Barfly (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

Barfly (1987)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Henry Chinaski, a poet and alcoholic, spends his life in Los Angeles bars. One day he meets and falls in love with Wanda, also an alcoholic. Together they meet Tully Sorenson, who publishes some of Henry's poems, bringing Henry a brief shot at fame and fortune. But, Henry and Wanda have only one real goal in life: drinking to numb the pain they feel outside the bars of Los Angeles.

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Mickey Rourke
as Henry Chinaski
Faye Dunaway
as Wanda Wilcox
Jack Nance
as Detective
Gloria Le Roy
as Grandma Moses
Joe Rice
as Old Man in Bar
Julie "Sunny" Pearson
as Hooker in Bar
Donald L. Norden
as Man in alley
Damon Hines
as Black Kid
Michael Collins
as `Elbow Inn' Bartender
Ronald G. Joseph
as Liquor Store Clerk
Vance Colvig
as Alcoholic Man
Stacey Pickern
as Lady Manager
Stacey Pickren
as Lady Manager
Gary Cox
as Lenny
Sandy Rose
as Louie's Woman
Madalyn Carol
as Young Girl Hooker
Debbie Lynn Ross
as Lovebird Woman
Damons Hines
as Black Kid
Leonard J. Tate
as Black Kid
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News & Interviews for Barfly

Critic Reviews for Barfly

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (3)

Both characters are the kind of people who want to be left alone. That`s what you may feel like after you spend a few minutes with them.

August 23, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

The first four letters say it all.

March 23, 2010 | Full Review…

The result is a truly original American movie, a film like no other, a period of time spent in the company of the kinds of characters Saroyan and O'Neill would have understood.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Director Barbet Schroeder brilliantly creates a world unknown or invisible to most filmgoers.

August 19, 2021 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Barfly remains a flavorful approximation of life on the bottom rungs.

July 16, 2021 | Full Review…

Both Rourke and Dunaway are cinematic dynamite here.

September 2, 2020 | Rating: 3.5/4.0 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Barfly


Usually when you see two people in as rough a shape as Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway look on the poster you don't expect a hell of a lot of entertainment out of that movie. Just honest misery. Fortunately, the late Charles Bukowski wrote Barfly and its entertaining as all hell. Rourke appropriately seems to play a mumbling caricature of Bukowski and a still attractive Dunaway fits the bill nicely. The soundtrack is outstanding and for as much as Bukowski's script shuffles along as Hank Chinaski himself does, its definitely hysterical and you don't really seem to mind. Cram that in with director Barbet Schroeder's talent for filling the movie with all kinds of grit and characters and the good times are rolling...

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

A brilliant film with what I believe to be Mickey Roarke's finest piece of work as an actor. The film was written by poet-author Charles Bukowski, and Roarke's character is based on Bukowski himself. Henry(Roarke) spends most of his time at the bar, getting into the occasional fistfight with the bartender Eddie which is so well portrayed by Frank Stallone, and gets involved with a haggard alcoholic portrayed by Faye Dunaway. Henry puts all the money he wins from his streetfights into his drink of choice, scotch and water, and occasionally buys one for the house, "To all my friends!" There's really not much going on with the story itself, but this film is simply entertaining, and manages to keep some humor in it's dim premise. Simplicity is usually better, and this film is a good example of what can be done when the right group of artists are put together.

Eric S
Eric S

Super Reviewer


Good acting can only help a film so far, this one is an ugly, depressing experience.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Barfly Quotes

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