A24 | Release Date: December 9, 2022
7.8
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 50 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
40
Mixed:
6
Negative:
4
Watch Now
Stream On
Review this movie
VOTE NOW
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Check box if your review contains spoilers 0 characters (5000 max)
9
CalvinCrackDec 10, 2022
Great great movie. Brendan and all the other actors brought their A-game to this. Aranofsky and Libatique do a wonderful job of telling this story emotionally and visually, especially given the limited scope of setting. Most importantly IGreat great movie. Brendan and all the other actors brought their A-game to this. Aranofsky and Libatique do a wonderful job of telling this story emotionally and visually, especially given the limited scope of setting. Most importantly I thought the film (/play) was well conceived and written. It’s a very human tale about grief and addiction that I think anyone can relate to, even if they aren’t 600lbs. Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
All this user's reviews
9
CalamityJayDec 11, 2022
This movie left me in awe at Brendan Fraser. The man completely disappeared into the role, and made me feel empathy for his 600lb. character. Give this man the Oscar! There are times where I pitied him, and other times I felt sorry for him.This movie left me in awe at Brendan Fraser. The man completely disappeared into the role, and made me feel empathy for his 600lb. character. Give this man the Oscar! There are times where I pitied him, and other times I felt sorry for him. The movie does a great job of creating a sense of hopefulness and joy in a depraved world. Hong Chau and Samantha Morton give great supporting performances. The setting makes you feel like you're with Brendan throughout most of the movie, and it helps to connect with you in a heartfelt way. Sometimes, the movie is difficult to watch because of certain "scenes," but ultimately, it's a tragic story about a man living with the mistakes of his past and trying to push forward. Definitely give this a watch! Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
All this user's reviews
7
moviemitch96Dec 20, 2022
Brendan Fraser stars in what's being hyped up as his major comeback performance (and rightfully so) as a reclusive, morbidly obese 600 lb online English professor who makes one final desperate attempt to reconnect with his estranged teenageBrendan Fraser stars in what's being hyped up as his major comeback performance (and rightfully so) as a reclusive, morbidly obese 600 lb online English professor who makes one final desperate attempt to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter years after leaving her and her mother for a man he fell in love with. Directed by Darren Aronofsky ('Requiem For a Dream', 'The Wrestler', and 'Black Swan' just to name a few), and adapted from the stage play of the same name by Samuel D. Hunter, this intimate and personal look at a man who's seemingly lost everything and makes one last desperate bid for redemption in an effort to cling onto the one thing he let go of that he regrets the most is a rather Oscar baity-seeming film from a distance (and is most certainly is in some regards.) However, it's also full of heart and empathy (at least at times.) Certain characters, insults, lines of dialogue, etc. can't help but come across as overly harsh and fatphobic at times, but in other moments, the film is a powerful reminder and reaffirming look at the goodness of people that's often enough to reassure many viewers of the kinds of people that can and do still exist in this world. Fraser's hype lived up to every expectation of mine. He is simply phenomenal and deserves every accolade that comes his way (including an Oscar hopefully.) He's bound to rip out just about any viewer's heart. Even the supporting players turn in strong performances, with Sadie Sink of 'Stranger Thing's fame as his stubborn and rebellious daughter, and Hong Chau as his tough-loving nurse. Samantha Morton also briefly appears in one memorable scene as his ex wife. While the film itself sometimes feels cloying and forced with emotion, and the ending came off as a little sappy and corny to me, the emotion and heartache felt by the end is mostly well worth it thanks largely in part to Fraser and the rest of the cast's bold performances. This is an actor's film more than anything. It definitely takes center stage over the story, writing, etc. Overall, it's certainly a heavy watch (no pun intended there), and despite feeling like forced Oscar bait and artificially emotional at times, it's Fraser and his strong supporting cast that truly elevates this film into something greater. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
0
praneelrajaDec 24, 2022
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I was hoping it would be a good film. The film wasted my time. To put it short the Brendon does not learn his lesson and ends up dying. Expand
1 of 4 users found this helpful13
All this user's reviews
7
TomMondayDec 10, 2022
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Sometimes you just write words into the internet so you can see how they sound on the outside. Sometimes someone reads those words. Expand
1 of 13 users found this helpful112
All this user's reviews
7
TVJerryDec 22, 2022
When actors go above and beyond to create a physically challenged character, it often gets noticed at awards time. That buzz is certainly around Brendan Fraser, who dons a fat suit to play a homebound 600-pound English teacher. TheWhen actors go above and beyond to create a physically challenged character, it often gets noticed at awards time. That buzz is certainly around Brendan Fraser, who dons a fat suit to play a homebound 600-pound English teacher. The impediments and challenges that a morbidly obese person faces are explored, but the story also delves into the personal struggles that lend humanity to the character and drama to the narrative. Fraser's sensitive portrayal in deeply touching and the other members of the small cast contribute effective performances. The fact that this was adapted from a stage play becomes apparent when the situations sometimes get repetitive and the interactions seem emotionally claustrophobic. Director Darren Aronofsky has created a low-key tension throughout, but the climatic scenes aren't as powerful as Fraser's performance merits. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
moviecritic68Dec 25, 2022
Not sure why the word comedy was used in the genre description. Nothing funny about this movie. Well filmed and acted but some scenes were disturbing to watch. Not a movie for the light-hearted. Brendan Fraser was great portraying his character.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
6
ccateniDec 20, 2022
When the film ended, the cinema was in silence.
I'm not sure if this is a good thing...
I personally thought it was a well made film, but with little rewatchability due to being so depressing to watch.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
TyyroneMuggaJan 22, 2023
Interest 10/10
Characters 9/10
Cinematography/Set 8/10
Story 9/10
Acting 9.5/10
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
IsteffyDec 16, 2022
Most of the negative reviews here are trying to paint this picture as fatphobic, or saying that it was inappropriate for someone to wear a fat suit. Please ignore these health-ignorant reviews and try to view this as the fine filmmaking itMost of the negative reviews here are trying to paint this picture as fatphobic, or saying that it was inappropriate for someone to wear a fat suit. Please ignore these health-ignorant reviews and try to view this as the fine filmmaking it is.

