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Choking Man (2006)



Average Rating: 5.2/10
Reviews Counted: 34
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 17

Quirky animated interludes fail to lift this dull US immigrant indie out of its introverted torpid state.


Average Rating: 5.5/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 6

Quirky animated interludes fail to lift this dull US immigrant indie out of its introverted torpid state.



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Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 650

My Rating

Movie Info

A man finds himself caught between several worlds -- rough real life and a number of parallel fantasy lands -- in this blend of drama and fantasy. Jorge (Octavio Gómez Berríos) is a painfully shy young man from Ecuador who has immigrated to the United States. Jorge keeps body and soul together by washing dishes at a greasy-spoon diner in a Queens, NY neighborhood that's dominated by a wide variety of fellow immigrants. Jorge spends most of his days at work being harassed by Rick (Mandy



Steve Barron

Aug 5, 2008

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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (17) | DVD (1)

There's a low-key New York drama lurking somewhere, but Barron can't seem to decide if he's making that or something more flashy.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Overburdened with disorienting stylistic devices and contrived plot elements that reduce the psychological depth to which it aspires.

November 28, 2007
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In this case, what looks like an ambitious film-school project, complete with heavy-handed sincerity, experimental camera style, and an overplayed central metaphor, becomes gently lyrical and melancholy.

November 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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Barron's direction is low-key but efficient.

November 9, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie suffocates under the weight of too many wrong choices.

November 9, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Choking Man mainly falters in its inability to reconcile the darker psychological elements of Jorge's mind and all that they portend.

November 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Low-key indie.

July 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

For all its concern with social and mental disintegration, Choking Man is a strangely tender film.

November 16, 2008
Little White Lies

Despite efforts to impart a little tension and human interest, the tale is told with such discretion, it's almost anonymous.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

There's enough charm and enterprise here to win over viewers who have the patience to stick by the tongue-tied Jorge. An intriguing change of direction for pop-video pioneer Barron, though next time he might like to cut loose that bit more.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

The creepy and original power of the film is the schizophrenic other who taunts him when he finally crawls home to his maggoty bedsit. Weird.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

Some US indie films are so torpid, so pointless and so incredibly whingey that you want to reach into the screen and slap the face of everyone involved. This film, by writer-director Steve Barron, is one such.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

The film marries digicam naturalism to animated fantasy to oddsome but fascinating effect, rendering magical the inner world of the shy and almost muted Jorge. It's an unusual but valuable addition to the cinema of contemporary migration.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

It's all a bit anonymous despite engaging performances, especially from Yuan as the sunny optimist, but the character of Jorge is so cripplingly introverted that there's nothing to latch on to.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Steve Barron's darkly melancholic, low-budget drama is worlds away from the blockbuster swagger of his earlier Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

They don't add up to much; and he's just too passive to make us care even slightly about whether he gets the girl or ends up taking a meat-cleaver to his rival.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

After more than an hour in Jorge's relentlessly miserable company the voice in The Sneak's head was saying "leave now".

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Sun Online
Sun Online

Modest, quirky, well acted by an unknown cast.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

It's meant to be a portrait of a man "choked" by his own alienation, but Jorge's shyness comes over as dullness, and after all the sensitive maundering the conclusion is a terrible letdown.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Independent

It's not a bad effort at all - and certainly a whole class above Ninja Turtles.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Impressively directed drama with strong performances and a subtle script, though the tilt into magical realism doesn't quite work.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

rises above the mundane with the inclusion of some gorgeous animated interludes and just a touch of Latin American-style magical realism.

August 14, 2008 Full Review Source:

For all its enticing dramatic hooks, Choking Man has a fairly unrewarding conclusion.

November 9, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Press
New York Press

Audience Reviews for Choking Man

The patiently-paced film is meant to draw us into the small community of people who work at a diner, and "touching moments" where these characters connect, are more the style than any kind of a "thriller" theme. In any case, overall it's a high quality film and well worth seeing if you get the chance, but you won't be missing much if you don't.
July 1, 2008
El Hombre Invisible

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