eXistenZ

Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 29
  2. Negative: 2 out of 29
Watch On
  1. Its name, the film's title, is pronounced "eggs is tense" and meant to have a whiff of the philosophical, even if its intellectual ambition seems mostly limited to spelling affectations.
  2. Reviewed by: Tom Meek
    60
    Dead-on for Cronenberg fans though the mutant reptile and amphibian factory might be a tad(pole) too much for the squeamish at heart.
  3. 60
    If this new film seems less prescient than its predecessor, it's only because reality is rapidly catching up with Cronenberg's warped imagination.
  4. 60
    The movie may be a grim warning against the perils of technology and its ability to spew alternative realities, but Cronenberg himself can hardly claim to have his feet firmly planted on the ground.
  5. 50
    Because of the potential of the idea and Cronenberg's reputation as a film maker, it's a real disappointment to watch eXistenZ fall apart the way it does.
  6. Reviewed by: Andy Seiler
    50
    Cronenberg can create alternative worlds like few other filmmakers, and that's a real achievement. If he learns to make us care about them, he'll really have something. [23 April 1999, Life, p.8E]
User Score
2.9

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 115 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Feb 21, 2014
    6
    I didn't like the movie much, despite the decent actors the movie is not well made, the visual characters are not that convincing, the killingI didn't like the movie much, despite the decent actors the movie is not well made, the visual characters are not that convincing, the killing scenes (and other visual effects) are lame and the whole story is not that good. Another thing I must mention that the movie is rather strange and sometimes disturbing. The only thing that I really liked - it's the way the game elements are shown in the movie - all that awkwardness in the story progression and NPC interaction. Full Review »
  2. Jun 28, 2013
    8
    This movie was able to surpass the physical reality of digital computer games by representing them as living objects, then flip commonThis movie was able to surpass the physical reality of digital computer games by representing them as living objects, then flip common viewpoints we have. "Its just a game" is no longer valid. Like Videodrome, Cronenberg knows there will always be a subversive element to media that extends beyond the screen. This time, our heroes know, but can't resist to plug in. One character believes that the creativity of game design grants them some free will in their own space and widens their identities into a new reality. Allegra Geller, with overconfidence of a game designer, goes on an adventure with the apprehensive Ted Pikul and they both lose perspective of their reality and their identity. Obvious comparisons to the Matrix or Dark City will take place, but this movie went beyond those in many ways. This story recognizes the desires people have to become someone new and how those desires could be exploited. Instead of becoming Neo with help of friends, Ted Pikul is forced into a much murkier game situation. While the stakes aren't as high as the existence of the human race, Ted and Geller's life and sanity are still on the line. This is not just a cheesy VR movie like many 80s 90s movies like Max Headroom, Remote Control, Jonny Mnemonic, Lawnmower Man and even the Matrix became. Now onto other elements of this movie...The musical score is just as good as Eastern Promises and later Cronenberg movies. You might not notice it against the absurdity of many of the scenes, but it is. The acting is quite good and its humor should appeal to a younger audience. The biological movie effects in this are excellent and you might lose your appetite. Perhaps this movie isn't as well liked as it could be because it doesn't involve as much violence and it doesn't have a tidy plot or demonic machine enemies. This movie had a different focus. There are spy elements that were added in but didn't turn the movie into a heightened thriller. The editing of this movie made it sort of like a bizarre reflective journey. You might not enjoy this movie if you think the digital world as fake and your identity as a biological life form is real. This is a great, entertaining movie, while is not perfect is one of my favorites with some re-watch value. Full Review »
  3. AdamA.
    Sep 26, 2007
    10
    This movie is one of the best films I've seen. Totally original. Great cast and performances. Killer story and great direction. Totally This movie is one of the best films I've seen. Totally original. Great cast and performances. Killer story and great direction. Totally creepy. So many great scenes. Full Review »