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Chopper (2001)

tomatometer

71

Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 66
Fresh: 47 | Rotten: 19

Eric Bana's performance as the charming but twisted Chopper is the highlight of this disturbing portrait about Australia's notorious author/criminal.

85

Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 20
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 3

Eric Bana's performance as the charming but twisted Chopper is the highlight of this disturbing portrait about Australia's notorious author/criminal.

audience

90

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 31,175

My Rating

Movie Info

What happens when you take the toughest guy you can imagine and make him Australian? He gets even tougher. Mark "Chopper" Read, best-selling author and underworld executioner, is Australia's most infamous and self-promoting criminal. His knack for killing and storytelling set him on an unlikely path toward the fame he has always dreamed of attaining. The film begins in a maximum-security prison, where Chopper's erratic behavior and dishonesty lead his "friend" to stab him repeatedly. Fearing

R,

Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Andrew Dominik

Nov 13, 2001

First Look Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (78) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (47) | Rotten (19) | DVD (12)

The fact that Chopper is so engrossing and effective stems from the powerful performance of Eric Bana.

August 2, 2001 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Chopper plays like a nonfuturistic A Clockwork Orange.

June 15, 2001 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a great style, it's a fabulous performance, but it never quite finds what it's searching for.

June 11, 2001 Full Review Source: Washington Post | Comment (1)
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You cannot look away from him. The performance is so . . . strange.

June 1, 2001 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The ways Read twists and embellishes the truth become progressively less interesting.

May 31, 2001
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bana radiates the sort of warped charisma that explains how an ultraviolent convict could capture the public's imagination.

May 24, 2001
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Regardless of the credibility of Read's exploits, Andrew Dominick has crafted a film that plunges his audience into the depths of Australia's criminal underworld.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

The script for the film is taught, telling the story quickly and with fresh and funny dialogue.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

Apesar de soar incompleto, o filme jamais deixa de fascinar graças à atuação magistral de Eric Bana - que, em vários momentos, me fez lembrar do jovem Robert De Niro.

February 4, 2004
Cinema em Cena

there is an unexpected melancholy that raises this film . . . into the ranks of a classic tragedy

July 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Killer Movie Reviews
Killer Movie Reviews

A slickly done fictionalized biopic with an explosive character giving an entertaining performance, and it's nothing more than that.

December 26, 2001 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Worth seeing simply as a flamboyant cinematic exercise that explores the possibilities of the medium in ways you won't have experienced before.

July 30, 2001 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

At first it's shocking. For a while it's grimly amusing. After that it gets simply repetitive.

July 20, 2001 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

"tough, provocative and challenging."

July 16, 2001
Critical Eye

The film is really much ado about very little because it takes no stand and gives little insight into the Chopper's psyche , all while too carefully catering to his machinated media image.

July 12, 2001 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

You wonder why anyone even bothered.

June 25, 2001 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Bana is electrifying in this plum role.

June 15, 2001 Full Review Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Chopper is never less than fascinating.

June 8, 2001 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

Marks an impressive debut for Dominik and a revelation of Bana's talent.

June 8, 2001 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Dominik's presentation of events is original and thought-provoking.

May 26, 2001 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Engaging even as it is appalling.

May 25, 2001
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Audience Reviews for Chopper

Although less intelligent and fancy, and a whole lot more insecure, Eric Bana plays aussie career criminal "chopper" as some kind of modern day Alex DeLarge. Joie de vivre, disproportionate ego and paranoia ignite a cinematic cocktail with a brutal, darkly humourous and strangely engrossing taste.
August 20, 2014
pier007

