User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 198 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 198

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  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 asBeing 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. Nov 22, 2012
    10
    One of the most bizarre and brilliant movies ever.
  3. Jan 5, 2013
    10
    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 !!!
  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 TransformersI'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 3, 2011
    10
    Best movie of all time . One of the better films of the past few years.A strikingly original and often brilliant movie that seems to run out of steam in the last 15 minutes, but then again, maybe its supposed to.
  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 anBeing 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. Feb 9, 2012
    9
    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 goodWatched 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
  8. Aug 27, 2014
    9
    Malkovich Malkovich, Malkovich? Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich, Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich. Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich, Malkovich! (Genius!)
  9. Jan 3, 2013
    10
    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-writtenThis 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
  10. Aug 7, 2013
    9
    "Being John Malkovich" must surely rank as one of the most inventive, original, and yet daring films of the last ten years. A metaphysical journey about the desire to transform oneself involving identity, gender, and creativity. It's silly, unpredictable, and completely faithful to its distinctive, perverse vision. A brilliant premise written by the Charlie Kaufman, and masterfully"Being John Malkovich" must surely rank as one of the most inventive, original, and yet daring films of the last ten years. A metaphysical journey about the desire to transform oneself involving identity, gender, and creativity. It's silly, unpredictable, and completely faithful to its distinctive, perverse vision. A brilliant premise written by the Charlie Kaufman, and masterfully directed by Spike Jonze. A truly an ingenious film and considered a modern day classic.

    Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) is stuck in a frustrated rut in his life. His pet obsessed wife Lotte (Cameron Diaz) seems more concerned with providing a decent home to various animals as opposed to satisfying his marriage needs. Also, money is drying up, Craig's dreams of becoming a world-famous puppeteer appear to be eroding, and he is pressured into finding a job. Because of his quick hands, a skill necessary for artful puppetry, Craig applies for a job as a filing clerk. His job requires him to work on the seventh and a half floor in a strange office block. His days are spent trying to persuade the object of his attention Maxine (Catherine Keener), into having an affair with him.

    While losing a file behind a storage cabinet one day, Craig discovers a strange and murky tunnel hidden behind the cabinet. Crawling inside, Craig finds the tunnel to actually be a portal, and the destination is inside the actor John Malkovich's head! Although Craig has no say with regards to Malkovich's actions, he can clearly witness and influence what the actor is doing. Fifteen minutes later, Craig is forced out of Malkovich's head, and dumped along side the New Jersey turnpike.

    Part of the pleasure in watching "John Malkovich" is seeing these actors at full creative throttle, and knowing how much they relished the insanity of the script. But it's clearly Malkovich who has the most fun here. Spoofing oneself is usually therapeutic, but for Malkovich whose reputation as an intellectual prima donna, must have been ecstatic at an incredibly unique opportunity.

    Without spoiling what follows, "Being John Malkovich" features a fine cast of dryly-comic actors who are very much in on the joke. That can even be said of Charlie Sheen, who turns up for some wicked self-parody in a film that also features cameo appearances by Sean Penn, Brad Pitt. "Being John Malkovich" doesn't bog down in allegories, while remaining tremendously entertaining and thought provoking, and definitely worthy of repeat viewings. Fantastic performances all around by the entire cast, but especially by Cusack and Malkovich. Nominated for three Academy Awards.
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  11. Dec 19, 2013
    10
    Without a doubt, one of the best films of the 1990s. Dark, hilarious, and brilliant. Spike Jonze gives us a mindbending science fiction dark comedy with top-notch performances from the entire cast.
  12. Jul 10, 2014
    10
    Being John Malkovich is has great acting and a cool concept. A puppeteer discovers a portal into the
    mind of John Malkovich. John Malkovich is in the movie, he plays himself and he gives many
    funny lines throughout the movie. This movie is one of the most original and visually diverse movies
    you'll ever see. The twist in the movie is funny and the movie will never be duplicated, A+.
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. Gloriously inventive, delightfully nutty comic treasure is unlike anything you've ever seen. It's lunatic.
  2. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    I don't know how a movie this original got made today, but thank God for wonderful aberrations.
  3. 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.