Alice's Restaurant
Alice's Restaurant (1969)

This uneven film is based on Arlo Guthrie's popular song "The Massacre At Alice's Restaurant." Arlo, son of famous folksinger Woody Guthrie, wrote the almost 19-minute song after being arrested for littering when he threw… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: August 20, 1969
DVD Release Date: January 23, 2001
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Critic Score: 63% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
TIME Magazine

[Penn] has transformed a charming shaggy-dog story into a melancholy epitaph for an entire era.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Good work in a minor key.

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David Lamble
Bay Area Reporter

This immensely entertaining travesty gets so much wrong about a clan of rambunctious hippies raising hell in 1969 Stockbridge, MA, that perversely, it becomes a moving comic elegy to a social movement that rocked this nutty country.

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Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice

Penn's genius overtakes the dropout romance, like a final post-bacchanal hangover that suggests liberation as an El Dorado dream.

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Jacob Brackman
Esquire Magazine

At one end, I suppose, to judge Alice's a brilliantly inventive auteur vision: personal, topical, hilarious, deeply pessimistic... At the other, to judge Alice's a dog; a messy porridge. In the middle: reservations, fourteen-point check-list ratings.

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Ellen Willis
The New York Review of Books

in spite of the clowning of Arlo Guthrie [Alice's Restaurant] is one of the more depressing movies I've seen lately, so much more so than Easy Rider, because confusion and passivity are more demoralizing than violence.

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Variety Staff

There are occasional flashes of wry humor and some rib-tickling sequences. But they are all too few.

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Paul Schrader
The Los Angeles Image

When a great director is given his freedom, the least we can expect is a great failure, with pretentiousness, banality, and brilliance all fighting for precedence. But the overriding failure of Alice's Restaurant is its lackluster quality.

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Dennis Schwartz
Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

It's worth checking out for the marvelous look back at how the counterculture dropouts related to each other and to the straight older generation in the late 1960s.

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More reviews for Alice's Restaurant

Flixster Audience Score: 60% Flixster User Reviews
Spencer S.
Very much of its decade, this sixties' iconoclastic film features the best of the folk era and also re-imagines a true story about the complications of… More
Adam Mahler
Arlo does well, playing an observer, almost pure of heart; he deals with his own mortality in his father's death from Huntington's; a hippie idyll… More
Aj V
Yes it's an off beat off key kind of movie, but that's not always good. I thought this movie was pretty boring for the most part. Maybe that's… More
Lanning : )
Compare a film like <i>Hair</i> with this one, a tribute to and expansion on Arlo Guthrie's sometime anthem for America in the 1960s. For… More
Randy Tippy
One of those 'generational anthems' that's more endearing because it's a tad off key. Arlo Guthrie's semi-autobiographical homage to… More
John Ballantine
I didn't like it. I never felt any affinity for the characters nor did the story grab me. I suspect I'm not getting something.