Brendan does a fantastic job, and really reminds me why I loved him so much in his early movies. The movie is not your typical hollywood movie and most of it takes place in one room. This is a movie for those who appreciate good filmmaking and writing.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
5
MarkHReviewsJan 25, 2023
In “The Whale,” actor Brendan Fraser (“Crash,” “The Mummy” series) is transformed by prosthetics into a character so morbidly obese that simply rising from a chair represents superhuman effort. Director Darren Aronofsky (“The Wrestler,”In “The Whale,” actor Brendan Fraser (“Crash,” “The Mummy” series) is transformed by prosthetics into a character so morbidly obese that simply rising from a chair represents superhuman effort. Director Darren Aronofsky (“The Wrestler,” “Black Swan”) confronts us with this spectacle, then dares us to look away. Aronofsky also injects a few familiar elements into the proceedings – an anguished protagonist, surrealism and a general sense of melodrama.

In this chamber piece, Charlie (Fraser) has congestive heart failure. He’s literally eating himself to death. In Idaho. He’s unable to leave his claustrophobic, poorly-lit apartment. He spends his time teaching online classes in creative writing and receiving caretaker visits from Liz (a fantastic Hong Chau – “The Watchmen TV series). Realizing that he is in his last days, Charlie makes a final effort to reconnect with his daughter Ellie (Sadie Sink – TV’s “Stranger Things”). As they story unfolds, the moviegoer learns that Charlie abandoned Ellie when she was eight because he fell in love with a male student. Unsurprisingly, Ellie has some anger and abandonment issues.

One of the fascinating elements of this film is Charlie’s steadfast optimism. When Ellie’s mother describes her as evil, Charlie rises, metaphorically, to her defense. It’s an intended irony that Charlie is able to offer powerful grace and absolution (there are a fair number of theological themes here) to nearly everyone but himself.

Throughout, “The Whale” feels much more like a play than a movie. It was originally a stage production, with playwright Samuel D. Hunter acting here as the screenwriter. Some of the “action,” dialogue and staging are never translated effectively to this different medium. It becomes a distraction when the actors sometimes seem restricted to broad movements and loud voices, mannerisms that don’t work well with Aronofsky’s camera inches from their faces.

It’s hard to know how to react honestly to Fraser’s performance. It’s a long Hollywood tradition to respect, even revere, actors who go through dramatic physical transformations. Think Christian Bale in “The Fighter,” Charlize Theron in “Monster,” Joaquin Phoenix in “The Joker,” or most recently Glenn Close in “Hillbilly Elegy.” Here, Fraser does a wonderful job of showing the humanity and humor of a character who could easily be singularly unappealing. But I’m not sure it’s worth the Oscar buzz generated by many professional critics.

