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75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 86 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A young wannabe musician, Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), finds himself out of his depth when he joins an avant-garde pop band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank (Michael Fassbender), a musical genius who hides himself inside a large fake head, and his terrifying bandmate Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal).
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Jan 26, 2014
    100
    This terrific and sublime experience, and strikingly original film, is mandatory watching for the adventurous viewer.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Jan 26, 2014
    80
    Helmer Lenny Abrahamson (“Garage,” “Adam & Paul”) puts the pic’s eccentricity to good use, luring in skeptics with jokey surrealism and delivering them to a profoundly moving place.
  4. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Aug 21, 2014
    80
    Odd, offbeat, somehow endearing, the bleakly comic Frank has its own kind of charm as well as some pointed, poignant things to say about the mysterious nature of creativity, where it comes from and where it might all go.
  5. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Aug 13, 2014
    75
    If Michael Fassbender wears a giant papier-mâché head for most of a film, is he still mesmerizing? Happily, yes.
  6. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Aug 18, 2014
    70
    Fassbender spending nearly an entire movie obscured by a giant fake head is such a had-me-at-hello idea that it’s disappointing that Frank never plumbs the fascinating questions it raises about performance, group dynamics, and mental health.
  7. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jan 26, 2014
    40
    The mash-up of elements combine with a singularly unpleasant roster of characters to create a work of genuinely off-putting quirkiness.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 23
  2. Negative: 3 out of 23
  1. 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"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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  2. 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
    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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  3. 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 toi 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. Expand
  4. 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.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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  5. 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, notFrank 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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  6. 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 toFrank 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
  7. 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 watchedWhat 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. Expand

See all 23 User Reviews

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