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Based on 18 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 25
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    With most movies that fail, the fault can be ascribed to carelessness or lack or inspiration or cynicism. But Chelsea Walls, directed by actor Ethan Hawke, is clearly a labor of love. show more

  • 63
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    Too freewheeling for its own good, like a Robert Altman ensemble piece without a gravitational core. But Hawke's actors are a talented troupe, and even when things get self-indulgent and fuzzy-headed (and boy, do they!), interesting stuff is going on. show more

  • 12
    Jami Bernard New York Daily News

    The actor's directorial debut is a lugubriously poetic homage to the famed Chelsea Hotel, which is to New York's artistic and beatnik past what Ellis Island is to the story of American immigration. show more

  • 75
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    Movies like this do not grab you by the throat. You have to be receptive. show more

  • 50
    Chicago Tribune

    Aims for a sadness and desperation that is crudely announced rather than subtly demonstrated. show more

  • 25
    Boston Globe

    As for Hawke's direction, if there is any, it certainly isn't apparent. The shots are frequently bland and uneven, and the players act as though their only instruction was ''Just show up at the set and remember your lines.'' At least they seem to have gotten that much right. show more

  • 12
    Jonathan Foreman New York Post

    Calling it pretentious doesn't do justice to the toxic faux-bohemianism and unearned self-regard that bubble and ooze out of every aspect of Chelsea Walls. show more

  • 40
    Maitland McDonagh TV Guide

    The few minutes of footage devoted to a performance by bona fide jazz artist "Little" Jimmy Scott, an eccentric cult favorite, is more genuinely evocative than anything else in the film show more

  • 42
    Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly

    The ethos of the Chelsea Hotel may shape Hawke's artistic aspirations, but he hasn't yet coordinated his own DV poetry with the Beat he hears in his soul. show more

  • 90
    Kevin Thomas Los Angeles Times

    Ethan Hawke, in his feature directorial debut, has brought Nicolette Burdette's play to the screen with fluid grace and a perfect blend of dreaminess and grit, expressed in camerawork that seems to float and in Jeff Tweedy's shimmering, gently insistent score. show more

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