Chopper - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Chopper Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 20, 2014
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.
Super Reviewer
April 7, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
½ May 28, 2007
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.
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
½ December 28, 2009
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.
Super Reviewer
December 27, 2009
Awesome. Full review later
Super Reviewer
December 18, 2009
The truth, the half-truth, and nothing like the truth.
Super Reviewer
½ September 8, 2009
A disturbing, dirty story which isn't that much fun to watch, but serves as a fascinating character study of one of Australia's worst criminals. Bana, who I've been hard on in the past, is simply incredible in the lead here as a menacing, tough-as-nails villian who you legitimately fear from start to finish. If only Bana played characters this intense more often, he really would've won me over earlier.
Super Reviewer
½ May 5, 2008
oh my god what aload of shit
their is nothing worse then watching someone in prison but then doing stupid things majorly shit
Super Reviewer
½ January 14, 2007
Chopper is the story of Mark "Chopper" Read, a notorious Australian criminal who spent part of his life torturing other criminals or in-and-out of prisons, and the other part as a best-selling writer. This is somewhat of a strange film, which I guess is what I've come to expect from the Australians. It's grounded, though, by the brilliant portrayal of Chopper by Eric Bana - who is most definitely one of the best younger-generation actors working today, and a personal favourite of mine. The real Chopper is famous for being mentally off-kilt and sadistic at times but also charming and witty - all of which comes across fantastically in Bana's portrayal of him. It's because of this, and the well-written script, that the film is quite funny at times, and the character of Chopper cannot help but to make one grin. Although the film itself was a little inconsistent at times, it's still pretty solid and anyway is completely worth watching just to see Eric Bana in this role; it's extremely enjoyable.
Super Reviewer
½ August 20, 2007
Rough and bloody prison movie. Many ouch-times throughout! It wasn't easy to watch the blood flowing.
Super Reviewer
July 29, 2007
Eric fucking Bana
Super Reviewer
½ April 2, 2007
Mark Bana certainly did his research in this role, his interpretation of Mark 'Chopper' Reid ws outstanding. Chopper is most definitely a unique character, who tells a great story. For those intested, the special features on the dvd has a 'weekend with Chopper' (the real Chopper)
Super Reviewer
½ June 20, 2006
This movie was so amazing! t's just delicious to have a movie driven by a character that is so joyfully out of his mind, and the filmmaking is equally brilliant. There is one scene where the characters are on coke and it's shot so spastically that it makes you do a double take. I love this flick.
Super Reviewer
½ March 31, 2013
Chopper is made by the performance of Eric Bana, who shows depth previously unseen in his other performances. His charisma, his intensity, and his delivery underscores every seen with the sort of manic criminality that makes the film truly effective. His ambiguous motivations, and the film's reluctance to ascribe real meaning, making the film all the more fascinating as a character study.

It also works on a dramatic and, at times, comedic level, providing us with authentic character moments, and very interesting dynamics. Some of the dialogue can be a bit hard to decipher because of the accents, to be sure, but it nevertheless remains as an effective story of a twisted man, told in a brisk, gritty, and entertaining manner.

3.5/5 Stars
Super Reviewer
½ September 22, 2006
The intensity of this story and the shocking brilliance of Bana's performance aren't enough to make me look past the somewhat haphazard narrative and unclear aims of the script itself. It's a character study about a character I didn't find particularly unique or tragic, so it's more a well-executed stream of violence and cruelty than anything.
Super Reviewer
November 21, 2007
Mark "Chopper" Read. A man with serious anger management issues, a short fuse and paranoia - not someone to leave your children with. Yet there's something about him that renders this film highly watchable (especially during the early scenes in prison) mainly due to a mesmerising performance from a near-unrecognisable Eric Bana. A should-see
Super Reviewer
June 14, 2008
This movie is brilliant. I'm not sure what I was expecting based on Jesse James, but it wasn't this. There are some very obvious precursors to things in Jesse James, but this film is totally unique. The strength is that it all revolves around an amazingly interesting character and Eric Bana's performance is one of the best I've ever seen. It's kind of similar to There Will Be Blood in that way, but the character has more levels in Chopper. I was disappointed that it was as short as it was. Everyone should see this.
Super Reviewer
½ April 28, 2008
I always find it hilarious when people are pragmatic and relaxed about horrific occurences in life. Buffy did it with death and the apocalypse, and Chopper does it with crime and murder. Comedy gold in my books. As I watched this, I...also...kinda...wanted to be friends with Chopper. Crazy, but true. He just seemed so nice when he wasn't killing people.
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