Critic Reviews



Based on 25 critic reviews provided by
Film Threat
Bukowski is one of my all time favorite writers and now I have an all new respect for the man thanks to John Dullaghan’s phenomenal film. I’ll be breaking out “Post Office,” “Ham On Rye,” and “Notes of a Dirty Old Man” again very soon.
Village Voice
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.
Wants to claim Bukowski (1920-1994) as a 20th-century West Coast Walt Whitman -- a people's poet of modern degradation. Through a selective presentation of his writing and a reverently crass treatment of his life, it makes a funny, often intensely moving case, and you're having such a good time that you're glad to let it.
Makes a compelling case for raising him (Bukowski) from cult status to the top rank of 20th century U.S. literary figures -- while providing ample evidence of a very colorful life and times.
It's the portrait of an artist who had neither time nor respect for literary niceties -- he was, in the words of publisher John Martin, a "man of the street writing for the man of the street."
Excerpts from Schroeder's long video documentary about him, and from the flawed melodrama "Barfly" they made together, add more variety.
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.
The A.V. Club
Goes to great lengths to show the man-child behind the barfly, but in its rush to deify its subject, it lacks critical voices and context.
Despite the fact there's no lack of raw material, Bukowski fails to place its subject's actions and statements in any psychological or literary context. It's simply a celebration of Bukowski's misogyny and self-abuse.
L.A. Weekly
As factoids do-si-do with testimonials from the likes of drinking buddy Sean Penn and fan-boy Bono, the movie all but becomes the very A&E Hagiography for which Bukowski would have had little or no patience.

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