, New Yorker

While the acting is good, the narrative is flat and repetitious. The director doesn't connect the scenes into a meaningful character study. full review

Lisa Rose, Newark Star-Ledger

A seamy and funny adaptation of Charles Bukowski's 1975 novel Factotum.

Kyle Smith, New York Post
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