User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 107 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 107
  2. Negative: 11 out of 107
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  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.
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  2. 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+
  3. Jan 7, 2015
    10
    "Frank" is an unapologetically and poetically eccentric creation. It's a movie of many layers, whose offbeat humour and oddball charm belies a profound depth of insight and perception into difficult topics.

    To begin with, it is an extraordinarily drawn concept that is just as extraordinarily realised. Most films depend on certain elements to be consistent throughout in order for the
    "Frank" is an unapologetically and poetically eccentric creation. It's a movie of many layers, whose offbeat humour and oddball charm belies a profound depth of insight and perception into difficult topics.

    To begin with, it is an extraordinarily drawn concept that is just as extraordinarily realised. Most films depend on certain elements to be consistent throughout in order for the film to work. Frank is rather the opposite. It chops and changes with relish almost everything - from scenery to genre, characterisation to mood - to deliriously inventive effect, giving the film its own distinctive flavour that's a true pleasure to taste. It spits in the face of convention, taking familiar plot points down routes you would not expect them to go. It is a magnificently layered story and a commentary on such themes of artistry, individuality, talent and one of the most difficult topics to talk about in modern film, mental illness, which is given a superbly nuanced and wholly unexpected treatment here that is sensitive and soberingly heartbreaking.

    It is the story of Jon (Domhall Gleeson), an aspiring musician whose passion far outweighs his talent, yet manages to fall in with the avant garde outlet Soronprbs helmed by Frank (Michael Fassbender), an equitably weird and wonderful musical genius who is perpetually clad in a papier-mâché head (I told you it was weird.) The other band members are Don (Scoot McNairy), Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and two others who aren't afforded any real significance, focus or complexity in the plot.

    The most stunning accomplishment is that, in spite of all the eccentricity, the characters feel very, very real. There is genuine dimension to the performances by Gleeson, Gyllenhaal (she is particularly good, with a caustically tragicomic and layered turn as Clara) and McNairy. All three embrace their characters' flaws and use them to flesh out their portrayals, taking their most unlikeable qualities and realising them as their most human.

