Miramax Films | Release Date: May 10, 1996
7.3
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 108 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
78
Mixed:
19
Negative:
11
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10
JakobSMar 2, 2008
Roger Ebert, certified moron, 'gave' this film a 38. This just goes to show how little critics know about film. This hypnotic, dreamy, black-and-white masterpiece is a culmination of everything I love about film. 10/10 is an Roger Ebert, certified moron, 'gave' this film a 38. This just goes to show how little critics know about film. This hypnotic, dreamy, black-and-white masterpiece is a culmination of everything I love about film. 10/10 is an understatement. Expand
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9
TomNov 3, 2005
The progression of Blakes character alone makes it an interesting watch, but by far the most captivating aspect of this film is how it challenges the western perspective of death, illustrated through the travels of a man in limbo between The progression of Blakes character alone makes it an interesting watch, but by far the most captivating aspect of this film is how it challenges the western perspective of death, illustrated through the travels of a man in limbo between progressing to the next world and being dragged back to hell. Neil Young's soundtrack, suitably minimalist, is testament to why it's more than ok to make films that don't follow the rulebook. I just wish I had of analysed this in my high school media class. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
jwApr 15, 2006
Sure, give the critics junk movies and they talk a big game about reducing fatty cinematography and artificially sweetened dialogue. But give them something truly healthy and they refuse to eat! ...This is a fantastic movie. For those who Sure, give the critics junk movies and they talk a big game about reducing fatty cinematography and artificially sweetened dialogue. But give them something truly healthy and they refuse to eat! ...This is a fantastic movie. For those who love allegory, this one is steeped. Jarmusch hinges the entire Westward Expansion period on the shoulders of just one man, and we follow him (to use an inadequate analogy) as a Forrest Gump of that day. [***SPOILERS***] Hopelessly misplaced for his own purposes, he is crucial to ours, for around him we see the slow conquest of America - not in the absurd pressed-collar gallantry of the Errol Flynn westerns, and neither in the vast and awesome mode of the Shakespearean "Big Country." This film, with its technicolor squeezed out, happens at ground level. It appears to contain every bit of throwaway information left out of all classic westerns. And from the casual train-window massacre of bison to the grim streets of an industrial outpost and the eventual slip into Redwood semiconsciousness, it all feels very near and urgent. A particular scene, when a trio of Indians appear like visions in the forest night is especially eerie and beautiful. The poetry of his namesake inexplicably precedes Blake, as does the price on his head. But he is neither killer nor poet, and these mistaken identities are but two in a series this movie presents in the process of supplanting all of our cardboard Cogburn narratives. Old school fans will delight at the presence of Robert Mitchum, who starred in 1955's "Night of the Hunter," a terrifying prairie thriller with an abstract eye not too far removed from that of a Jarmusch feature. And fans of Johnny Depp will find the origins to many of his now famous tics and mannerisms. Whatever call you think this movie might be sending you, whatever motivation you might have to watch it, by all means - answer. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
MarcusA.May 31, 2006
I am not going to give this movie a 10, many people think something is great and give it 10 just because they dont want to compromise the film in any way. But I honestly believe an 8 is a realistic rating, Dead Man is unique and beautifully I am not going to give this movie a 10, many people think something is great and give it 10 just because they dont want to compromise the film in any way. But I honestly believe an 8 is a realistic rating, Dead Man is unique and beautifully crafted (at the risk of cliched description). Dead Man is something that bolsters dialogue with carefully composed shots, as if each shot and frame were a photograph constructed for us to get taken by one moment that is captured. The movie runs the risk of being over analysed but it does have many underlying conceptual notions, such as the expressions of life and death, Christian inverted ideals and the nature of self discovery and change. Johnny Depp's William Blake is a believable one even in the surreal nature of his quest, and Gary Farmer's Nobody delivers his lines with a sense of lingering emotion as we struggle to catch up and connect to what he has said. If we take the movie as something to focus on conceptually but something that appeals to the visual senses then there is no choice but to be mesmerised. It delves into the nature of American culture, American Indian culture, life, death, and the relationship they all have with each other, these notions ringing true for modern conflicts as well. All whilst we as the viewer question the reality of the main characters situation and wonder these things about life and death yet still try to understand Blake's consciousness and thus the extent his journey endeavours. Each scene ending with a fade as to suggest his fading consciousness and the physicality of his situation, we question whether he is dead or alive or seeking something else. I don Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
TristanM.Dec 17, 2007
