Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 16
  2. Negative: 8 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Director Tony Scott's stylistic flourishes haven't been put to such creepily seductive use since The Hunger.
  2. There's no denying that Scott is a wizard of the narcotic-flash school. In The Fan, he uses his chromium-edged technique to evoke a dread-saturated consumerist America in which the most beloved institutions have grown mercenary and hard.
  3. Tony Scott's vigorous direction is sometimes too vigorous. Loud rock music underscores many scenes, and Scott's habit of shooting at odd angles begins to seem like a mannerism. But on the whole his ambitious attack helps make The Fan entertaining in the moment, even if it's forgettable immediately afterward.
  4. Something about baseball seems to bring out the silly side in moviemakers -- even in a movie like The Fan, which starts out well-crafted and deadly serious and seems to have good enough actors and a savvy enough director to stay that way. But halfway through this thriller things go haywire. [16 Aug 1996, p.D]
  5. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    The Fan isn't a strikeout, but it doesn't exactly knock the cover off the ball, either. It's more like a soft pop fly, taking its time before settling very predictably into a waiting fielder's glove. [16 Aug 1996, p.D3]
  6. Good performances are mostly wasted. Phoef Sutton's adaptation of the Abrahams' novel is poor, it works to an absurdly unlikely and dramatically dishonest must-hit-a-home-run conclusion, and - though it tries here and there - it has absolutely nothing new to say on the subject of fan obsession. [16 Aug 1996. p.30]
  7. Reviewed by: Mark Salisbury
    The rapid-fire editing and glossy photography can't disguise The Fan's hollowness or De Niro's phoned in performance. A disappointment.
  8. 40
    Hollow, predictable, and too glitzy for its own good, The Fan never even makes it to first base.
  9. The film's elegantly tricky cinematography and ominous, pounding score by Hans Zimmer (provocatively juxtaposed with the Rolling Stones), only underline the emptiness behind its technical flash.
  10. 30
    This preposterous stalker flick, in fact, has less to do with America's favorite pastime or Gil's psychosis than with Hollywood's own obsession with blood sport. And for all British director Tony Scott knows about baseball, the thing might as well have been set in a cabbage patch.
  11. Reviewed by: Dave Hoekstra
    The Fan would have worked better had it dissected the mechanics that shape celebrity adulation. Instead, The Fan takes a knife-wielding action route that leaves film fans feeling - dare I suggest it - cheated? [16 Aug 1996, p.35]
  12. My guess is you'll probably have more fun watching a game at the ballpark than you will at The Fan.
  13. 25
    Aside from Snipes' well-tuned performance and a few clever scenes detailing superstar marketing, this picture is a veritable wasteland. Even watching the horror show that the real Giants have become during the 1996 season is more fun than this. The advertising slogan may be "fear strikes soon", but, when it comes to The Fan, fear, like the movie, strikes out.
  14. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    De Niro's performance begins to seem more a matter of well-practiced gestures than real conviction, and the long, silly finale more an exercise in empty panache by director Tony Scott than a truly gripping suspense piece involving people we care about. [26 August 1996, p.61]
  15. Mr. Scott's idea of making movies is to bludgeon or deafen his audience with every scene. In another line of work he'd be certifiable. [16 Aug 1996, p.A8]
  16. Even in thriller terms, nothing rings remotely true here, with even the baseball action--including a game that is not called despite enough rain to unnerve Noah--laced with a heavy dose of preposterousness.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jul 8, 2011
    This isn't a great movie by any stretch but it kept me interested and the story was well paced. Also you get another very solid performance from Robert De Niro and Wesley Snipes does a solid job. The movie also gives a cool perspective on how some fans take things far to serious and the stress players feel under the bright spotlight of professional sports. Overall not a must see but not a bad watch if you catch it on TV. Full Review »