Metascore
90

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. A wildly inventive, unrelenting thrill that amazes us with its visual and intellectual treats and dazzles us with its ongoing ingenuity.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    100
    But then Being John Malkovich is a brilliant juggling act, too, brilliantly brought off.
  4. It's among the most inventive, screwily funny and consistently surprising movies I've seen in years.
  5. 100
    Either Being John Malkovich gets nominated for best picture, or the members of the Academy need portals into their brains.
  6. 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.
  7. The most excitingly original movie of the year.
  8. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    100
    Absolutely, see the movie.
  9. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    100
    Breathlessly imaginative.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. A clever and outrageous piece of whimsical fantasy that is unique, unpredictable and more than a little strange.
  13. 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.
  14. Gloriously inventive, delightfully nutty comic treasure is unlike anything you've ever seen. It's lunatic.
  15. 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.
  16. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    I don't know how a movie this original got made today, but thank God for wonderful aberrations.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. It's tremendously entertaining, and probably worthy of repeat viewings.
  20. It's the film we leave most movie theaters wishing we'd seen instead.
  21. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    100
    Irresistable, nimble and very funny.
  22. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    90
    Weird, beguiling premise.
  23. Unfortunately, no awards committee is hip enough to praise this strange masterpiece.
  24. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    100
    Devilishly inventive and so far out there it's almost off the scale.
  25. So full of creativity, so subversive, so alive.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 176 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 51
  2. Negative: 6 out of 51
  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. Full Review »
  2. Nov 22, 2012
    10
    One of the most bizarre and brilliant movies ever.
  3. Aug 10, 2012
    4
    Best part of the entire movie is when puppeteer Schwartz (John Cusack) is punched by a father conveying his disappointment in the perversion of a puppet show, which are typically enjoyed by children. The Puppeteer Full Review »