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Man on the Moon (1999)

tomatometer

63

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 118
Fresh: 74 | Rotten: 44

Jim Carrey is eerily dead-on in his portrayal of Andy Kaufman, which helps to elevate Man on the Moon above the script's formulaic biopic cliches.

55

Average Rating: 5.5/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 14

Jim Carrey is eerily dead-on in his portrayal of Andy Kaufman, which helps to elevate Man on the Moon above the script's formulaic biopic cliches.

audience

79

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 92,982

My Rating

Movie Info

Comedian Andy Kaufman gave performances that were bizarre and difficult to categorize, in which he might do or say almost anything: show cartoons, impersonate Elvis Presley, play conga drums while singing children's songs, read aloud from The Great Gatsby, or take the audience out for milk and cookies. Written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski and directed by Milos Forman (the team behind The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)), this biopic takes an in-depth look at Kaufman's life and art,

R,

Drama, Comedy

Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski

May 30, 2000

Universal - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (121) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (74) | Rotten (44) | DVD (21)

We're constantly kept guessing as to what's real or false. Intriguing.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As drama, it's a near miss. Yet as an introduction -- or a reminder -- of a singular talent, it has its appeal.

June 18, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Superficially clever yet profoundly shallow.

March 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What is most wonderful about Man on the Moon, a very good film, is that it remains true to Kaufman's stubborn vision.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The filmmakers don't even attempt to give Kaufman an inner life.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a movie that testifies in blisteringly persuasive terms to the intense, particular genius of Jim Carrey.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The main problem with this film though is the running time -- it's too short.

January 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Dark Horizons | Comments (2)
Dark Horizons

A teeming, fast-paced spin through a particularly strange show-biz life.

September 27, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Ends up asking more questions than it answers.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

Carrey gets inside Kaufman's skin.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Whether you like the film will probably depend on whether you thought Kaufman was funny the first time.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Forman makes this a thematic sequel to Amadeus, focusing on a misunderstood genius whose commitment to artistic vision came before acceptance, popularity, and his loved ones.

January 15, 2005
Looking Closer

Not everyone knows Andy Kaufman, but the world knows Jim Carrey. Soon it will know more about Kaufman's unique style of humor.

June 25, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

More of an illustrated résumé than a character study, entertaining but seldom insightful.

July 15, 2003 Full Review
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

postulates that Kaufman was the consummate actor, someone who stayed 'on' even in his offstage life, to the point of losing whatever personality he had. It's an intriguing theory, but it doesn't always make for a smooth viewing experience...

July 15, 2003 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

Will appeal to Kaufman fans and Carrey fans alike, and even if you're not a fan of either, you can't deny the intriguing quality of this strange story and the skill with which it's told.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

The problem is that while Kaufman's life story has its required quota of bizarre-yet-true events, it's doomed to failure as mainstream entertainment because Kaufman wasn't terribly likeable as a person.

December 2, 2002 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound | Comment (1)
Sight and Sound

Andy Kaufman biopic is hollow, even with Jim Carrey's chameleonlike performance.

November 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Netflix
Netflix

An affectionate but unvarnished portrait through the eyes of people who loved Andy...

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

Carrey's portrayal is dead-on, with all the little mannerisms and voice inflections.

September 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal
Montreal Film Journal

Presents the life of a madcap trickster who desperately wanted to be the biggest star in the world.

August 21, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

What the story lacks in depth, it at least partially makes up for in pop culture kitsch.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

It never generates the emotional impact that a great biography needs.

January 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Movieline
Movieline

Audience Reviews for Man on the Moon

Jim Carrey's uncanny impersonation of Andy Kaufman is both the film's grand triumph but also its potential downfall. There's nothing outside of his performance that gives "Man on the Moon" any substance.

Milos Forman orchestrates the film like a hurried timeline of vignettes. It doesn't take you anywhere special. There's not a good sense of what made Kaufman tick. But there's enough in "Man on the Moon" to keep you watching as Kaufman was a fascinatingly unique individual and Carrey brings him to life.

It's just that the life he's portraying doesn't reveal anything behind the genius.
December 15, 2012
The Gandiman
Tony Gandía

Super Reviewer

Always is great see something about Andy Kaufman.
October 5, 2012
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

An intriguing look at the innovative, strange comic Andy Kaufman (Jim Carrey) and his trailblazing style that was greeted with a fair dose of confusion initially, before he became a huge hit given his original, if incredibly strange material. Carrey has never been better than he is here, with a brilliant, incredibly well realized performance that screams "Oscar!". This is one of those films that gets elevated by a special, truly unique performance. The movie does tend to flounder here and there, but right when it looks like it might turn into something utterly dull, Carrey rescues it. The direction is a little choppy and unfocused, but this movie deserves a look simply due to a remarkable turn from one of the best comedic actors out there (when he wants to be, at least).
August 15, 2012
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

A unique and humourous biopic that's got a hugely likable cast and remains consistently fun through out. One of Carrey's best. Man on the Moon is challenging and far much more interesting than I expected.
December 31, 2011
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

    1. Lynne Margulies: So you just pretend to be an asshole.
    2. Andy Kaufman: It's what I'm good at.
    – Submitted by Juan C (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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