films seen
10
average score
2.40*
nationality
USA - 80 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Levinson directed some terrible Hollywood cheese, in between he also found the time to make a handful of entertaining genre films. He's not one of the greats, still, worth checking out if you're looking for fun and easy filler.

Solid pieces

The Bay

by Barry Levinson
2012 / 84m - USA
Sci-fi, Horror
3.5*/5.0*
The Bay poster

The inoffensive

The Humbling

by Barry Levinson
2014 / 112m - USA
Comedy, Drama
3.0*/5.0*
The Humbling poster

Envy

by Barry Levinson
2004 / 99m - USA
Comedy
3.0*/5.0*
Envy poster

Sphere

by Barry Levinson
1998 / 134m - USA
Sci-fi, Mystery
3.0*/5.0*
Sphere poster

Worthy but flawed

Bandits

by Barry Levinson
2001 / 123m - USA
Comedy, Crime
2.5*/5.0*
Bandits poster

Sleepers

by Barry Levinson
1996 / 147m - USA
Crime
2.5*/5.0*
Sleepers poster

It's at least 20 years since I last saw this one, way before I started tracking films I watched. I remembered it as a solid flick, but was in no real hurry to see it again, as I've since lost my interest in these types of elongated crime stories. It's certainly not as bad as some others, but it's not all that special either.

Four kids grow up in Hell's Kitchen, a notorious neighborhood in New York. They're rascals who scour the edge of the law, until one fated day they steal a hot dog cart and nearly kill a man doing so. They're all sent to a correctional facility, where they are severely mistreated by the guards.

2.5 hours is a lot, then again the film covers a lot of ground. Performances are decent, and somehow I do like Levinson a tad more than most of his Hollywood contemporaries, even though his directorial style isn't all that defined. The plot is pretty standard though and the film has few surprises, nor does it dare to get very graphic. Just decent.

Dubious filler

Tin Men

by Barry Levinson
1987 / 112m - USA
Comedy
2.0*/5.0*
Tin Men poster

There's this niche of 80s comedies, about angry middle-aged folk who are downright assholes and have the most fun trying to make each other's lives as miserable as possible. I can't say it's really my kind of comedy, but as they come, Tin Men certainly isn't the worst of the bunch.

When Bill and Ernest get into a little bender fender, a feud of epic proportions begins. Both men are grumpy loudmouths and neither is going to admit he was at fault. And so they start scheming, coming up with plans to make the other party admit his mistake. Neither one is willing to back down though.

Danny DeVito seems to be popping up in many of these comedies, in Richard Dreyfuss he finds a worthy opponent. The bickering often goes on too long and the film never becomes hilarious, but the pacing is decent enough and there are some minor laughs spread throughout. Wouldn't really recommend it, unless you really like this type of thing.

Plain forgettable

Toys

by Barry Levinson
1992 / 118m - USA
Comedy
1.5*/5.0*
Toys poster

I think I've seen this film before as a kid, but that was so long ago that I can't remember for sure. I'm not a big Robin Williams fan though, which explains why it took me so long to give this another go. And sure enough, Williams' performance here is exactly why I can't really stand his work.

When Leland, an army general, inherits the toy factory of the Presswells, his cousin Leslie fears that he has different plans for the factory. When Leslie discovers Leland is using factory resources for military R&D, he bands together with the factory employees to brings Leland's plans to the surface.

Levinson has some fun bringing the factory to life, but he's no Burton. Still, the creative sets are the sole reason Toys isn't a complete failure. Williams' performance is irritating, the soundtrack is overly bombastic, and the comedy is simply horrendous. At just over two hours, it's also ridiculously long. Not great.

Rain Man

by Barry Levinson
1988 / 133m - USA
Drama
1.5*/5.0*
Rain Man poster

Good Morning, Vietnam

by Barry Levinson
1987 / 121m - USA
Comedy, War
1.5*/5.0*
Good Morning, Vietnam poster