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90

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 34 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Originally released in 1975, The Passenger is, on the simplest level, a suspense story about a man trying to escape his own life. This haunting film is a portrait of a drained journalist, played by Jack Nicholson, whose deliverance is an identity exchange with a dead man. The film was shot on location and takes Nicholson on an incredible journey through Africa, Spain, Germany and England. (Sony Pictures Classics) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    100
    What's most shocking about The Passenger 30 years later? Seeing Jack Nicholson at the lean, sardonic height of his youthful powers? Finding a Michelangelo Antonioni movie with an actual plot?
  2. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    100
    A rare chance to see a major cinematic work on the big screen.
  3. Still packs a wallop. It's also a movie with no easy passage to its dark heart.
  4. No other performer (Jack Nicholson) in an Antonioni film, except Jeanne Moreau in "La Notte," has so gracefully submitted to Mr. Antonioni and survived intact. (Review of Original Release)
  5. 88
    The script, co-written by Antonioni and Peter Wollen, focuses on a TV journalist (a superb Jack Nicholson).
  6. 83
    It's refreshing that something once considered terribly new and modern can still feel contemporary three decades later.
  7. It reminds one of "The Constant Gardener," another globetrotting thriller bereft of thrills that looks more important in retrospect than on the screen. Certainly, one man's trash is another man's masterpiece, and more power to the viewer who can stick with this deadpan travelogue and make it to the ending that actually satisfies.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 19
  2. Negative: 7 out of 19
  1. [Anonymous]
    Nov 13, 2005
    10
    Somehow simultaneously overwhelming and subtle. Wonderful cinema.
  2. Delysid
    Mar 2, 2006
    10
    I saw "The Passenger" in a film class at university years ago, and myself along with most others in the class found it to be one of the best things we saw during the whole 8 month class of two evenings a week, 5 hours a night. That's a lot of films, all of them classics, and "The Passenger" was among the top 3 for me. Expand
  3. DuncanK.
    May 4, 2006
    10
    [***SPOILERS***] The Passenger stars Jack Nicholson as David Locke, a journalist who has reached a point of extreme frustration during the process of making a documentary. Fundamentally unhappy with his own life, he discovers a fellow hotel guest dead in his room and decides to abandon his identity and revive the corpse Expand
  4. TimD.
    Nov 27, 2005
    9
    Enjoyed much more the second time around. I guess I am growing up.
  5. ClintH.
    Dec 27, 2005
    4
    I love Blow-Up and L'Avventura. I know my Antonioni, and his tendency to take big plot points and never follow through with them. But Nicholson is just a little too wooden and this is just way too boring. Expand
  6. JeffH.
    Jan 4, 2006
    2
    The story starts with a great premise and ruins it. The actors seem bored from start to finish, and by the end you don't care what happens to Jack Nicholson--you only hope the movie will end as soon as possible. I cannot believe that so many people think so highly of this truly bad film. Expand
  7. Bruce
    Nov 27, 2005
    1
    Critics, what are you writing about? I understand Jack did not want this movie re-released - now I see why. Although the movie had some great vistas, the whole, in this case, is much less than sum of its parts. SEE SOMETHING ELSE OR STAY HOME. Expand

See all 19 User Reviews

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