Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 127 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Trevor Reznik has not slept for a year. His every waking minute has become an unremitting nightmare of confusion, paranoia, guilt, anxiety and terror - each of which is part of an escalating series of clues that will lead to the source of his mysterious affliction. (Paramount Classics)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 32
  2. Negative: 2 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    A brilliantly honed tale of dementia, starring a skeletal Christian Bale as a tormented insomniac wasting away and terrorized by his irreal existence.
  2. Reviewed by: Don R. Lewis
    The Machinist is so brave and visually impressive, it should demand an audience.
  3. Never gives us the nuts and bolts of mental illness and guilt, just the sight of cooped-up steam escaping from a valve that’s about to blow.
  4. 60
    Anderson is a master of detail, from the film's ubiquitous fish motif to the elaborate carnival set piece that unfolds inside the claustrophobic confines of a spook-house ride called "Route 666."
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    The main, if not only, reason to see The Machinist is for Christian Bale's title performance, and even then you have to be a fan of hardcore martyrdom in the service of craft.
  6. 30
    Unrelentingly dreary, and seemingly destined to be remembered, if at all, as that movie Christian Bale lost a full third of his body weight for. It doesn't deserve any better.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 40
  2. Negative: 4 out of 40
  1. CraigA.
    Apr 26, 2007
    Hmmm... critics divided. General public not. This is an awesome film. Fight club meets Memento directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Watch it immediately.
  2. FredR
    Nov 16, 2005
    This is a visually beautiful movie and I'm sure I will watch it a few times, and I'm someone who usually only watches a movie once. I still can't figure it out but I'll have fun trying. Don't compare this to any other movies, it's truly one-of-a-kind. If Christian Bale and Jennifer Jason Leigh don't get nominated for academy awards then I don't know what the academy is looking for. I love jb young's review here, I can't really add much to that one. Bale and Leigh and the entire supporting cast should expect great things from the reception from this movie, it will grow in popularity for years to come. Congratulations to director Brad Anderson and writer Scott Kosar. It's a masterpiece. Expand
  3. JeffreyL.
    Jun 12, 2006
    I have a simple requirement for a movie to earn high marks: that the story be sufficiently interesting, the writing and acting sufficiently honest and convincing that they keep me thorougly immersed in the film. Few movies accomplish this. A single manipulative plot twist, or unconvincing characterization--as are abundant, for example, in Woody Allen's monumentally insipid recent hit "Match Point"--will catapult me pellmell out of the movie and back into the room where I happen to be watching. The Machinist lacked any of these shortcomings, and made for thoroughly engrossing, albeit intensely disturbing movie. I'm taking the time to write these comments because I feel so badly for filmmakers who do such a great job, then fail to receive the recognition they deserve, while pretentious, shallow drivel such as Match Point receives undeserved praise. More disturbing to me than the film were the off-the-mark critical reviews. The people who have rated this movie highly got it right. Therefore, I'll give it one bonus point, for a 9, rather than an 8. Expand
  4. Aug 22, 2011
    Sometimes a little slow but brilliantly asphyxiating, stressful and intriguing. You can't stop feeling bad for Trevor's behaviour and even though you know he's completely paranoid, a part of you still wants him to be right. Expand
  5. May 11, 2013
    Both emotionally and physically, Bale nails the character he portrays: Trever Reznik, an man that hasn't slept due to unknown events. As the movie progresses, you get dragged into it, realising what is what, how everything is starting to make sense, and a satisfying conclusion to leave you with. The most interresting thing, however, is Bale's appearence. As he is most known in recent days as the muscled Bruce Wayne/Batman, his skinny and rather surprislingly slender body makes you frown from compassion, feeling not only sorry for Reznik, but also admiring Bale's acting. Expand
  6. Jul 5, 2013
    This film makes you feel uncomfortable, but that's the point. Christian Bale is, once again, outstanding. You are with him throughout the film, believing his plight, asking the same questions his character does. The ending did, and at the same time didn't shock me by the end of it you get the feeling that you should have seen it coming! Expand
  7. Printninja
    Dec 1, 2005
    I picked The Machinist up out of curiosity, after hearing the hoopla concerning Bale's dramatic weight loss to get the part, and seeing the positive reviews. After Batman Begins it thought it would be intriguing to see what a "skeletal" Bale looked like, but it turned out to be about the same as seeing one of those poor starving dogs on a change can at the checkout counter in a convenience store. You look, you feel sorry for the dog, but you really don't care to know much more. Feed it, or put it out of it's misery. That's what I wanted to do to Bale's character in this movie. Instead, I had to sit through a plodding telling of a pretty boring tale. As provocative as the hallucinatory/psychotic effects from a year of sleep deprivation were, they just didn't make up for the flat, tedious story. Yeah, we knew SOMETHING big happened to make this guy so screwed up, and if the ending delivered that something big, I could have forgiven the rest of the movie for being so lifeless. Unfortunately, the satisfying ending I was expecting didn't happen. Nope. All in all, the Machinist left me hungry for something more... like a good story. Expand

See all 40 User Reviews