Hi Marcus Im only giving this 10 becuase its my favourite movie of all time. I am not a huge fan of Jarmusch's other works generally but i will give him his dues as an artist for producing this masterpiece. * SPOiLIERS * Poetic, Hi Marcus Im only giving this 10 becuase its my favourite movie of all time. I am not a huge fan of Jarmusch's other works generally but i will give him his dues as an artist for producing this masterpiece. * SPOiLIERS * Poetic, beautiful, hilariously black and so amazingly surreal you feel as though floating through one of those beautiful nightmares you have when with a fever. When Wiliam Blake is injured early on it doesnt take much to figure out he is headed for the afterworld with his Indian friend Nobody, or He Who Talks Loud Saying Nothing, as his guide. Blake is a regular joe accountant from the city who is thrust into unlikely and unlikeable situations, not least of all by Nobody, who single-handedly transforms the white man into the visionary poet of the same name. Blake is sorely and deeply injured, suffering from hunger and fatigue. This is his 'quest for vision' as Nobody puts it. The beauty of the film is in Blake's transformation into fearlessness while undergoing this quest, despite events consistently turning for the worst for him. Compare his inital reaction when faced with a gun in Dickinson's office to his coolly poetic execution of the sheriffs. I love Neil Young's soundtrack, beautiful, haunting and twisted. The way he adds chugging effects with repetitive thrumming on his guitar reminds me of the train scene at the start, and i get a feeling the train is a metaphor for the whole film. You know exactly where its going and you cant change direction or lay down more track. One slight criticism is that the soundtrack was overused at times toward the end, and could possibly have used more subtlety. The cinematography is briliant. So many stark and powerful images remain with me after this film, in part due to it being B & W but mostly because of the sheer variety of surreal scenes. This is Johnny Depp at his best, playing the maligned misfit perfectly. He has such enduring consistency to his acting which at times can make him a little predictable, but this role suited him to a tea. Gary Farmer is excellent and very funny as Nobody. The rest of the cast including a host of cameos were also excellent with consistently well-drawn characters. ok, all done. By the way if you like this film and enjoy challenging films I also love 'Requiem for a Dream'. Its definitely not for the faint-hearted though. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JonMJul 15, 2007
A real hidden Gem. This film is brilliant, even under the influence.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
NickH.Jan 22, 2006
I hold the belief that most critics are pretentious, hypocritical children out to earn a name for themselves as quote-whoring, hatemongers. I think some of the reviews for Dead Man only help to reinforce this. Could someone explain to me how I hold the belief that most critics are pretentious, hypocritical children out to earn a name for themselves as quote-whoring, hatemongers. I think some of the reviews for Dead Man only help to reinforce this. Could someone explain to me how critics - professional critics who earn salaries from major publications - keep their jobs while using words - like Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
HankChinaskiOct 20, 2011
One of the most essential movies Jarmusch has made, belongs in the hall of fame of American film. Loving the intertextuality of the film (if you like William Blake's poems, you will enjoy this film), and Neil Young's original score is one ofOne of the most essential movies Jarmusch has made, belongs in the hall of fame of American film. Loving the intertextuality of the film (if you like William Blake's poems, you will enjoy this film), and Neil Young's original score is one of the best I've heard. If you have a short attention-span, you might find the film tiring though - you need the right kind of mood and mental state for watching it, be aware of that, but dont let it put you off. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
SpangleNov 6, 2015
A film that is expertly made by director Jim Jarmusch, Dead Man is slow moving, but never becomes boring thanks to that great direction and a great performance from Johnny Depp. Considered an "acid western", the film stars Depp as anA film that is expertly made by director Jim Jarmusch, Dead Man is slow moving, but never becomes boring thanks to that great direction and a great performance from Johnny Depp. Considered an "acid western", the film stars Depp as an accountant who heads out west for a job and, once there, undergoes a major transformation and becomes a true western gunslinger. The film is also notable for a great performance from Gary Farmer as a Native American who helps Depp. The gentle and sympathetic portrayal of Native Americans living near whites is great and really helps bolster this one. All at once, Dead Man manages to be your typical western, but also manages to be completely unique within that genre, which is a weird place to be and makes this one hard to judge. However, thanks to great dialogue that is used only when needed, great performances from Depp, Farmer, and Michael Wincott, as well terrific direction from Jarmusch, it is tough to look away from Dead Man. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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10
XavierBlaqDec 28, 2013
Dead Man is a western-themed psychedelic tragedy with heavy comedic elements, something I did not know could even exist until I watched this movie. With decent acting, mind-blowing visuals, and high-brow comedy that left me either rolling orDead Man is a western-themed psychedelic tragedy with heavy comedic elements, something I did not know could even exist until I watched this movie. With decent acting, mind-blowing visuals, and high-brow comedy that left me either rolling or speechless, Dead Man impresses on all the common levels of cinema. However, beneath all this mind-boggling weirdness is a soul that, once found, can move one to think more about their own existence, as Blake does. Therefore, the film might be one of the weirdest movies ever, but it still has a heart whose beats can be heard through the excellent guitar work of Neil Young. Expand
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8
RobertBroganSep 30, 2015
Dead Man is not as cool as it wants to be but I have to admit I liked it. At times it is cheesy but at times the laid back, surreal vibe works. Also, I am a sucker for black-and-white photography. Better to not have high hopes when queueingDead Man is not as cool as it wants to be but I have to admit I liked it. At times it is cheesy but at times the laid back, surreal vibe works. Also, I am a sucker for black-and-white photography. Better to not have high hopes when queueing this one, but rather sometime give it a try and perhaps be pleasantly surprised. Expand
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10
fonzeaApr 21, 2020
As Jim Jarmusch keeps his cards close to the chest, we may never be able to fully unwrap the message in this mystery. However, whilst it may not be a film you enjoy, it certainly won't be one that you forget, and perhaps that's enough.
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