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Human Nature (2002)

tomatometer

49

Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 94
Fresh: 46 | Rotten: 48

As quirky as Being John Malkovich but not as funny, Human Nature feels too forced and unengaging.

36

Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critic Reviews: 28
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 18

As quirky as Being John Malkovich but not as funny, Human Nature feels too forced and unengaging.

audience

62

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 12,259

My Rating

Movie Info

Video director Michel Gondry and scriptwriter Charles Kaufman -- who shot to fame after penning Being John Malkovich -- collaborate on this bizarre fable about human behavior in and out of society. The film opens by quickly introducing the three leads -- Lila (Patricia Arquette) who is locked away in prison; Puff (Rhys Ifans) who is testifying before Congress; and Nathan Bronfman (Tim Robbins) who is sitting in a glowing white afterlife waiting room with a bullet hole in his head. Rewinding to

R,

Drama, Romance, Comedy

Charlie Kaufman

Dec 10, 2002

$0.7M

Fine Line Features - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (105) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (46) | Rotten (48) | DVD (15)

Although a few moments are hilarious, this would-be romp remains laboriously earthbound when it should be swinging gaily through the trees.

December 9, 2002 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Tries for both civilized wit and primitive joy -- and mostly misses both.

July 20, 2002 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The simplicity with which it depicts these [animal] forces eternally at war with each other is sometimes sublimely evocative.

April 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For all its highfalutin title and corkscrew narrative, the movie turns out to be not much more than a shaggy human tale.

April 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's all squeamishly pathetic in a freaked-out way, as the actors are reduced to primates and the movie makes no sense at all.

April 18, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's way out there, but not effective enough.

April 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Kaufman and Gondry] dive right into the subject [of sex] to lay bare the pain of it, and to have us laugh at it.

September 8, 2009 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

Human Nature cleverly satirizes our most ridiculous- and in many ways, our most tragic- impulses, and finds a unique balance between light-hearted humor and abject farce.

July 2, 2008 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

Not for everyone, but oddly charming. Great scenes with trained mice.

January 1, 2005 Full Review Source: StaciWilson.com
StaciWilson.com

A ton of cute ideas do not a satisfying movie make.

October 16, 2003 Full Review Source: About.com
About.com

Plays as a sophomoric exercise in the art of satire.

December 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Risky, totally insane, at times brilliant, and absolutely original, Human Nature is a trip. A wonderfully wacky, weird satirical comedy that is hit and miss.

December 27, 2002 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

A little watered down Spike Jonze has to be entertaining some of the time, so this isn't a total loss.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Surreal comedy explores the differences between man and the animals -- and finds humans wanting.

November 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Netflix
Netflix

One of a kind, a fresh comedy of ideas, and a daft, deft poke in the funny bone.

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

Offers viewers a chance to laugh at themselves.

August 2, 2002 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

... laughing, you can forgive the self-conscious mucking around with the metaphysical... [but] you wouldn't want to call it's cribbed iteration of Rousseau brilliant.

July 29, 2002 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The year's happiest surprise, a movie that deals with a real subject in an always surprising way.

July 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Journal News (Westchester, NY)
Journal News (Westchester, NY)

Weird and wacky, but what else would you expect from the creators of Being John Malkovich?

July 10, 2002 Full Review

What Kaufman has here is a brilliant, funny, painfully human, and delightfully creative social statement.

May 30, 2002 Full Review
Tooele Transcript-Bulletin (Utah)

Though not as tightly focused or as well-performed as Malkovich, Human Nature has its own absurdist flair.

May 24, 2002
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

While "Human Nature" isn't as brilliant or engrossing as "Being John Malkovich," it's still refreshing story telling -- nicely punctured with a surprise musical number straight out of "Snow White."

May 17, 2002 Full Review Source: Zap2it.com
Zap2it.com

Such a premise is ripe for all manner of lunacy, but Kaufman and Gondry rarely seem sure of where it should go.

May 13, 2002 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY
eye WEEKLY

Audience Reviews for Human Nature

Shocking a load of crap this movie is, considering the amount of talent involved in it. Especially the director's and writers track record has been great, which makes you wonder what everyone was smoking doing this. They should most certainly be ashamed of themselves. Avoid at all costs, even if you like the Björk videos it mimics.
December 23, 2013
ironclad1609

Super Reviewer

This movie's amateurish directing (Michel Gondry has done much, much better) and strangely stilted acting (despite some significant talent) detracts greatly from Charlie Kaufman's great, thought-provoking, deadpan script.
December 3, 2012
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

Its really something different. Kaufman is a genius but this direction he made for Human Nature asks a question but never fully answers it. It picks on human sexuality but never truly explores it. Its kind of an open ended question of a film.
December 27, 2011
paul o.
paul oh

Super Reviewer

A Kaufman film unlike his usual repertoire, the first pairing between himself and director Michael Gondry was a premature effort. The subtle humor was there, and the story was obviously solid, but the vibe of anachronisms that were flouted made for a less than interesting movie watching experience. Still, the performances by the main players were exceptional, especially the emotionally driven Rhys Ifans.
January 12, 2011
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

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Latest News on Human Nature

May 2, 2006:
Gondry and Jack Black Promise to "Rewind"
Director Michel Gondry and professional goofball Jack Black will soon be collaborating on a rather...

Foreign Titles

  • Human Nature (2002) (DE)
  • Human Nature (2002) (UK)
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