Ultimately, “The Whale” is a study in inconsistency. Its paradoxes can be summed up by one of the key scenes where Charlie earnestly applauds and encourages the members of his online class who have made the effort to reveal themselves by expressing their own hard-earned truths. It’s ironic that this exhortation comes from a character whose enormous bulk is clearly used to keep everyone away.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
NOOTNO0TJan 23, 2023
This film goes against most films in the modern day and I really hope that it's filmography and storyline isn't repeated. This film gets it right and it's story doesn't need to be butchered. Brendan Fraser's performance was phenomenal in thisThis film goes against most films in the modern day and I really hope that it's filmography and storyline isn't repeated. This film gets it right and it's story doesn't need to be butchered. Brendan Fraser's performance was phenomenal in this film and It definitely isn't a feel good type of film but when you need it you definitely need it. I recommend this film too anybody who can handle its very real feeling story. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
4
Stream2BigScreeDec 30, 2022
Hey, Streamers! I hope you had a good holiday and you're ready for some more awards hopefuls. I was able to get to a theater to catch The Whale. I've been hearing a lot about an awards-worthy performance and comeback from everyone's favoriteHey, Streamers! I hope you had a good holiday and you're ready for some more awards hopefuls. I was able to get to a theater to catch The Whale. I've been hearing a lot about an awards-worthy performance and comeback from everyone's favorite man from Encino, Brendan Fraser. Here's whether the performance and the movie around it live up to the hype. (Spoiler Alert: It doesn't)

Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream) directed the The Whale, which is based on a play by the same person who wrote the screenplay, Samuel D. Hunter. Brendan Fraser plays Charlie, a 600-pound man who is attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter, Ellie (Sadie Sink), in his final week of life. Charlie has one friend, Liz (Hong Chau), who provides some care for him but she also enables his worst impulses at times. Other characters pop in and out of Charlie's cloistered apartment as he fumbles through teaching an online writing course while binge-eating himself to death. A barrel of laughs ensues, he said sarcastically.

The Whale desperately wants to be a tearjerker. Charlie is set up as a tragic figure, and the movie tells the audience that Charlie knocking on deaths door. Everything about this character says pity this man. The problem is that the movie is so overwrought that it leads towards the comical. The worst offense is the poor makeup job and fat suit that Brendan Fraser is encased it. On top of that, Brendan Fraser is doing the absolute most - and not in a good way - with his performance. He desperately wants that Oscar with the way he screams and cries throughout this melodramatic bore. Also, there is a bad performance by Sadie Sink as the angsty teenager. She is the worst person in the world, and Sink does nothing to humanize her. Both Charlie and Ellie become caricatures, which is ultimately very tiresome and off-putting.

There really isn't much else to The Whale. It is a movie that is very obviously based on a play since it is stuck in one location and characters come in and out of the scene. This material may work better on the stage than on the big screen, but the screenplay is pretty bad. The obvious metaphor with Moby Dick, which Charlie references constantly throughout, is so annoying that if you are not rolling your eyes by the end then you are better than me.

The one saving grace is that Hong Chau shows up every now and then and does her best to bring some real life to the film. In the scenes with Chau and Fraser, there is good chemistry, and there is a glimpse of the heartfelt and sensitive film that could have been.

