Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A day in the life of a laid-off defense worker, estranged from hiswife and young daughter, and driven beyond frustration in an endless traffic jam. After he abandons his car in the middle of the freeway, he crosses the city on foot, leaving behind him an escalating wake of destruction as his sanity crumbles in the face of contemporary urbanreality. (Warner Bros.) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 21
  2. Negative: 4 out of 21
  1. A few times every year, Hollywood makes a mistake, violates formula and actually makes a great picture. Falling Down is one of the great mistakes of 1993, a film too good and too original to win any Oscars but one bound to be remembered in years to come as a true and ironic statement about life in our time. [26 Feb 1993, p.D1]
  2. Reviewed by: Philip Thomas
    While the morality of D-Fens methods are questionable, there's a resonance about his reaction to everyday annoyances, and Michael Douglas' hypnotic performance makes it memorable.
  3. 75
    Falling Down does a good job of representing a real feeling in our society today. It would be a shame if it is seen only on a superficial level.
  4. 63
    Sure, the viewer who wants to see a tightly-paced thriller with gun-play and emotionally-satisfying moments won't be disappointed, but there is a little more here than simple escapism. Although it takes a number of wrong turns, Falling Down still has the power to disturb.
  5. 50
    D-FENS is a cut-out, a cartoon Everyman we're supposed to feel sorry for and can't. He's a bad parody in what will doubtless be an over-analyzed film about loss of control. It's just too bad nobody on the creative end seems to have had much control either.
  6. The film probably should have been a comedy. It would be a lot more cathartic - and a lot more entertaining - to laugh at the grim modern world of Falling Down than it is to have a heavy-handed filmmaker rub our faces in the hopelessness of it all. [26 Feb 1993, p.14]
  7. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Hopped-up Falling Down is a technically proficient grabber that exploits white-male angst while adeptly juggling two stories filmed in contrasting styles. Slick, maybe facile, and with a nasty streak, it is nonetheless 1993's first consistently engrossing movie. [26 Feb 1993, p.1D]

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Apr 10, 2013
    What is wrong with the critics? They must be the old guys on the golf course scene! This is a Classic movie! I have have watched it over and over and over and over again, this movie never gets old. A whole lot of dark laughs! The character does a lot of things a normal person only wishes they had the guts to do, after putting up with all the crap you face in life.It`s so good I got the DVD today. Expand
  2. SamiZ.
    Jan 19, 2009
    Great movie that acts out all the things you've always wanted to do (well, almost all!).
  3. IntelligentAndThroughtful
    Jul 19, 2009
    Phenomenal piece of film-making. The only ones who think this movie is over analyzed are the people who don't understand its depth. How about all of the reviews by white people starting off saying it's a scape-goating white angst revenge film. Supposing that a white man, unlike a black or hispanic man; would have nothing to be angry about in the first place. Typical BS. The only thing more amazing than this film is the fact that it was allowed to be made in hollywood. Those were the good 'ol days! Collapse
  4. Jan 8, 2011
    Fallen Man

    I really love this movie, this film is one of my personal favorate top 50 movies, and the reason why is because in a way it's not
    just satirical on our current society but it's sort of a dark mirror on what dark thoughts we repress everyday, that occasionally creep up on the back of our minds whether we want to admit to it or not. And we never act upon them because it would be deemed wrong even though it would feel so right.

    This is my favorite performance of one of my favorite actors Michael Douglas, the Bill Foster character is sort of like a mix of comic strip character Dilbert and Rambo. This character I couldn't help but feel a sense of pathos for because his character as we see is angry and frustrated but he is emotionally broken, due to being down on his luck and separated from his family. From one good camera shot where he sees the city though the hole of his shoe and then covers it with circled want ads, it really tells you a lot about his character and current psyche. But he is also aware and ashamed at himself knowing he has some emotional problem, one scene he is watching a family video but then something happens where Bill get's a bit angry in the video, Bill then has a sad look on his face.

    But most of all I really like the actions this character takes which I think are awesome and blackly funny because there is a truth to them as well as the situations his in, which makes us emphasize with Bill's actions and feelings more. In a way it's similar to the film "After Hours" because Bill is practically in one crazy predicament after another, makes you wonder if the world is crazier than Bill. I don't want to reveal all of them you have to see them for yourself to enjoy them. But one favorite moment despite kinda dark is the golf course scene where he encounters a butt face golfer that wants him off the course. I hate people like that, that golfer is one of those people that stick their noses up and look down on people, practically think their own farts smell like roses. I really don't understand the prejudice against people of a lower class then them, but also for some weird reason I can't explain they act childish, that golfer kept saying this is my golf course though I bet it's not. What the hell was the golfer's problem with Bill, what that Bill was going to dirty the grass or something, the prejudice against guys like Bill and us is just pathetic. But of course Bill teaches the golfer a lesson and I really like that monologue Bill delivers.

    I really have no problems with the film even though my minor complaint I'll admit I don't really like how Bill's ex wife and mom drew him out. It didn't really feel like they assumptions were for the same character but some other character from some other suspense thriller, it's kinda that same problem with comic book antihero "Deadpool's" origins. I don't know it could just be me on this matter it's just I really like the Bill character and on his side, so sometimes what you don't say about a character is better.

    The everyday world can indeed be a insane place.
  5. Oct 4, 2011
    The movie's symbolism and allegory throughout the entire time was too obvious and prominent. However, its still a unpredictable but effective classic that possibly is Joel Schumacher's best film he directed (and also the last one too). Expand
  6. Aug 19, 2010
    Man gets stuck in traffic jam, wants to go home, gets out of car & starts walking, has day from hell.
    One of Michael Douglas's best
    performances as the ordinary man turned bad, Bill Foster, in this very watchable Joel Schumacher film.
    Lots of memorable scenes & dialogue backed up with a great supporting cast including a very distrubing Frederic Forest as the army store owner.
  7. Stephen
    Apr 22, 2008
    How this film got such a high metacritic score is beyond me. On a superficial level, it's a story of a white male who has seemingly been driven into violence by a corroding American society. Dig a little deeper and you discover the sub-plot of white angst; a theme that gives justification to the the protagonists misdeeds, using minorities (and their dissolving of American norms and values) as its scapegoat. The director obviously wishes for the viewer to sympathize with his maniacal main character. Unfortunately, unless you believe in Manifest Destiny and the White Man's burden (which I'm afraid a good numbers of Americans do), all you'll see is a shallow movie attempting to make something out of nothing. Expand

See all 11 User Reviews


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