Super Reviewer

Chopper is one of the most incredible crime films that I've seen. The film tells the story of career criminal Mark "Chopper" Read. With this film it's almost impossible to tell fact from fiction, as Chopper's exploits seem too good to be true. Reid is a man who always fused explosive made up facts to tell a good yarn, and you really do see it in the film. Brought to life with amazing skill by actor Eric Bana who portrays Read in such a way that you cannot easily dismiss his strong screen presence no matter what your stance on the film is. One thing is for sure, Bana has never been better in any other film. Chopper was his best performance and he has yet to top it. The film takes a look at the life of this interesting and notorious criminal. The film hard to watch as it's very violent, and it gives you an insight into the mind of this larger than life criminal. The film is superbly crafted by director Andrew Dominik. Chopper is an electrifying film and is by far the most original crime film in quite some time. This is a film that crime film fanatics shouldn't pass up on. A solid piece of raw, gritty cinema; Chopper is a brilliant film combining the facts (and often fiction) of Australia's very own Billy The Kid. One of the reasons this film is so exciting is that Chopper Read is such an interesting figure that one cannot tear away from the screen, you are almost forced to watch his acts of depravity and you cannot look away because you want to know what this charismatic career criminal will do next. Chopper is not a film for the faint of heart as it often rough and violent, but never boring.
April 7, 2011
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

An almost unrecognisable Eric Bana plays notorious criminal Mark "Chopper" Read whose "memoirs" and musings on life made him one of Australia's best selling authors of all time. It's actually very difficult to tell how much of this film is true, and how much is Read's creative "embellishments"; fact and fiction merge to the point where the same events are shown two or three times to show Read's version, the witness' version and (maybe!) the truth. But what definitely comes through is Chopper's larger than life persona, and he is in turns funny, charismatic, frightening and above all, a stark raving lunatic. He makes Tommy from Goodfellas look like the picture of emotional stability. It is a very interesting character study of a man who has no concept whatsoever of playing by society's rules, and as such it makes for a funny and disturbing story as you never really know what he is going to do next; he was literally a ticking time bomb of paranoic violence and he was just as likely to give you a big, friendly bear hug and a fistful of cash as a knife blade in your eye socket. Bana is fantastic in the lead role in a performance he is yet to match since his relocation to Hollywood, but this is the kind of part that quite possibly comes along once in a lifetime. The one flaw is that the early scenes in prison are the most interesting, the rest of the story never quite measuring up to the opening but otherwise it's a bit of a must see for anyone interested in true (!) life crime.
March 9, 2010
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

The Australian film Chopper is based on a series of novels written by Mark "Chopper" Read, chronicling his life of crime in a exaggerated and fictionalized manner. Chopper seems nigh invulnerable as he tromps his way through the world of organized crime, extorting money from drug lords and bumping off hitmen (all the while, being heralded as a national folk hero). As an action film, it's not quite as entertaining as similar films (Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), but this is due mainly to it's not having a plot (at least not a conventional one). The film seems to count on us finding Chopper as fascinating as Chopper finds himself, which is a tall order to ask of anyone. Nevertheless, it's amusing to see how far someone will go to gloriify themselves. According to Goodfellas, Henry Hill never killed nobody or did anything too untoward, Mark Read takes the opposite approach, painting himself as the ultimate badass (even if he does apologize to his victims, even driving one of them to the hospital after shooting him in the stomach). If Chopper is the weaker film, it's only because it seems lackadaisical in execution. The first half of the film, which focused around Chopper's prison experiences, was definitely the strongest, and perhaps the film would've been better had it stayed with that scenario just a bit longer. It's a dark comedy that drags in places, glorifying a man who perhaps doesn't deserve glorification, but damned if I wasn't entertained. Possibly Eric Bana's finest performance.
December 28, 2009
Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

    1. Mark "Chopper" Read: Look at what you've done! You're mum's upset.
    – Submitted by Billy L (9 months ago)
    1. Mark "Chopper" Read: Keithy seems to have done himself a mischief.
    – Submitted by Frances H (12 months ago)
    1. Mark "Chopper" Read: Neville never should have stepped into the criminal world unless he was prepared to stick his whole bloody leg into it.
    – Submitted by Frances H (12 months ago)
    1. Mark "Chopper" Read: No, I did not drive him to the hospital! Do I look like Mother Teresa to you?
    – Submitted by Jeramie S (23 months ago)
    1. Mark "Chopper" Read: Ah winge winge fucking winge.
    – Submitted by James B (24 months ago)
View all quotes (5)

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