The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) Image
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The Man Who Fell to Earth is a daring exploration of science fiction as an art form. The story of an alien on an elaborate rescue mission provides the launching pad for Nicolas Roeg’s visual tour de force, a formally adventurous examination of alienation in contemporary life. Rock legend David Bowie, in his acting debut, completely embodies the title role, while Candy Clark, Buck Henry, and Rip Torn turn in pitch-perfect supporting performances. The film’s hallucinatory vision was obscured in the American theatrical release, which deleted nearly twenty minutes of crucial scenes and details. The Criterion Collection is proud to present Roeg’s full uncut version, in this exclusive new director-approved high-­definition widescreen transfer. (The Criterion Collection) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jun 21, 2011
    100
    It may be time to stop calling Nicolas Roeg's sexed-up sci-fi film that vaguely demeaning term - a cult classic - and start addressing it as what it is: the most intellectually provocative genre film of the 1970s.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jul 14, 2011
    75
    Bowie, slender, elegant, remote, evokes this alien so successfully that one could say, without irony, this was a role he was born to play.
  3. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jul 21, 2011
    75
    It's not just the grainy stock and bad sound - technically, we've come a long way. It's the cheesy sex, the awkward edits, the hammy symbolism, the mix of art-house aesthetics and exploitation cliché. Strange creature, this is.
  4. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Aug 25, 2011
    75
    There's an inherent contradiction at the film's core: this sexually explicit motion picture, seemingly made by and for altered consciousnesses, is all about how an innocent newcomer falls prey to gin, sex, and television.
  5. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Jun 21, 2011
    50
    Undeniably long, Panavision-wide, but of questionable depth.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Oct 9, 2014
    9
    A compelling art film that still holds up to this day. Showing us the sins of violence, sex, greed, and corruption, The Man Who Fell to Earth does not hold back on moral and social issues. The cinematography is amazing, the story is intriguing and the acting is surprising. I mean, I wasn't sure if David Bowie was going to be able to carry a movie like this, but he was great. His performance of a detached, icy humanoid alien was one of the most fascinating aspects of this film. In conclusion, if you are into complex, challenging sci-fi movies, then I highly recommend The Man Who Fell to Earth. Expand
  2. Sep 11, 2011
    5
    A very, very, very weird movie (and I mean it). The summary says it all: this is ART. But art that was made more than 40 years ago doesn't always age without any hurt. The movie navigates between sex (a lot), the story and some scenes that are so totally bizarre that you will certainly laugh of it. The movie expresses some ideas but in a way that clearly shows the limitations of the special effects of that time: the first few minutes demonstrates it perfectly. Whereas it is understandable that effects couldn't be as good in 1976 as what we are used to see nowadays, the movie unfortunately got really old since it was released. The spectator is most of the time not transported, ideas are indeed presented in an old fashioned way that doesn't work anymore. The Man Who Fell to Earth isn't the worse movie of all times however. The acting of David Bowie is transcendent and the criticism of the society, that doesn't accept differences, is well done. But it's probably the weirdest movie that you will ever see. Expand