Fat City 1972

Critics score:
100 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Vincent Canby, New York Times: Mr. Gardner's screenplay, of course, is something quite special, full of the kind of dialogue that movies usually can't afford, that defines time, place, mood, and character while seemingly going nowhere. Read more

Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader: John Huston's 1972 restatement of his theme of perpetual loss is intelligently understated. Read more

David Thomson, The New Republic: So you say to yourself, this Fat City is pretty damn realistic, even if you know in your heart that "realistic" and Hollywood should not be printed on the same page-otherwise paper ignites. Still, you're marveling at it. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The movie's edges are filled with small, perfect character performances. Read more

Tom Milne, Time Out: Marvellous, grimly downbeat study of desperate lives and the escape routes people construct for themselves, stunningly shot by Conrad Hall. Read more

Variety Staff, Variety: A terse, sharp, downbeat but compassionate look at the underside of smalltown American life in the west. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: The movie is crafty work and very much a show. In one way or another, right down to the percussively abrupt open ending, it's all about being hammered. Read more

Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice: The movie's bleak, but it's funnier than most comedies, and it suggests that life's toughness doesn't preclude joyfulness. Read more