User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 67 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 67
  2. Negative: 8 out of 67

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Sep 12, 2014
    8
    On the surface Frank appears to be the polar opposite of Lenny Abramson’s prior works which were characterised by naturalistic dialogue and settings that emphasized the grey and drab side of Ireland. In contrast Frank sports a bright pallet and contains a group of incredibly eccentric characters including the titular Frank who wears a paper mache head. However, as the film progresses theOn the surface Frank appears to be the polar opposite of Lenny Abramson’s prior works which were characterised by naturalistic dialogue and settings that emphasized the grey and drab side of Ireland. In contrast Frank sports a bright pallet and contains a group of incredibly eccentric characters including the titular Frank who wears a paper mache head. However, as the film progresses the eclectic tone and colourful visuals gently falls away to reveal a heartbreaking meditation on mental illness.

    We meet our protagonist Jon (Domhall Gleeson) wandering the beach attempting to find inspiration for his music. He is a mediocre keyboard player and vocalist but passionate about his music. Jon is our entry point into the world of Frank as well as our narrator. The voice-over narration, a device which is usually used as a lazy substitute for acting, in this case is used effectively. Jon’s voice provides the chaos with some form of structure and allows him to have a conversation with the only character capable of having a conversation in the film; himself.

    Jon meets and quickly falls in with Frank’s band, the Soronprbs (which has a deliberately unpronounceable name). A band whose music is equal parts strange and wonderful. They are in need of a new keyboard player because, when Jon meets them, their current one is trying to drown himself in the ocean. In a darkly comic nod to This is Spinal Tap we later learn than Jon is actually their third keyboard player. The band is managed by Don (Scoot McNairy), an ex-mental patient due to his sexual preference for manikins. There are four members beside Don and Jon but two of them are never fully fleshed out. They are given the clichéd excuse of being foreign and we soon forget about them. The remaining two are Maggie Gyllenhaal in a wonderfully petulant performance as the Theremin playing Clara and Michael Fassbender as Frank.

    The gamble of casting Fassbender in a completely masked role pays off as he delivers surely one of the greatest masked performances ever. The range of emotion he is able to express through the paper mache head is outstanding and it goes without saying that this is his most humorous role yet (dark though it be). He benefits from a well written script but still carries the film with his fine physical performance.

    The first two-thirds of the film, while refreshingly unique, suffers at times from inconsistent pacing. The editing fails to balance the conflict between the choppy montage sequences and the meandering band practice scenes. Where the film brings itself together is in the final act when the bright mask of the film is removed to reveal something profound underneath. As I hinted to earlier, one of the running themes of the film is mental illness and it deals with this hard subject in a nuanced way.

    More interesting questions arise in the film but I feel that to discuss them would take away from the viewing experience. All I can do is encourage you to seek out this film. It’s not a perfect film but in a summer full of blockbuster disappointment it’s a distinctly original treat.
    Expand
  2. Sep 5, 2014
    8
    i felt more during this movie than any other movie released so far in 2014. some moments come out predictable, but i was really connected to the story. i think maggie gyllenhall gave a great performance, but it may take a while to get used to her. great alternative music as well.
  3. Sep 7, 2014
    5
    Weird and proud of it, this movie raises questions about art, mental health, talent and absence of it, and many others. Most of characters are so strange that one can't empathize with them.

    The seriousness of questions raised shows high potential of this movie but the script does not leave much room to implement it. I enjoyed some episodes but overall I would not say that I could recommend it.
  4. Sep 9, 2014
    6
    Frank is nothing you'd ever expect to see. That's part of what makes it such a treat. You'll quickly realize how fun it is to question art vs. popularity.
  5. Dec 14, 2014
    7
    A film about a group of people all damaged in their own way coming together to form a band. The film has a comedic tone at times but it also can very quickly turn rather depressing, occasionally to depressing. Overall the film is well made and acted and kept my attention throughout. B+
  6. Sep 24, 2014
    6
    Completely bizarre and littered with irreverent off-beat humour, Frank does boast a fantastic performance from Michael Fassbender and a mildly intriguing premise.
  7. Sep 10, 2014
    8
    It's strange story line and even stranger characters have enough chemistry to pull of a rather weird yet entertaining experience that brings back the unforgettable Chris Sievey and his music
  8. Oct 6, 2014
    7
    Frank is a part road movie, part comedy, but mostly it is about music. It is about the contrast of personalities of Jon and the band he joins.

