User Score
4.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 78 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 78
  2. Negative: 36 out of 78
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  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 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 inI 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. Expand
  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 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 "Its just a game" is no longer valid.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 believesThis 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 "Its just a game" is no longer valid.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. Collapse
  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 creepy. So many great scenes.
  4. JoshC
    Nov 20, 2006
    9
    Cronenberg's best film since Dead Ringers. This film ends a decade long slump of duds and near misses. This movie returns to his greatnes of the 70's and 80's and stops pandering to smug critics like J. Hoberman. This film is for the fans.
  5. CharlieW.
    Mar 24, 2006
    7
    This movie made me scream at the end for its pure weirdness... I don't know whether I like it or not... *twitch* *twitch*
  6. EggsisTense
    Feb 6, 2006
    10
    One of David Cronenberg's best and most underrated films. It's playful, knowing, funny, sexy and gross-out. What more could you want? Jennifer Jason Leigh is at her sexiest and coolest here - a charming, fey, untrustworthy heroine; and Jude Law is perfectly cast as the nervous, passive bodyguard reluctantly caught up in her dangerous world. Great fun for all Cronenberg fans, and One of David Cronenberg's best and most underrated films. It's playful, knowing, funny, sexy and gross-out. What more could you want? Jennifer Jason Leigh is at her sexiest and coolest here - a charming, fey, untrustworthy heroine; and Jude Law is perfectly cast as the nervous, passive bodyguard reluctantly caught up in her dangerous world. Great fun for all Cronenberg fans, and a genuine modern cult classic. Highly recommended. Expand
  7. ChrisP
    Feb 12, 2005
    10
    This movie was amazing. The ending left you with a spine chilling line. "Guys... Are we still in the game?"
  8. ChadS.
    Oct 2, 2004
    10
    What David Cronenberg does here is remarkable. "Existenz" forces you to look at William Gibson's "Neuromancer" from another perspective. When Allegra (Jennifer Jason-Leigh) and Ted (Jude Law) "jack" out, they're still in the game. They're still characters. In "Neuromancer", Case jacks out and he's supposedly out of the computer, and back in reality. What "Existenz" What David Cronenberg does here is remarkable. "Existenz" forces you to look at William Gibson's "Neuromancer" from another perspective. When Allegra (Jennifer Jason-Leigh) and Ted (Jude Law) "jack" out, they're still in the game. They're still characters. In "Neuromancer", Case jacks out and he's supposedly out of the computer, and back in reality. What "Existenz" does to the reader of Gibson's seminal novel, is make them view everything as a simulation. There doesn't seem to be any representation of normal people in "Neuromancer" (as noted by my professor in class today), which only adds to my belief that the book should be re-read within the context of Cronenberg's film. Because if you were writing characters for a game, why would you bother with boring ones? "The Matrix" is solid sci-fi, but "Existenz" has ideas and visuals that will make you stop and say, "Whoa!" Expand
  9. Groundfisher
    Jul 16, 2004
    5
    I quite like Jude Law but in this movie he showcases what might be the most unconvincing American accent ever committed to film. It was painful to listen to. Despite what others say, I thought Leigh was an unconvincing game developer. The end of the movie - the shootout scene - looks as though it was shot in my backyard using christmas tree lights, flares and an 80s disco smoke machine. I quite like Jude Law but in this movie he showcases what might be the most unconvincing American accent ever committed to film. It was painful to listen to. Despite what others say, I thought Leigh was an unconvincing game developer. The end of the movie - the shootout scene - looks as though it was shot in my backyard using christmas tree lights, flares and an 80s disco smoke machine. The strength of this movie is the ideas it is built around. For me, it was good for provoking discussions about some of the topics raised, but not discussion about the movie itself. All in all, a dissatisfying movie. I'd recommend it to irrepressible computer game players, students of Technoculture, and fans of psychedelic drugs. Expand
  10. PatC.
    Jan 7, 2004
    6
    Video games are not political, they are far more important.
  11. YoonMinC.
    Sep 29, 2003
    9
    Cronenberg is far from my favorite director but his films such as Dead Ringers and Naked Lunch deserve respect. An almost clinical stylist using cinematic devices like gadgets which could as easily be torture weapons as medical instruments, Cronenberg pries into our interior and pulls out foreign objects and scutinizes them like specimens in glass jars. Unlike Lynch, Cronenberg never Cronenberg is far from my favorite director but his films such as Dead Ringers and Naked Lunch deserve respect. An almost clinical stylist using cinematic devices like gadgets which could as easily be torture weapons as medical instruments, Cronenberg pries into our interior and pulls out foreign objects and scutinizes them like specimens in glass jars. Unlike Lynch, Cronenberg never overwhelms us with the irrationality swirling beneath our facades; he studies and experiments with it in the manner of a rogue scientist. eXistenz is one of his best, not to mention one of his most accessible and satisfying. It probes how biology fuses with technology ever more closely with advancement in both. More radically, it shows how even politics becomes subsumed within this new order. Will the world be just a big ongoing videogame, a never ending dream? On a far smaller scale yet endlessly more fascinating than Matrix and Dark City. Expand
  12. BlancoA.
    Jan 14, 2003
    9
    This is one tripped-out movie, but definitely held my attetion until the end. Check it out on cable....
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 29
  2. Negative: 2 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    80
    Like the virtual game he plays on us, the film is weird, it's addictive, and Lord, it's alive!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.