Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: Sometime between 8pm on July 1st and 7am on July 3rd, 2003, Doug Bruce lost himself. That morning, riding alone on a New York subway headed towards Coney Island, he could not remember his name, where he worked, who his friends were, how much money he had in his bank account. He was without his identity. Unknown White Male is the true story of how Bruce, a successful former stockbroker, struggles to learn who he was and who he will become. The documentary, produced, directed and edited by Bruce’s longtime friend, Rupert Murray, chronicles this profound journey. (Wellspring) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. The extraordinary subject and the filmmaker's near total access make for a singular documentary.
  2. While I don't entirely rule out the possibility that Bruce is a hoaxster, it seems more likely that his story is one of those weird scientific anomalies that more frequently turn up as an Oliver Sacks case history.
  3. A fascinating, somewhat frightening documentary.
  4. Crammed with friendly, sympathetic talking heads and pretty images of a stunned-looking Mr. Bruce, then 35, relearning life (he remembers how to walk but forgot family and friends), the film comes up frustratingly short when it comes to the particulars.
  5. Intriguing, not-terribly-probing documentary.
  6. The film as a whole has the gravitas of a really thoughtful rock video.
  7. Many are the times the viewer stares disbelievingly at the screen, furious with Murray for not asking follow-up questions or simply refusing to see the need to prove the veracity of the story.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 5 out of 7
  1. DanK.
    Sep 7, 2006
    While many of the criticisms of this film and Doug Bruce have some merit, for example, Murray
  2. RitaL.
    Sep 5, 2006
    A compelling documentary. The interviews were fascinating but the director often failed to elicit interesting follow throughs. The filler footage was often rather pointless, with shots of plastic bags on the street and the like. The bottom line is that this was extraordinary documentary material in the hands of a filmmaker with only average filmmaking skills. Nonetheless, some of it is strongly emotional. Cut down to 60 minutes, it could be much stronger. Expand
  3. May 7, 2011
    Nah. Whilst it has an excellent story the reluctance of the person to be involved in the project lets the entire documentary down. This can be seen by how the director tries to fills the void with 'vanilla sky' time lapse sequences but with an reluctant and somewhat boring subject matter. it fails to pass as a documentary worthy of even a final film student. Collapse
  4. Alex
    Feb 23, 2006
    Unconvincing, in the extreme.
  5. [Anonymous]
    Mar 12, 2006
    Even if it wasn't a hoax, it felt like reality TV at its most hokey.
  6. HerbertA.
    May 15, 2007
    Pretty fake in my opinion because he forgets some cute concepts( the taste of chocolate) and yet retains the understanding of some very complex concepts, such as governing, value of money, friendship and so on. Expand
  7. BenJ.
    Oct 1, 2006
    While the film was well constructed -- it was very much presented as if the subjects case of amnesia were authentic; briefly mentioning false cases exist without exploring the possibility in this instance. Case-in-point: the subject could not recall people, places, or the taste of any food -- re-learning what a strawberry was in one scene. Interestingly, the ability to speak, read, write, etc. are all intact. Hmmmmm. Expand