    Jon, a wannabe musician, who never had it in himself, but is craving for mainstream success. On the other hand we have the mad band "Soronprfbs" led by the mysterious Frank who are actually superb in their skills but shuns mainstream
    Frank is a part road movie, part comedy, but mostly it is about music. It is about the contrast of personalities of Jon and the band he joins.

    Jon, a wannabe musician, who never had it in himself, but is craving for mainstream success.

    On the other hand we have the mad band "Soronprfbs" led by the mysterious Frank who are actually superb in their skills but shuns mainstream popularity.

    Luckily, Jon gets to join the Soronprfbs and he desperately want to get his big break, he always wanted to have, with the help of Frank and the band.

    This film is a coming of age tale of both Frank and Jon, who realizes how they don't need to fake their own realities.

    The film does get slow a couple of times, and is little wayward in its nature, but within a couple of minutes, it returns to the track and gets more engaging.
    Expand
  9. Aug 30, 2014
    5
    This dark comedy (which is often more dour than funny) is an ambitious, though largely unsuccessful attempt at a meditation on the merits of inspiration vs. commercialism, talent vs. self-delusion and genius vs. madness. Better pacing, a more coherent narrative and some extensive rewriting (not to mention less misleading marketing) may have helped elevate this project to what it could haveThis dark comedy (which is often more dour than funny) is an ambitious, though largely unsuccessful attempt at a meditation on the merits of inspiration vs. commercialism, talent vs. self-delusion and genius vs. madness. Better pacing, a more coherent narrative and some extensive rewriting (not to mention less misleading marketing) may have helped elevate this project to what it could have been, but what we're left with is a largely half-baked effort in love with its own tragically hip quirkiness. Expand
  10. Sep 7, 2014
    5
    A story of societies outcasts who band together to find sanity & purpose through music. It's not until you look past the surface of these characters that you see that each and everyone is a tremendously flawed human beings.
  11. Sep 18, 2014
    2
    Whatever you do don't see this, but if you are forced at gunpoint to see Frank, don't pay 16$ at the Arclight. The movie never settles on a voice, but I think was supposed to be tragicomic? Quirky? Is that the word? Painfully boring? Yes, that. Can Maggie Gyllenhall stop singing already? I liked when the one guy died, spoiler, because it meant one less inane character was around to babbleWhatever you do don't see this, but if you are forced at gunpoint to see Frank, don't pay 16$ at the Arclight. The movie never settles on a voice, but I think was supposed to be tragicomic? Quirky? Is that the word? Painfully boring? Yes, that. Can Maggie Gyllenhall stop singing already? I liked when the one guy died, spoiler, because it meant one less inane character was around to babble inanely. Go watch Paris Texas instead (they mention it in the movie). When this is on netflix instant in a month, still download it illegally. Expand
  12. Sep 29, 2014
    9
    This movie is a perfect example why I love music as an art.

    The music that the characters are trying to create is the best part of the movie. Their dedication and their love of music as an art made me enjoy this entire movie. The movie has a quirky sense of humor which is also one of the best parts of the movie. The jokes from the script felt naturally delivered and the comedic
    This movie is a perfect example why I love music as an art.

    The music that the characters are trying to create is the best part of the movie. Their dedication and their love of music as an art made me enjoy this entire movie.

    The movie has a quirky sense of humor which is also one of the best parts of the movie. The jokes from the script felt naturally delivered and the comedic timing is perfect.

    The concept of the movie about Frank in a mask is clever and it makes the movie the way it is. Quirky and charming.

    Michael Fassbender is a fantastic actor in this movie and even if you don’t quite see his facial expressions, you can sense that he is Frank, not Michael Fassbender playing Frank. Domhnall Gleeson also did a good job portraying his character Jon and Maggie Gyllenhaal, wow, her character is a **** and she did a great job portraying her, which might contribute why I like her despite she can be very unlikable with her purist hipster music attitude.

    The plot was really well-organized and it did not have any dull moments during the entire movie. It was very heart-warming without trying too hard.

    As regards to the themes of the movie, this movie cleverly delivered the themes about anxiety. Without spoiling too much, it explained why Frank has a mask in his head very well for me even though the full details on why he felt anxious is not clear. I am satisfied about this and it makes me think about why he has anxiety. It’s quite thought-provoking if you think about it.

    As much as I like the plot, the ending fell a bit short for me. It’s quite bittersweet and the events unfolded in the middle of the movie explains the ending’s bittersweet tone. But I felt like they could have done better with how the movie would end. Nonetheless, I like it, I expected better.

