Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 26
  2. Negative: 5 out of 26
  1. 30
    The most lackadaisical thriller I've ever seen, overly infatuated with not only the inexplicability of random evil, but also its mundanity.
  2. 63
    Its mood of ennui and dread will haunt long after its title character's beaming grin has faded.
  3. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    The sly and subtle Minus Man is a wicked little sidewinder of a black comedy.
  4. 70
    Disarming-misfit story, which combines elements of a road movie, romance, small-town idyll, and police procedural.
  5. 75
    Low-key, understated style. The suspense beats away underneath.
  6. Minimalism be damned; even a postmodern noir needs more than Minus Man gives us. So do the actors.
  7. Excellent acting and a finely tuned screenplay spark this genuinely offbeat melodrama.
  8. 60
    Doesn't show us much of anything we haven't seen better already.
  9. With no climactic showdown and no comforting revelation of motive or reassuring psychoanalytic diagnosis, the nerve-rattling potential of this sly, paranoia-inducing story may sink in only later.
  10. 60
    Fancher seems uninterested in developing real suspense, or incapable of it, at least until the end, when there's plenty of it, but artificially imposed.
  11. 60
    A film without attitude or exquisitely executed, and exquisitely banal, treatise on the banality of evil.
  12. Eerie, quietly compelling... a fresh and mesmerizing experience...such an unsettling experience you find yourself still taking it all in well after the lights have gone up.
  13. 63
    It's a drab, familiar story with no oomph (and less humor than you'd think), and it's inconsistent.
  14. There are absolutely no psychological insights into sick minds in The Minus Man, a poky, opaque drama with a good cast and not much going on upstairs.
  15. A slow, self-consciously low-key, very dull film that strains for eeriness with long silences and affectless performances.
  16. 80
    A potent thriller that grows in intensity as the audience realizes that the character it likes most is most likely a nut job.
  17. Reviewed by: Jeff Stark
    If you're dragged to the theater to be someone's not-dumb date, pack a crossword and a light pen. It'll be the only puzzle worth solving.
  18. A half-baked disappointment...never flies, never comes close to meeting its own expectations.
  19. Fancher's placid, eerily subdued first directorial feature.
  20. The film ultimately has no contrast and we can't figure out whom to like or dislike.
  21. Takes such pains to avoid narrative and verbal cliches and anything that could remotely be construed as sentimental or romantic that it feels curiously flat.
  22. Really a big fat zero. Hampton Fancher has done the unthinkable -- he's made a boring serial killer movie.
  23. 50
    The banality of faceless evil isn't actually all that compelling on the hoof; the film's more interesting as a curiosity than as a film.
  24. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    There is no tension here. Actually, The Minus Man is minus a lot - intensity, a point of view, maybe even a point - and that equals an unsatisfying film.
  25. Reviewed by: Glen Lovell
    The kind of muted, anything-but-obvious psychological thriller Hitchcock would have loved.
  26. 70
    Less interesting for what it has to say about evil -- namely, that it's banal/unknowable/random/everywhere -- than for the microsurgical procedures it performs on genre conventions and expectations.

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