Metascore
75

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

User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 33 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: 8 out of 13
  2. Negative: 2 out of 13
  1. 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 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
  2. 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 Expand
  3. 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 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
  4. 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 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
  5. 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. Expand
  6. 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.
    Expand
  7. 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 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

See all 13 User Reviews

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