The Tenants

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Released 2006

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Movie Summary

Director:
Danny Green
Released:
2006
Rating:
R

The Tenants is a 2006 drama about two struggling writers caught up in literary, racial and romantic conflicts in the early 1970s. Writer Henry Lesser (Dylan McDermott) has been struggling to finish his second novel for ten years. He superstitiously believes that he can only complete the work in the same rundown Brooklyn tenement building where he began it. His landlord, Mr. Levenspiel (Seymour Cassel), wants Harry, the only remaining resident, to leave so that he can tear down the building. Then Willie Spearmint (Snoop Dogg), another aspiring writer, moves in as an illegal squatter. At first, Harry tries to befriend Willie by offering literary advice, but Willie's novel about killing white folks and the rise of the black militia puts them at odds. Then Henry meets Irene Bell (Rose Byrne), Willie's girlfriend, and the situation turns from tense to combustible. Danny Green directs this film adaptation of the Bernard Malamud novel.

Metacritic Score

  • 50

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    The message about race relations in America conveyed by The Tenants, a small, serious, but choppy and psychologically cauterized screen adaptation of Bernard Malamud's 1971 novel, ...

  • 50

    Variety Ronnie Scheib

    Keeps grimly glued to its one-note premise, relieved by nary a glimmer of humor, surprise or personality.

  • 38

    New York Daily News Jack Mathews

    Unremittingly bleak and hopelessly outdated parable of American race relations.

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    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    Social Issues, Historical