Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 772 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: The film's narrator (Norton) attends support groups of all kinds as a way to "experience" something within his unfeeling, commercial existence. On a business trip, he meets Tyler Durden (Pitt) who encourages them to form a fight club as a release for their latent aggressive tendencies.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 35
  2. Negative: 2 out of 35
  1. Delivers a sucker punch to the audience and then pulls the rug out from under it. It is sensational. It is also grimly funny.
  2. Reviewed by: Gemma Files
    It always surprises, never bores. It's also just damn good, on every possible level -- so go see it. Now.
  3. 89
    Fight Club's dirty little secret is it's one of the best comedies of the decade.
  4. It's visually surrealistic, acted with integrity, so brutal in spots that I averted my eyes.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    It's fun to talk about...but the price you pay is enduring its excesses and pummeled-home thematic points.
  6. 50
    But the second act is pandering and the third is trickery, and whatever Fincher thinks the message is, that's not what most audience members will get.
  7. If, as Fincher has said, this movie is supposed to be funny, then the joke's on us.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 195
  1. Oct 28, 2010
    Fight Club is multi-faceted movie about a man who is deeply unsatisfied with his life in the modern age, even with all the trappings of success that much of our society is based on, and decides to go off the beaten path to find his own personal satisfaction. From that point on the movie spirals out of control and into the abyss. This is a good thing. The movie holds many meanings and shows the characters in favorable and unfavorable ways. It does not try to cast things in a typical good and evil view point, nor does it say whether the choices the protagonist and the rest of the cast make are sound ones. One of the things it does do is look into the nature of our past, viewing the structure of our society and analyzing why we do what we do to live. It isn't until the narrator (Edward Norton) begins to destroy himself that he finally comes to realize what matters to him. That is when he meets two important characters, Marla Singer and Tyler Durden. It is during this time that the narrator escapes from his normal life by hosting with Tyler an underground fight club that evolved from the two just fighting outside of a local bar. Taking in Tyler's view on life, which is somewhat refreshing and scary at the same time, they form a close bond strongly resembling a married couple. The two do everything together and the narrator begins to emulate Tyler more and more, all the while the fight club grows stronger and stronger until it has become this cult-like phenomenon with Tyler and the narrator as leaders making rules for conducting fight club. Anarchy and non-conformity is their message, which I believe is meant to underscore the irony of fight club and their non-conformist, fight the man attitude. As the group evolves into something more dangerous, this irony becomes more apparent in the way those who once questioned the established authority, now blindly follow their "non-conformist" new group. Its been a little over a decade since Fight Club "enlightened" me, but it still gives me the same conflicting feelings about its message and the nature of humanity in general. There are those who would take it at its face value and see nothing but frustrated, grown men beating each other senselessly, and that's a shame because there is definitely much more going on then that. David Fincher has crafted an excellent movie: it's disgustingly stylish in its execution...almost too much, if that's possible. The sound track, done by the Dust Brothers burrowed it's way into my brain and never left. The movie would not be the same without it. As far as the actors performances, Ed Norton and Brad Pitt both have a strong rapport and the scenes come off naturally, while Helena Bonham Carter's Marla is hauntingly tragic, and filled with a desperate, but subtle sadness to her. At the time of the original screening this movie polarized people into the two camps of love or hate, due to it's ability to offended or amaze, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Too often are movies eager to please. This one strives to offend and cause questions...and I love it for that. Expand
  2. Jun 5, 2012
    Highly nihilist, you should not think that the film is stupid because the scenario (especially the final) is unrealistic, no, you'd just think about what's behind it. Course, if you've seen this film thinking "hey, i'm gonna see Brad Pitt fighting hard, yay !" it could be a little bit destabilizing because it's MUCH MORE. Expand
  3. Jul 22, 2013
    Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, how could you? I fear you just don't understand it. Well the audience obviously has proven its good taste here so consider yourselves proven wrong by the User Score. No offense though, I just had to say it :D Collapse
  4. May 10, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Lots of movies try to be daring. Lots of movies try to be hyper stylized, interestingly crafted, confusingly brilliant, and narratively abstract. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, actually I love different, but what I'm trying to say is that everyone tries to be "the first" and no one does a better job at creating something like that than Fight Club.
    Fight Club is the definitive perfect movie. Not one movie does what this movie has accomplished and I don't think any other movie will ever do something like this again. It's the exact definition of abstract and I think that is a beautiful thing. There's a lot I have to say about this movie because this one is very near and dear to my heart and I know it is with a lot of other people too, but I also know that a good amount of people also hate this movie, but that's just part of the beauty. It has the unique ability to both be worshiped, and be despised all at the same time. I'm a worshiper.
    If you haven't seen Fight Club you will probably guess that it's all about two guys who create a club that lets people release their aggression by beating each other to a pulp. Well, that is a part of it, but a surprisingly very small one. That's just the background, not only is Fight Club one of the most narratively abstract movies I have ever seen, it is also the movie with the most underlying themes. Fight Club is about much, much more than just fighting.
