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Amateur (1994)


No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 2



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 3,337

My Rating

Movie Info

Hal Hartley's fourth feature is a significant break from the quirky romantic comedy territory of his previous work -- though all of the deadpan idiosyncracies which make him such a singular filmmaker remain intact, here he tries his hand at the thriller genre, a move yielding typically unconventional and innovative results. Amateur stars Hartley mainstay Martin Donovan as Thomas, an amnesiac who, in the first scenes, wakes up in an alley, badly injured; he stumbles to a nearby coffeeshop where


Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense, Comedy

Hal Hartley

Nov 11, 2003

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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All Critics (35) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (6) | DVD (6)

An enjoyable quirky-humored hit man flick.

March 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Less quirky than earlier films, Amateur pushes its humor too hard and the conceit of amnesia is absurd, but there are poignant observations about purity versus experience and ignorance versus knowledge.

April 29, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

A deadpan examination of coincidence versus signs; tangibility versus faith.

February 15, 2004 Full Review Source:

Comes across as an interesting study of the ways in which we are all amatuers at changing our lives.

August 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

This one tends to fizzle instead of sizzle.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for Amateur

All time favourite of mine. Can't believe this movie is 20 years old now.
As always watching this, I find Elina Lowensohn compelling. What an underrated actress she was. Pity she seems to be not acting anymore.
Typical great Hal Hartley film. He really made some classics around this time (Trust, The Unbelievable Truth). I loved these films and used to watch them over and over on VHS.
The story is excellent. Sophia, a young woman duped into porn films and drug addiction at a young age, (Elina Lowensohn), decides she has had enough and pushes the man who trapped her out a window (Martin Donovan).
However, he doesn't die, but wakes up with amnesia. He meets an ex nun, Isabelle (Isabelle Hupert) who takes him in and starts to fall for him. He has nightmares and talks in his sleep about a woman he treated badly and threatened, Sophia.
Seeing Sophia in a porn magazine makes him curious about whether she may be his Sophia, and he and Isabelle step out to help her.
There's a little more to it than that, but that's basically the premise. Highly original and beautifully filmed. Just the way the script is written is worth watching it for. The delivery of the lines. Can't gush enough. If you have never seen this, I highly recommend it.
April 4, 2014

Super Reviewer

Stylistic romantic/comedy/thriller that builds slowly as an amnesiac endeavors to discover his identity. Nice performances in sort of an Hitchcockian homage, particularly by one Damien Young.
June 22, 2011

Super Reviewer

Hal Hartley is one of the most brilliant and underrated directors of his generation. What a shame that more people are not familiar with his work. There was a time when Martin Donovan was in every film that I loved...not he's disappeared. What's up with that?
July 11, 2007
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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