    And then there is Fassbender. Not many actors would find being clad in a ridiculously large prosthetic head a liberation rather than a limitation. From behind the mask, Fassbender communicates a wealth of emotions - naivete, ambition, genius, artistry and a desire to be liked and share his gifts, all in the face of a blackness that threatens to overwhelm his soul. It is a seminal portrayal of unprecedented complexity and originality. And this applies to the film as a whole. Anyone looking for a film to watch who desires something different does not need to look much further than Frank. There has not been such an individual work in a long, long time.
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  4. 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.
  5. Jun 1, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The extra ordinary movie, Frank is the story about the group sound. John is the amatuer keyboard player who want to be a great song writer, but he even can't merge a single lyric with the melody. One day, he met the band 'The Soronprfbs', had a chance to play with. But unlike his expection, the soronprfbs plays mysterious music which was written by Frank. The band became fame for the new keyboard player's youtube video, they got a chance to play at the music festival. However, the comflict between memebers was getting toughed, Frank and John faced critical situation. Although rest of the members didn't play the show, the weird duo go through the stage.
    The people who use SNS me included, want to notify how they feel, how they live, how they do, yes they want to tell everyone about themselves. Like John and Frank, even the band's great leader and song writer want to communicate with the others. It drives Frank in to thirst about the public's attention, finally it ruin everything. Same as Frank, all of us want to be loved one, even the genius, but we still feel lonely, while be loved, because humans are lonely island. We pretend to perfect and normal but we don't, humans are twisted and imperfection, so we should dance, sing, love each other for remedy our shortcoming, just like Frank did with the german lady.
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  6. Dec 31, 2014
    1
    What a bore of a movie. Half way watching the movie, I expected the story to kick in and get me interested. The movie was so bad, I watched 3/4 of it and couldn't finish it.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
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  10. 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.
  11. Mar 24, 2015
    5
    When a young man joins an oddball band, with a lead singer who constantly wears a paper mache head, he realises they could be the next big thing - if only he can contain their weirdness and try and make them more 'likeable'. An odd film, to say the very least, it is trying to say something about the cult of celebrity, fame and social media, but at its heart its a film about a man withWhen a young man joins an oddball band, with a lead singer who constantly wears a paper mache head, he realises they could be the next big thing - if only he can contain their weirdness and try and make them more 'likeable'. An odd film, to say the very least, it is trying to say something about the cult of celebrity, fame and social media, but at its heart its a film about a man with serious mental health issues. Because of this the whole thing has a underlying sadness and tragedy about it which reaches its peak in an emotional finale. A fascinating watch but ultimately borders on being voyeristic and slightly uncomfertable. Expand
  12. Jul 5, 2015
    6
    I was expecting a lot better than this. For me the film never really figured out what it wanted to be and, other than the mystery of what's under Frank's fake head, never really held my interest. None of the characters were particularly likeable and behaved in ways that never really made much sense. Ended on quite a flat note as well.
  13. May 10, 2015
    6
    One major gimmick of Irish director Lenny Abrahamson’s music drama-comedy FRANK is its star Michael Fassbender (the “it” actor presently) will only appear with a giant paper mask containing his head and never reveal himself in the entire film, but spoiler alert! It turns out that Lenny cannot keep the promise and allow Fassbender’s sex appeal (his face to be more accurate) to go untappedOne major gimmick of Irish director Lenny Abrahamson’s music drama-comedy FRANK is its star Michael Fassbender (the “it” actor presently) will only appear with a giant paper mask containing his head and never reveal himself in the entire film, but spoiler alert! It turns out that Lenny cannot keep the promise and allow Fassbender’s sex appeal (his face to be more accurate) to go untapped and be concealed inside that doll head. So in the last ten minutes, when our eccentric titular protagonist Frank (Fassbender) finally reveals himself without his shield to the outside world, a mixed feeling arises, admittedly Fassbender is my favourite actor among his generation, it is a surprise to see his visage (thanks to the deceptive publicity stunt) in the climax scenes of the film, a pathos-exuding music performance of the song I LOVE YOU ALL, written by the composer Stephen Rednecks. However at the same time, a part of me wishes Lenny Abrahamson could have had the guts to let Frank do the scenes with his mask on, keep the eccentricity running until the last drop.

    keep reading my review on my blog: please google cinema omnivore, thanks
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  14. Jan 12, 2015
    8
    Frank is a very quirky little film, but its uniqueness is what makes it all the more endearing. Brilliantly written and directed, Frank is a film that has a heart and a soul that is covered by its weird and, at times, off-putting exterior, but deep down at its core, this film truly has great emotion and is ultimately a very touching and beautiful film about this eccentric musician and hisFrank is a very quirky little film, but its uniqueness is what makes it all the more endearing. Brilliantly written and directed, Frank is a film that has a heart and a soul that is covered by its weird and, at times, off-putting exterior, but deep down at its core, this film truly has great emotion and is ultimately a very touching and beautiful film about this eccentric musician and his equally unique band. Michael Fassbender is absolutely stellar in the lead role, even if we do not really ever get to see his face. Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Scott McNairy, are also all very strong here. Though a very odd film, Frank is certainly funny, heart warming, and touching, in very unique ways and is also an interesting film about people suffering from mental illnesses. Expand
  15. Jun 14, 2015
    8
    A complex, intriguing movie which takes quite awhile to reveal its true themes. It also does a great job of keeping us off balance as to what constitutes "normal", and how eccentricity comes in many forms - from pretension to creativity to disease. Strange, but love the originality.
  16. 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.
  17. May 10, 2015
    8
    I think this film is pretty underrated! The direction is pretty nice in some parts and the acting is solid for comedy acting, but the laughs are hilarious. The laughs go along with the subject matter in both a hilarious and kind of sympathetic way. This is due to the two ways i chose to decipher the films meaning. It can be seen as a parody of the hipsters of our generation; wanting to beI think this film is pretty underrated! The direction is pretty nice in some parts and the acting is solid for comedy acting, but the laughs are hilarious. The laughs go along with the subject matter in both a hilarious and kind of sympathetic way. This is due to the two ways i chose to decipher the films meaning. It can be seen as a parody of the hipsters of our generation; wanting to be unique and individually noticed for their oddness but once they have any sort of following they turn against what they believed in. This also then results in the deteriorating mind of a hipster only taking a self deprecating look at themselves as they look for acceptance through not being seen as normal. On the other hand, the film can be seen as a touching glimpse into the eyes of the mentally disabled, showing they have their own creative tastes and they can become something great/iconic in themselves. It shows that they have qualities just as much as anyone else and that we should understand them and appreciate them for what they are and not try to change nor alter themselves, they must be accepted for what they are. It is the way that the directing delivers both an engaging/quirky storyline that can be deciphered seriously with the coolly delivered laughs that makes this film stand up. Well worth the watch! Expand
  18. 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
  19. 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.
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  20. Jan 4, 2015
    7
    A smart, offbeat comedic movie, "Frank" is carried on the back of its talented cast, while delivering a wholehearted story and a solid premise.