    If you love music as an art, Frank is the movie you should see with its quirky humor, clever concept, brilliant cast performance, heart-warming plot and thought-provoking themes about anxiety.
    Expand
  13. Oct 11, 2014
    6
    Frank works with a fairly tired premise: Band tries to make it big, but the weird and off-beat characters and premise make it stand out, not necessarily in a good way, from the rest.

    The performances range from pretty sub-par to very good, Domhnall Gleeson's turn as Jon is very forgettable. However, Michael Fassbender shines as the titular mask-wearing Frank, who's character is both
    Frank works with a fairly tired premise: Band tries to make it big, but the weird and off-beat characters and premise make it stand out, not necessarily in a good way, from the rest.

    The performances range from pretty sub-par to very good, Domhnall Gleeson's turn as Jon is very forgettable. However, Michael Fassbender shines as the titular mask-wearing Frank, who's character is both intriguing and strange. Maggie Gylenhaal's character was extremely annoying, though that was her character so I cannot fault her for that and I guess I can say she got the job done.

    The story, along with the band's music, kept me entertained until the third act where I feel the writers jumped the shark. I wont spoil what happens, but the last 30 minutes left me very dissatisfied and I have no doubt it will have the same effect with other people.

    Overall, Frank is a watchable band movie that can kill 90 minutes of your time. Although I didn't enjoy the film as much as I thought I would, I do not regret watching it. The standout part of the movie is the band's music, especially the song Secure The Galactic Perimeter. I find this odd as I found the movie's score was irritating and out of place, considering the band's music and score were written by the same person.
    Watch this if the concept intrigues you.
    Expand
  14. Sep 19, 2014
    6
    Frank is a wacky movie about a musician with a plastic head covering his real features. Despite all the oddities in the plot I was eager to see this film. However it did not live up to my anticipation. Frank cannot manage to hold my attention. I found the first half of the movie great but the last half continued to get more and more boring. I felt that Frank was not on display enough inFrank is a wacky movie about a musician with a plastic head covering his real features. Despite all the oddities in the plot I was eager to see this film. However it did not live up to my anticipation. Frank cannot manage to hold my attention. I found the first half of the movie great but the last half continued to get more and more boring. I felt that Frank was not on display enough in the film. Domhnall Gleeson overshadowed him in the role of Jon. There is some potential in Frank but its not quite what I thought. Expand
  15. Sep 2, 2014
    8
    Weird and fun but mostly weird.

    I'm sure this film is saying important things about fame and the unique combination of elements that must coincide to make music and art - but I'm too thick to get any of that.

    It was just a funny weird little movie about a funny weird little band that I enjoyed watching immensely.
  16. Oct 6, 2014
    7
    A nice little cautionary tale about knowing who you are. Although Frank might seem like the protagonist of the movie at first, this is actually more of a story about Jon, who wants to be like Frank even though Frank clearly isn't a sane guy. I liked how they used social media to show Jon's growing ego. Witty and well-paced, this film was highly entertaining. I only wish they delved furtherA nice little cautionary tale about knowing who you are. Although Frank might seem like the protagonist of the movie at first, this is actually more of a story about Jon, who wants to be like Frank even though Frank clearly isn't a sane guy. I liked how they used social media to show Jon's growing ego. Witty and well-paced, this film was highly entertaining. I only wish they delved further into Frank's mental problems. Expand
  17. Sep 28, 2014
    3
    I felt nothing but contempt for the movie characters and Frank in particular, the theme of the characters appeal seems to be "look at how weird and quirky we are" overall.. I if you're looking for an enjoyable film.. Do yourself a favor and avoid this title. The 3 out of 10 is for the time when someone got stabbed and then hit by a car.
  18. Nov 26, 2014
    9
    this film was great at being a great story with thought provoking moments. it had an amazing depiction of mental health and the coping mechanisms people use as well as how exposed someone should be at the time. everyone delivers an excellent a performance and michael fastbender delivers the performance of his career he really should be up for best actor at the oscars
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Sep 5, 2014
    60
    Yes, that makes Frank weird, but it's the kind of weird I can't get enough of.
  2. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Sep 3, 2014
    67
    Director Lenny Abrahamson establishes a twee tone early that renders tinny the transition into melancholy, and it’s a shame the film so clings to Jon’s perspective. The takeaway is as flat as Frank’s mask. Bemused smile, followed by deflated feeling.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Aug 28, 2014
    88
    A functioning, funny, weirdly touching fable of artistic angst and aspiration, a meditation on fame and its terrors and the metaphoric usefulness of masks and huge fake heads.