Barbarians at the Gate (1993) from Tuna

Barbarians at the Gate (1993) is an HBO movie based on a real leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco (R. J. Reynolds), which was the largest such buyout in history. 
The stock was flat and undervalued due to public unease about anti-tobacco lawsuits, and when the CEO (James Garner) realizes that his smokeless cigarette is not going to be a hit (it tastes like shit, smells like a fart, and you can't draw on it), he decides to buy the company from the shareholders. Turns out he is not the only one with the idea, and the entire film is about the financial maneuvers as various concerns try to acquire this plum.


Leilani Sarelle plays Garner's wife, and shows the side of her right breast getting undressed for bed. There is topless nudity from two fashion models.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • bare-bones

I agree with Berardinelli's 3 stars. The story was intelligently told, the production values were top notch, and writing was excellent, and the performances were a huge cut above the norm for made-for-cable. Garner gave his best performance in recent memory. IMDB calls it a comedy. While there are certainly many points of humor, and some great lines, it also has strong docu-drama elements. For this reason, I see it as having a lot of crossover appeal. B.

The Critics Vote

  • Berardinelli 3/4

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 7.5 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, I say B

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