Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 36
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 36
  3. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 100
    Either Being John Malkovich gets nominated for best picture, or the members of the Academy need portals into their brains.
  2. The most excitingly original movie of the year.
  3. 100
    Being John Malkovich, which contains not a frame of extraneous footage, is more than a must-see movie: It's a must-see-more-than-once event.
  4. 90
    The crazy-ass imagination at work in Being John Malkovich hits you like a blast of pure oxygen...this movie of constant astonishments will make you laugh hard and long.
  5. 70
    Bizarre, utterly original and truly indescribable comedy...You just have to see it for yourself.
  6. 100
    If we're allowed just a couple of truly singular discoveries in twelve months, it's a good year; when one of them is a film as exhilarating as Spike Jonze's feature debut, it's a banner year.
  7. (Jonze and Kaufman's) work is so bold, funny, and original that it's hard to believe they aren't wide-screen veterans.
  8. A clever and outrageous piece of whimsical fantasy that is unique, unpredictable and more than a little strange.
  9. It's the film we leave most movie theaters wishing we'd seen instead.
  10. 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.
  11. So full of creativity, so subversive, so alive.
  12. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Everything I've ever dreamed of in a crazy comedy. It's close to pure farce, yet its laughs are grounded in loneliness, impotence, self-loathing, and that most discomfiting of vices to dramatize: envy. The action is surreal, the emotions are violently real.
  13. 75
    This is the most impressive directorial debut since"Reservoir Dogs." Being John Malkovich is weird, all right-- the best kind of weird, the kind you haven't seen before.
  14. This outrageous comic fantasy may not sustain its brilliance throughout all of its 112 minutes, but it keeps cooking for so much of that time that I don't have many complaints.
  15. A wildly inventive, unrelenting thrill that amazes us with its visual and intellectual treats and dazzles us with its ongoing ingenuity.
  16. It's among the most inventive, screwily funny and consistently surprising movies I've seen in years.
  17. 80
    It's a gleeful, nitrous-oxide high.
  18. 100
    This smart, fanciful and brilliantly staged comedy takes a truly one-of-a-kind premise and makes it, of all things, a weirdly profound meditation on consciousness, identity, fame, gender and reality.
  19. Weird to the max, smart, sneaky as a Wall Street pickpocket and revved up with cruel wit and brazen imagination, Being John Malkovich is a dark movie comedy that you couldn't forget if you tried.
  20. It's essentially a one-joke situation, but screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and first-time director Spike Jonze definitely make the most of it.
  21. Gloriously inventive, delightfully nutty comic treasure is unlike anything you've ever seen. It's lunatic.
  22. 80
    The most offbeat studio comedy since "Rushmore."
  23. 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.
  24. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Weird, beguiling premise.
  25. 89
    An ingenious, incredibly entertaining, Rorschach-blot meta-comedy based on a spec script (by first-timer Charlie Kaufman) that is completely unlike anything anyone has ever seen before.
  26. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    But then Being John Malkovich is a brilliant juggling act, too, brilliantly brought off.
  27. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    I don't know how a movie this original got made today, but thank God for wonderful aberrations.
  28. It's tremendously entertaining, and probably worthy of repeat viewings.
  29. 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.
  30. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    Absolutely, see the movie.
  31. 90
    It's a cheerfully deranged stunt, executed in a spirit of infectious lunacy that powers the resulting film to its strongest laughs, and weirdest depths.
  32. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    Breathlessly imaginative.
  33. Reviewed by: Gemma Files
    Surreal to the point of poeticism, amusing and tragic by turns.
  34. Unfortunately, no awards committee is hip enough to praise this strange masterpiece.
  35. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    Irresistable, nimble and very funny.
  36. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Devilishly inventive and so far out there it's almost off the scale.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 216 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 61
  2. Negative: 6 out of 61
  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. Full Review »
  2. Jan 5, 2013
    Very strange film like a spirit labyrinth.
    Just awesome epic scenes with joke ;)
    U hate or u Love it but u must to see him !!!
    I absolutly
    love it !!! Full Review »
  3. Nov 22, 2012
    One of the most bizarre and brilliant movies ever.