Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 32
  2. Negative: 2 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    90
    A brilliantly honed tale of dementia, starring a skeletal Christian Bale as a tormented insomniac wasting away and terrorized by his irreal existence.
  2. Psychological suspense at its finest.
  3. 88
    Anderson gives The Machinist a sickly noirish look that contributes to the creeping horror - but it's the emaciated Bale's spectral presence that leaves the imprint.
  4. Bale is totally convincing, if not especially endearing.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 196 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 42
  2. Negative: 4 out of 42
  1. Oct 1, 2011
    8
    Director Brad Anderson's "The Machinist" provides a great script with precise dialogue. However the film mostly succeeds in shocking theDirector Brad Anderson's "The Machinist" provides a great script with precise dialogue. However the film mostly succeeds in shocking the audience by the amazing performance of Christian Bale. Full Review »
  2. Aug 20, 2014
    9
    The Machinist is absolutely riveting. Anderson has create the type of movie where the viewer never knows what's real and what's not, and thereThe Machinist is absolutely riveting. Anderson has create the type of movie where the viewer never knows what's real and what's not, and there is a reasonable doubt to everything. Once it is revealed why the situation is like it is, everything makes sense. Aside from that, Christian acts wonderfully and is obviously committed to the role with how much weight he had to lose. There are subliminal messages, red herrings, and many hints expertly scattered throughout, as well as some meaningful themes and values. For those who like this genre, it's a must-see. Full Review »
  3. Sep 20, 2013
    8
    What we have here is a disturbing, distracting but important thriller which explores the boundaries and broken states of not only the humanWhat we have here is a disturbing, distracting but important thriller which explores the boundaries and broken states of not only the human body, but the mind as well, powerful as it is, it can also deceive to the point of self-destruction and doubt of oneself. Christian Bale is the almost unrecognisable lead in this sombre and dark piece, he plays a machine worker in a factory by day, and sits in an empty airport cafe by night, trying to overcome his year long insomnia. When we meet him, he seems to be in an unhealthy yet manageable state, going about his life, but Bale cuts a gaunt and sunken figure, losing extreme amounts of weight to play the part if routine worker Trevor Reznik, a man who alienates his co-workers and does the exact same thing day in and day out, until something shakes his routine and he begins to experience horrific events that he cannot explain nor can he piece together. He turns to a call girl called Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh), the only real friend he has, to get a second opinion on his dilemma.
    The Machinist studies the effects of traumatic events and how one can choose to repress and forget, Reznik is an emaciated yet focused individual, living a life by black and white rules while also trying to keep on top of everything through sticky notes and cleanliness. While the film studies the emotional impact and aftermath of life-changing events, it often tries to hard to hide its predictable plot which begins to unfold, this definitely distracts what could have been a near flawless thriller, but the deliberate attempts to mask the unwinding story and the distracting appearance of Bale at a mere 121 pounds stop this from happening. But there is still a thrilling story and an excellent performance from Bale, who clearly throws himself into his work and commits to the experience, there are of course arguments about how much actors and actresses get paid, but this is a prime example of money well spent, while harmful to himself, Bale proves his loyalty and willingness to his work, the performance outweighs the sombre and often slow paced film, it has an overall decent approach, but inconsistencies and deliberate out of focus points towards the audience, stop it from being truly great.
    Full Review »