Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. It would seem the purpose of this movie, if not to deify, is to define -- and in this it fails miserably.
  2. 100
    Actually moves, whisking the audience on a funny, sad and extraordinary journey through a singularly compelling moment in American pop culture.
  3. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Remains a frustratingly opaque study. There's something missing, namely Kaufman.
  4. 60
    Though it suggests intriguing ideas about the nature of performance, humor, ambition, and the consumption of spectacle, the movie only superficially explores them.
  5. 88
    What is most wonderful about Man on the Moon, a very good film, is that it remains true to Kaufman's stubborn vision.
  6. It's not that the movie is bad; it's merely uninspired and relatively clueless about Kaufman.
  7. Less a biography than an essay on theatrical illusion and the changing nature of comedy. Love it or hate it, you've never seen anything quite like it.
  8. If this movie is a pedestal, it is far too tall and wide for a performer of Kaufman's stature.
  9. Jim Carrey's performance is an impersonation on the level of genius.
  10. Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    Jim Carrey is magnificent as Kaufman.
  11. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    Carrey's performance, and Forman's lively attempts to ask serious questions about the nature of comedy, keep it interesting. Certainly it's never dull.
  12. 40
    Regretfully, the beginning of this movie is as good as it ever gets.
  13. Reviewed by: Chuck Stephens
    The sort of sick humor even Andy Kaufman would have recognized as well beyond the pale.
  14. Unfortunately for Man on the Moon, Kaufman is definitely a person more interesting to hear about than to experience, an acquired taste few will be tempted to acquire.
  15. 75
    Carrey's amazing transformation in Man on the Moon does justice to Kaufman's undefinable talents and his peculiar outlook on entertainment.
  16. 63
    Unsuccessfully attempts to fathom Kaufman's lunatic sensibilities, supplying scant psychological insight into what made the outrageous comic tick.
  17. Carrey gives an otherworldly, possessed performance as Kaufman.
  18. 100
    Less a conventional biography than a performance film - one that stuns and delights.
  19. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Forman's decision to stick to the surface is probably, in the end, a wise one. Kaufman always wanted to keep us guessing, and this movie respects his wishes.
  20. 67
    Strictly texture, a romp over the surfaces of Andy Kaufman's life with not much insight into its core.
  21. 60
    You won't forget the way Carrey transcends mere impersonation to find the roots of Andy's torment.
  22. 40
    Too conventional to capture Kaufman's insanity and too haphazard, too shapeless, to recapture Kaufman's energy in any meaningful way.
  23. Though Man on the Moon is lost when it comes to Kaufman's inner life and motivations, it offers a detailed account of his career.
  24. A fascinating, sometimes profound curiosity.
  25. It offers no special insights into its subject, it doesn't connect on any higher level, and it left me feeling vaguely dissatisfied and let down.
  26. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    I bet that what Carrey saw from inside Kaufman's head would be more illuminating than anything in the movie.
  27. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    What is missing here, though it might have been the first thing expected from an ostensible film biography, is an answer to the simplest question: Who was Andy Kaufman, and how did he get that way?
  28. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Just gives us Andy, the pop postmodernist, and permits us to make what we will of him, which is a fascinating activity.
  29. Reviewed by: Sarah Raskin
    This Andy has "Oscar" written all over it.
  30. 50
    Milos Forman's film is a series of incredible simulations that never quite cohere into a movie.
  31. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    A movie of moments whose ultimate legacy may be to get Carrey out of formula comedies forever.
  32. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Never comes close to making the case that its subject is worthy of the viewer's interest.
  33. 40
    The filmmakers don't even attempt to give Kaufman an inner life.
  34. All credit to Carrey, whose one-man performance is almost enough to redeem the movie.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. May 27, 2014
    While as a whole, Miloš Forman created an almost mawkish depiction of the enigmatic Andy Kaufman, with all the cliché's of a biographical film. Jim Carreys almost uncannily identical portrayal of Kaufman, is not even an adaptation of the person, but a translation, something that' s seldom seen from palatable or even capable biographicals. It is his magnum opus, and the Academy Awards I think failed to recognize his comedic talent. Though the Golden Globes didn't, as they are more fair. Full Review »
  2. Dec 16, 2013
    Ok movie right here. Jim Carrey kills it, however, the rest of movie feels as though it's missing something, like something feels a little off (which I guess is appropriate). Full Review »
  3. Jun 3, 2012
    I had no interest or connection with Andy Kaufman besides liking R.E.M and pro wrestling, but Man on the Moon proved an entertaining and enlightening biopic. The movie is well made and has a truly excellent central performance by Jim Carrey. It doesn't really inspire me to check out Kaufman's body of work but it was definitely worth watching. Full Review »