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Kafka (1991)

tomatometer

0

Average Rating: 3.1/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 5

No consensus yet.

audience

73

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 4,890

My Rating

Movie Info

Steve Soderbergh did a 180 degree turnaround from his debut film sex, lies, and videotape with Kafka, a stark art-film fable for literature majors. Jeremy Irons plays a fictional Franz Kafka, living in Prague in 1919. By day, Kafka works in a massive, impersonal insurance company. At night, he spends his time alone writing stories about men who turn into giant cockroaches. Although quiet and solitary, he becomes a suspect in a murder investigation conducted by Inspector Grubach (Armin

Dec 22, 1992

Paramount Home Video

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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (9) | DVD (1)

Steven Soderbergh's Kafka is a very bad well-directed movie.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Soderbergh does demonstrate again here that he's a gifted director, however unwise in his choice of project.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A movie about Franz Kafka? It's a good idea for a microsecond. Then it dissolves into a dumb proposition.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post | Comment (1)
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The effect is artistic, but it's also obvious when the material cried out for unsettling.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

All the Kafka basics are there for the literary types to muse over and it has great entertainment value in its unpretentious playfulness.

April 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Soderbergh's sophomore jinx, a pastiche of styles (noir, German Expressionism) and themes (personal and political oppression), further hampered by the vastly miscast Jeremy Irons.

January 29, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

the film has a shallow, sophomoric earnestness

June 10, 2005

Incomprehensible but interesting.

January 5, 2004

One of Soderbergh's most fascinating films.

November 5, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Overwrought over long and over indulgent

August 30, 2002
Zap2it.com

Lem Dobb's script doesn't rely on comprehension or linearity, but the whole scope of the project has its compelling root.

October 9, 2001 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Quite often, the visual feast is enough to hold audience attention. But, in the end, it all feels rather empty.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

A stimulating blend of biography, hypothesis, interpretation and afterthought. It's a story about the 20th century.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for Kafka

Mysterious and stylish but incoherent and empty, "Kafka" is a good-looking disappointment for director Steven Soderbergh. Impressive camerawork and snappy editing ensure that it won't be forgotten, but there just simply isn't enough going on to make it entertaining. The characters and story are dull, and on top of that, it's confusing.
October 12, 2012
Stephen Earnest

Super Reviewer

Moody, mysterious, and measured thriller shot in beautiful black & white except for a pivotal sequence inside "the Castle." Soderbergh's best film is quite unlike any other in dropping Jeremy Irons, utterly convincing as Franz Kafka circa 1919 Prague, amidst a very Kafkaesque series of encounters. The insurance clerk's appointed assistants are two of the funniest oddball characters in film history. I last watched this 15 years ago until tonight and was completely reaffirmed why this remains one of my favorites of the 1990s.
February 10, 2010
DrStrangeblog
Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer

Under appreciated Soderbergh gem.
March 20, 2008
threefolddado

Super Reviewer

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