Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 181 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: An out-of-work puppeteer takes a filing clerk job on the cramped 7 ½ floor of an office building where he discovers a hidden tunnel allowing him to enter the mind and life of actor John Malkovich for 15 mintues before being ejected onto the New Jersey Turnpike.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 36
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 36
  3. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Smart people will relish its temerariousness, average people will smile awkwardly and comment that it's "kinda different," and dimly lit people may mistake it for the Elmo movie and drool quietly in the back rows. It's a movie for everyone.
  2. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    But then Being John Malkovich is a brilliant juggling act, too, brilliantly brought off.
  3. 100
    Either Being John Malkovich gets nominated for best picture, or the members of the Academy need portals into their brains.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Weird, beguiling premise.
  5. So jaw-droppingly out there, so bracingly bizarre, and, much of the time, so fall-over-funny that even its flaws don't matter. Easily the oddest movie of the year, it is also one of the best.
  6. 80
    The most offbeat studio comedy since "Rushmore."
  7. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    The story keeps reinventing itself (some of the later plot twists are among the funniest), but a little goes a long way at 112 minutes - maybe 25 minutes more than this sporadically pointed conceit really needs.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 53
  2. Negative: 6 out of 53
  1. Feb 8, 2012
    Being John Malkovich really is a film like no other. Director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman's vision for the film is so complete, so unique and off-the-wall, it makes for an utterly spellbinding viewing experience. The performances are all superb, and many a far cry from the respective cast member's usual roles.John Cusack makes a very engaging, if highly unlikeable protagonist as Craig Schwatz, an ambitious but morally bereft puppeteer, who finds a mysterious portal into the head of John Malkovich. Malkovich, quite amusingly, gives one of the best performances of his career, playing a parody of himself, who is unwittingly used by a whole host of people for entertainment, entrepreneurial ventures and for a far more sinister purpose. Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener and Orson Bean are all excellent too as Craig's unfulfilled, animal-loving wife, his sexually deviant co-worker and his ancient and looney boss respectively. Being John Malkovich delivers on all fronts, from the cast playing a weird and wonderful array of characters to Spike Jonze's tight and controlled direction, Lance Acord's cinematography perfectly capturing the simple, yet effective visuals, Carter Burwell's fantastic score and especially Charlie Kaufman's slick, sharp and side-splittingly funny script. It's surreal, dark, well-written and simply hilarious. It's also superbly odd, bordering on lunacy, but in a good way. There's nothing else like it, and there likely never will be. By the end of Being John Malkovich, you've certainly been on a journey - you're not certain where you've been, or what it all means, but by God you had a good time. Expand
  2. Jan 3, 2013
    This is a very strange movie. It is a drama with a little bit of fantasy thrown in. It kind of keeps you on the edge of your seat in anticipation sometimes to see what this messed up situation will do to the romantic relationships between the people involved. The scene with all of the John Malkovich's at once is hilarious. Personally, I enjoyed this movie. If you're into well-written dramas or off the wall movies you will like this movie. If you want a typical Hollywood action movie or romantic comedy this movie is not for you. Expand
  3. DivessaJ
    Oct 21, 2005
    What an exciting and original movie!!! It was hilarious throughout and the surprises don't stop until the very end. Each character changes and turns with every scene. Fantastic movie - a must see. Expand
  4. Jul 10, 2014
    Being John Malkovich is an amusing and clever comedy-drama. The movie has wonderful acting and is
    unlike any movie you've seen or will see.
    The directing is amazing as well and the movie has unpredictable
    surprises, Malkovich is definitely one of my favourite movies.
  5. Feb 9, 2012
    Watched this movie again last night after not seeing it for years. It really is a fantastic film. Charlie Kauffman never fails to come up with bizarre and intriguing scripts, and Spike Jonze is also on his A-game. This movie starts off on a strange note, and it continues to spiral into a twilight zone of hilarious proportions. I don't even like Cameron Diaz, but I thought she was very good in her role, and I loved the rest of the cast as well. If you are looking for a film that is unlike any other film you have ever seen, or ever will see, then this film matches that criteria. It's a lot of fun, but also has some interesting things to say about real life issues. Expand
  6. Jun 10, 2011
    I am a little confused about this movie. And frankly speaking before I read other comments, I can not understand this movie. But to some extent, I think it is a good movie but not perfect one. Expand
  7. ChrisB.
    Feb 3, 2006
    An appaling waste of time and talent. Shallow, unlikeable characters; unpleasant, jumbled cinematography, a shoddy script and no redeeming characteristics whatsoever. Expand

See all 53 User Reviews


Related Articles

  1. Ranked: Best and Worst Directorial Debuts Since 1990

    Ranked: Best and Worst Directorial Debuts Since 1990 Image
    Published: August 4, 2011
    A pair of new films from first-time directors, "Attack the Block" and "Bellflower," are receiving strong reviews. Where do they rank among the best and worst directorial debuts in recent years? Find out inside.
  2. Ranked: Music Video Directors Turned Film Directors

    Ranked: Music Video Directors Turned Film Directors Image
    Published: August 31, 2010
    Before Anton Corbijn was directing feature films like this week's "The American," he was the driving force behind iconic music videos for Depeche Mode, U2, and Nirvana. Inside, we look at the careers of Corbijn and over 20 other directors who have made the jump from MTV to the big screen.