Ultimately, The Whale is extremely melodramatic. Fraser goes for every Oscar clip he can and only lands a few when Chau is around. The fat suit is off-putting and Sadie Sink is bad throughout the movie. There is a small speck of a decent idea here, but not enough to make a trip to the theater worthwhile. Stream if bored, at best. One popped kernel.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
Suz1251Dec 23, 2022
An amazing cast who all have an amazing performance. The music is on point with how Charlie is feeling when he feels it. Made everyone in the theater an emotional wreck. This movie does its job to pull you into the shoes of the protagonist,An amazing cast who all have an amazing performance. The music is on point with how Charlie is feeling when he feels it. Made everyone in the theater an emotional wreck. This movie does its job to pull you into the shoes of the protagonist, Charlie. You feel for him and with him during the movie. Such a well done film, the people complaining about it and calling this movie fat-shaming are virtue signaling and don't know what their talking about. I've read reviews that claim "the music is supposed to be dark to show that Charlie's doing something bad" however, I took the music to be Charlie's emotions he's angry the music is angry, he's depressed the music is depressing. I take the music as a que to what Charlie is feeling at the time the music is playing. It's an amazing film and I can tell everyone who worked on it did an amazing job. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
TirakisJan 26, 2023
Love this movie! So sad and sobbing end! Very good performance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
0
MarkoDJan 20, 2023
Not for me. Ba acting, directing and writing. Pretty much boring. But that is just my opinion
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
7
nnogohkoJan 6, 2023
At first, I wasn't sure if I liked the character of Charlie at first but seeing him desperately trying to reconnect with his daughter won me over. Charlie constantly saying his daughter is amazing no matter how **** she treats him throughoutAt first, I wasn't sure if I liked the character of Charlie at first but seeing him desperately trying to reconnect with his daughter won me over. Charlie constantly saying his daughter is amazing no matter how **** she treats him throughout this movie (with good reason of course) was very sympathetic. For Brendan Fraser's performance alone, The Whale is worth watching. However, I truly thought Hong Chau and Sadie Sink were also phenomenal in the film especially Sadie Sink who I think should be nominated for best supporting actress at the Oscars. The finale of this movie is absolutely heartwrenching and there is a line that Ellie says to Charlie that is just so heartbreaking towards the end I wasn't even able to cry since it was just so emotionally potent. I just kind of froze me. I think Ty Simpkins' character is the only character I think wasn't really necessary to the plot although he was great in the role. The movie is just under two hours but because of that story line the film feels a little dragged out sometimes. The prosthetic makeup on Brendan Fraser is also flawless. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
maskedrider29Jan 31, 2023
Amazing! Brendan Fraser has never been better! He's an amazing actor and this is the best example of his incredible acting. HIGHLY recommended!
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
4
EBERTSBIGTHUMBDec 29, 2022
'If this wasnt a "Brendan Fraser comeback movie" it would be a schmaltzy made for T.V melodrama.

And in all honesty, he's not even that good in it. It's just Brendan Fraser and since he's been missed from movies for so long, the General
'If this wasnt a "Brendan Fraser comeback movie" it would be a schmaltzy made for T.V melodrama.

And in all honesty, he's not even that good in it. It's just Brendan Fraser and since he's been missed from movies for so long, the General Public just missed him so any drama role would have gotten him the Oscar just because of the timing. Put me in a fat suit and I'll do just as good of a job if not better. And I'm not even an actor!

