A.V. Club Most Read

News Newswire Great Job, Internet!
TV Club All Reviews What's On Tonight
Video All Video A.V. Undercover A.V. Cocktail Club Film Club
Reviews All Reviews Film TV Music Books
Features All Features Newswire Great Job, Internet!
Sections Film Tv Music Food Comedy Books Games Aux
Our Company About Us Contact Advertise Privacy Policy Careers RSS
Onion Inc. Sites The Onion The A.V. Club ClickHole Onion Studios

The Whole Wide World


The Whole Wide World

Community Grade

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F

Your Grade


This quiet, brooding little biopic has as its subject one of the weirdest men in 20th-century letters: master pulp-fantasy writer Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan The Barbarian. With Conan, Howard created the sword-and-sorcery genre, and unfortunately personified the stereotype of sword-and-sorcery readers: Howard lived with his parents his entire life, and was chronically depressed, intensely out of touch with social convention, and oblivious to or dismissive of the fact that others did not share his enthusiasms. Vincent D'Onofrio does his usual excellent job of playing a lumbering, ranting obsessive, and Renée Zellweger is competent as Novalyne Price, the object of Howard's misguided affections. The Whole Wide World is framed by their odd companionship, but it's really about Howard's brief, prolific, confused life. Ultimately, it might be too quiet and brooding to hold the interest of most, but it is worth noting for the way it treats one of the giants of pulp writing like a genius, brooding obstinacy and all.