    7.5/10.
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
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  24. 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
  25. 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.
  26. 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
  27. Mar 28, 2015
    9
    One of those good indie films. Quaint humour, mixed with good music and an odd story. I wouldn't recommend this film to people who shy away from the bizarre, but for those who do, it's a real treat.
  28. 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.
  29. 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
  30. Jan 12, 2015
    7
    I was so fascinated by what I'd just seen that I had to immediately Google and learn about the true story behind Frank. There's a lot to unravel in this movie, but you can also watch it for the pure ridiculous entertainment of the premise. It's not perfect, there are moments where you are simply waiting for the next thing to happen, but I never stopped waiting anxiously to find out whatI was so fascinated by what I'd just seen that I had to immediately Google and learn about the true story behind Frank. There's a lot to unravel in this movie, but you can also watch it for the pure ridiculous entertainment of the premise. It's not perfect, there are moments where you are simply waiting for the next thing to happen, but I never stopped waiting anxiously to find out what would happen to Frank. Expand
  31. Mar 13, 2015
    9
    Oh Michael...when you think he has already impressed you enough he comes again and surprises you. Fassbender is amazing and manages to portray Frank in a way that you'll love him too. His charater has a mental illness, uses a big head and also has a strange way to make music. True. But you will fall in love with him and his personality. Frank steals the show and although his music is quiteOh Michael...when you think he has already impressed you enough he comes again and surprises you. Fassbender is amazing and manages to portray Frank in a way that you'll love him too. His charater has a mental illness, uses a big head and also has a strange way to make music. True. But you will fall in love with him and his personality. Frank steals the show and although his music is quite experimental and sometimes not very easy to enjoy, you will find a way to connect with it through the film. The other actors are stunning, specially Dohmnall and Gyllenhaal, but this is all about Frank. And Fassbender. Expand
  32. Mar 13, 2015
    9
    This has to be the most oddest, touching and funniest movie that I have seen this year. The movie is about a keyboardist looking for his big break joins an eclectic pop band fronted by the mysterious Frank - the lead-singer who never removes his paper mâché head. This is by far my favorite movie of 2014. The acting in the movie was freaking fantastic, the writing was well written and itThis has to be the most oddest, touching and funniest movie that I have seen this year. The movie is about a keyboardist looking for his big break joins an eclectic pop band fronted by the mysterious Frank - the lead-singer who never removes his paper mâché head. This is by far my favorite movie of 2014. The acting in the movie was freaking fantastic, the writing was well written and it was new and refreshing, not like other movie these days. The main character of the film Frank played by Michael Fassbender, and I have to say frank is the most interesting character in this whole film. The other characters in the film are interesting to but I think frank is most interesting to me. Expand
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.