Don't get me wrong, Brendan is a nice guy. I like him, And he's definitely going to get the Oscar, but this movie is trash.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
DivineCommedieDec 20, 2022
It's not a fatman drama. Like Dostoevsky's novels, it tells about the depressions that many of us experience but ignore in life with great acting by Brendan Fraser.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
websterzinDec 27, 2022
Perhaps the only movie to truthfully represent a morbid obese individual and the struggles they deal with every day of their lives. Woke idiots hate this movie because they say it "fat shames". In reality, it is the opposite of fat-shaming.Perhaps the only movie to truthfully represent a morbid obese individual and the struggles they deal with every day of their lives. Woke idiots hate this movie because they say it "fat shames". In reality, it is the opposite of fat-shaming. This is an honest and empathetic film and the world is better with Darren Aronofsky making it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
0
michael27_2Dec 29, 2022
Sad. Dark. Depressing Homosexuality Aggressive people
Stay away. Does not worth your money
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
DarkShadow024Jan 3, 2023
Очень хороший фильм, мне понравилось его смотреть, советую посмотреть. Я был впечатлен историей, а также актеры хорошо сыграли свои роли.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
DH58Jan 16, 2023
This is one of the Best Movies that I have ever seen in my life. Brendan Fraser should win Best Actor and Sadie Sink should win Best Actress! It has several parts that will keep you wondering what's going to happen next. Watch out for aThis is one of the Best Movies that I have ever seen in my life. Brendan Fraser should win Best Actor and Sadie Sink should win Best Actress! It has several parts that will keep you wondering what's going to happen next. Watch out for a surprise ending that I didn't see coming. I hope you like my review of this movie! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
andshereviewsJan 24, 2023
Whale is a raw movie that cuts into your emotions. Brandon and Sadie chemistry of a father and daughter is believable. I'm used to seeing Brandon in light and fun movies, and this was completely different. I don't want to give anything away.Whale is a raw movie that cuts into your emotions. Brandon and Sadie chemistry of a father and daughter is believable. I'm used to seeing Brandon in light and fun movies, and this was completely different. I don't want to give anything away. Sadie's performance in this was just as great as Brandon, and it needed to be. It wouldn't have worked if it wasn't. I loved this movie. I have recommended this movie to all my family and friends. I really don't want to give out details of this movie. So, I wanted to share the performances of Brandon and Sadie. This movie is in my Top 5 Movies. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
OrchidCJan 28, 2023
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Lights come up and we are all still sitting stunned. I am watching the credits through tears unable to move, overwhelmed in an ocean of emotion. I knew this would be my visceral reaction to Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale(2022) after only seeing the movie trailer. I came to the movie theater to cry alone and while I was not alone, their was a good amount of people for a Tuesday night. I did indeed cry hard many times. The film opens with a long shot of a bus and a dying field. It seems to be winter time. This sets a somber tone. The audience does not know it yet but that is a young man running away from his mistakes into the arms of the New Life church by the name of Thomas. Cut to a Zoom class where we here the instructor’s voice but his square is blacked out. There is a dramatic transition from the Zoom class to title of film to our main character Charlie played phenomenally by Brendan Fraser. He is a morbidly obese English professor which is why his Zoom screen was black. Making us immediately hyper aware that he knows he makes people uncomfortable. There is a jarring cut to him masturbating to gay porn but only barely. Because he immediately has what seems like a slight heart attack, later we find out it is congestive heart failure. I really loved this shot which will be used in the film often. The camera pans from behind Charlie to in front and around him in a 360 motion. As if to say there is a lot to take in here. The setting rarely changes throughout the whole film. We are mostly in Charlie’s slightly cluttered apartment. In a scene you can see some trash wedged under the cabinets. Although we rarely leave the apartment plot wise the character dynamics keep the audience captivated. We are seeing this man’s life and struggles from his point of view of being a prisoner in his home and ultimately in his body. Throughout the film I found myself asking why are you doing this to yourself? But then I would have to ask myself the same thing; we all can exhibit self-sabotaging behaviors sometimes. This is illustrated by the character Liz his nurse and best friend played by Hong Chau. Who loves him and tries to help him as much as he allows himself to be helped. She also has a dark since of humor and is not afraid to call him out on his **** She says this line in the beginning that stuck out to me. “Being in debt is better than being dead.” She is referring to him going to the hospital without insurance. It is sad that in American society this is what we must contend with when it comes to healthcare. Throughout the film we see Charlie’s refusal to go. Almost as if he is resigned to dying. But before he goes which he struggles with internally he wants his teen daughter to know how special she is. We learn that Ellie played by Sadie Sink his daughter hasn’t had contact with him much since she was eight and he left her to pursue a romantic relationship with a man. Obviously, this deeply pained her and she acts out throughout the film. So much so that he has to bribe her to spend time with him. Everything Sadie does is to let the world know she is hurting. She has been this way for so long her mother thinks she is evil. Charlie feels such overwhelming guilt about that decision he takes any scraps of quality time with her. We realize in the end how truly amazing he thinks she is. This is even after she drugged him. Between this and the death of his lover, Charlie just could not get through these hard emotions of loss and failure. This is shown with a scene where he is gorging himself with copious amounts of food while an ominous orchestra music plays in the background. In one scene he says “Who would want me to be apart of their life.” He is so disappointed with himself he can not see how sweet and tender he truly is. There is a bit of a religious element with several characters close proximity to the New Life Church. But the main characters don’t buy into the doctrine. To me this film is not about God but about self and how we grapple with the decisions we make. I won’t ruin the end for you, but it is so moving. I will say I love how he ascends to his daughter’s words. The very words he was so moved by. What he tried to teach his students to be honest to be vulnerable that is powerful writing. And that is what makes this film so moving. There is an honesty about our weaknesses. How hard it is to face our mistakes and not let our disappointment in self get the best of us. If you are not crying hard by the end you have a heart made of stone or maybe this just isn’t the film for you. But Darren Aronofsky I salute you as one of the best film makers in my lifetime. Who knows how to show the complexity of emotion we all experience in this life. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews