Metascore
90

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

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 179 Ratings

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  • 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
    100
    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
    90
    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
    63
    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: 43 out of 52
  2. Negative: 6 out of 52
  1. Feb 8, 2012
    10
    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. Jul 1, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Being John Malkovich is a superb comedy-drama with John Cusack, Cameron Diaz and John Malkovich. The movie focuses on a struggling puppeteer played by Cusack. He performs his puppet show in the streets for donations from the public. One day Craig goes for a job interview at J.M. Inc. a company that is seeking new filers. They hire him and he becomes fixated on a girl who works with him on the 7 and a half floor. One day while putting a file away Craig drops the file behind a filing cabinet. Craig then discovers a secret tunnel hidden behind a small door. The tunnel is a portal into the mind of John Malkovich the actor. Craig and Maxine his colleague, concoct a scheme to exploit the portal to their advantage. They start charging 200 dollars per person to enter the portal. People begin showing up to see what it's like to be John Malkovich.
    The movie is hilarious and utterly brilliant with the concept of someone having a portal into their mind. Spike Jonze is a talented director and he wasn't honoured properly for this movie. He directed the recent "Her"
    and he was shafted for the best picture for the movie. The actors were also snubbed for their roles. Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson are brilliant in Her. I think Being John Malkovich should've won awards but it was overshadowed by American Beauty. Her should've won five to ten oscar awards but once again the movie that deserves many awards wins few.
    Expand
  3. Jul 10, 2014
    10
    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.
    Expand
  4. Jan 13, 2011
    9
    I'm not going to lie, I did not like this movie the first time I saw it. But after I saw Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine, I watched B.J.M. again and I realized what I missed the first time, the whole thing. The originality is beyond impressive. I also never thought Cameron Diaz could look so ugly. Yes, the movie is a huge metaphor, so people who consider movies like Norbit or Transformers to be the best movies will not appreciate nor understand this. There is nothing like this Expand
  5. Aug 27, 2014
    9
    Malkovich Malkovich, Malkovich? Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich, Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich. Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich, Malkovich! (Genius!) Expand
  6. Feb 27, 2012
    9
    Being John Malkovich is the work of a clearly twisted individual (Director Spike Jonze) but its hard to deny that Jonze is unbelievably talented as he balances multiple plot threads and complex characters while managing to infuse the film with a hilarious satirical element. The film follows a professional puppeteer (John Cusack) as he is forced to take a position as a file clerk in an oddly shaped office building at his animal loving wifeâ Expand
  7. Aug 2, 2011
    1
    Absolutely awful in every way, shape and form. No likable characters, a scatterbrained story, and just mean-spirited. Avoid at all costs. Please, for your own sake, avoid this movie! Expand

See all 52 User Reviews

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