    You may have heard the line, "this is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time." Well, I live by that line, literally. This was also the first lesson that I picked up from this film full of great lessons, you have to live your life to the fullest. You shouldn't care what other people think, do it for yourself and do it quick because the clocks ticking. This brings us to our next lesson. Edward Norton plays the main character known as "the narrator." We meet him as a traveling automobile company employee who has insomnia. This character is a very interesting character because he goes through a very large change throughout the movie. Before he meets Tyler Durden he is known as the "everyman." He is emotionally unstable and he tends to put all of his worries and fears into his possessions and he is one of those people who has to hold onto his structure and have everything straight and tidy and it becomes a problem. That is the next lesson, you have to let go. The average human is stuck in a box going about their average days going through their daily cycles until they go to bed, and they could be doing a lot more. "You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake." So embrace that and use it to your advantage. Embrace the fact that God may not like you, "we are God's unwanted children, so be it!"
    Now let’s talk about Tyler Durden for a second. This guy is indisputably the coolest character in all of movies, ever. You see him and your just like, I want to be him. The best part about him is that he is relatable in the strangest way. I can relate to him although he is completely insane. Even though he is completely insane, he does in a way symbolize all of us, but in our most free state. Tyler Durden is free; he is chaos, which is the exact opposite of Edward Norton. This then ties in with our next theme, freedom. The fight club that is created is in every way illegal, and the whole point of it is to get away from all the rules and your dull and normal life. “At the end of a fight, nothing is resolved yet nothing matters.” That tells you everything you need to know about these people. The first two rules are “you do not talk about Fight Club,” as you probably know. Rules? Yes, there are rules in fight club, but rules are meant to be broken. How can Fight Club spread if no one talks about it? That’s the point; Fight Club thrives on the breaking of its own rules because the whole point of it is to set you free from rules. It’s not even with those first two rules either. In the movie there is a fight between Edward Norton and this other guy and Norton literally beats the living hell out of him breaking the third rule, “when someone says stop, or goes limp the fight is over.” Afterward Norton says that he was feeling destructively beautiful and that’s all that matter in the end.
    Fight Club is a movie for the generations. It is a cult masterpiece that will never seize to amaze and disturb its viewers. It is a polarizing film and I am proud to say that I am a part of the following. Never believe that it’s all about the fighting, it’s not. It’s about much, much more than that and even with all the blood and violence; this movie shines as a disturbingly beautiful film. David Fincher does an outstanding job with the directing which is masterful to say the least and the two leads kill it. Plus with a surprise twist that you will never see coming, this movie just brings more and more to the table. A brilliant and yes, beautiful film that I wish to show my children one day.
  5. Jan 7, 2013
    It's a sense of bewilderment after a film like this that comes around from your belief that what you just saw was completely abysmal, or simply genius. I'm the latter.
    This film was right on so many levels, not the soap fetish, not even Meat Loaf with breasts, this culture shock was just so good that it was expert cinema, a mind numbingly painful film to wrap your head around, but somehow makes sense in its own twisted way.
    Starring Ed Norton, Brad Pitt, and Helena Bonham Carter, Fight Club centres around Norton's unnamed character, who finds little creativity and interest in his routine white-collat job.
    He falls upon Tyler Durden, excellently played by Pitt. Durden is a wonderfully disturbed man, bursting with ideas and philosophical whims that reach out throughout the film. Initial screenings of this to company executives where met with distain. its easy to see why. This is not a film to be viewed lightly, its themes and content will not be met with an enjoyable stance. But that it was makes this film so enjoyable, uniqueness, rarity, symbolism and unconventional.
    the fast-paced nature of David Fincher's film maintains the setting and plot line which will exceed nyones expectation of what they may or may not expect from this movie.
    Norton is playing an exceptionally different character from his neo-nazi turn a year earlier in American History X, showing id diversity for any role given to him. Pitt excels as the brilliantly clever, funny but shady Tyler Durden. Bonham Carter is well cast as Marla Singer, how these two meeting is of particular interest, first outlining the dark humor within this film which persist throughout.
    Yes the film is sometimes muddled, and in several scenes it will have you wandering "whats the point?", but that aside, this film does deserve the 'cult' status it now holds, it is simply displeasing to many due to its differential approach to such a common theme, how to change the world, this film won't do this, but it will certainly turn heads to see what's making all the noise.
  6. Apr 30, 2013
    Very nice movie, Edward Norton is an amazing actor, also brad Pitt.
    I like the story, is unique, creative and unexpected. In the end all come
    consistent. Expand
  7. May 25, 2011
    A classic that does not deserve to be one. The acting performances did not impress me (except from Helena's) the movie has some illogical sense in it & the director made it into a big bunch of surreal mess. Expand

See all 195 User Reviews


Related Articles

  1. When Film Critics and Movie Fans Disagree

    When Film Critics and Movie Fans Disagree Image
    Published: August 10, 2011
    Sometimes, movie reviewers as a group appear to be out of sync with Metacritic users. We look at the films with the biggest discrepancies between professional critic scores and the user consensus.