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The Machinist (2004)



Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 141
Fresh: 108 | Rotten: 33

Brad Anderson's dark psychological thriller about a sleepless factory worker is elevated by Christian Bale astonishingly committed performance.


Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 38
Fresh: 27 | Rotten: 11

Brad Anderson's dark psychological thriller about a sleepless factory worker is elevated by Christian Bale astonishingly committed performance.



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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 153,225

My Rating

Movie Info

Brad Anderson directs the psychological thriller The Machinist, a production of Spain's Filmax company. Christian Bale plays Trevor Reznik, a factory lathe operator who has developed a serious case of insomnia. Lack of sleep has already started to wear down on his brain and his body. When he's involved in an accident at work, his co-workers turn against him. He starts to find strange notes in his apartment and see people that apparently aren't there. Jennifer Jason Leigh stars as call girl


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Scott Kosar

Jun 7, 2005


Paramount Classics - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (143) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (108) | Rotten (33) | DVD (31)

Until now Bale's screen persona has been defined by a graceful athleticism; here his physicality is repellent, yet he carries the occasionally creaky plot of Scott Kosar's unsettling screenplay to a resonant finish.

October 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One can't deny the dubious appeal of the spectacle of the skin-and-bone Bale, quite possibly endangering his health for the sake of his art.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Bale's] is a great performance, full of commitment and sacrifice, and The Machinist is one of the year's best films.

December 10, 2004 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's one of those movies that you admire more than you enjoy, but Anderson and Kosar are clearly talents to watch.

December 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A stunt that didn't merit Bale's startling, and dangerous, transformation.

December 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It begins dark and depressing, but ends up merely dull.

December 3, 2004 | Comments (3)
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If Nine Inch Nails, Swans and Ministry ever loomed large in the landscape of your imagination, Anderson's gloomy aesthetic may exert a sour but lingering pull.

October 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Film4

A brilliant, harrowing performance by Bale.

October 24, 2011 Full Review Source:

It's not necessarily a fun or loveable picture, but it is interesting and entertaining.

January 9, 2010 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

With time as a buffer, it's now easier to see The Machinist for what it is: a labyrinthine leap down the rabbit hole into a nightmarish wonderland.

May 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Views

A brilliant psychological horror story, and excellent direction...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Here, shorn of every ounce of body fat, Bale is laid open like an autopsy specimen, and he easily gives his best performance.

February 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CHUD

Bale is superb as Trevor, able to not only convey the wasted person within, but to avoid making his physical appearance the only thing we care about or notice.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Um angustiante pesadelo que, trazendo Bale numa performance corajosa e repleta de auto-sacrifício, funciona como um estudo poético sobre os extremos da culpa.

August 15, 2008
Cinema em Cena

Christian Bale starves himself to near-death proportions in this trippy, creepy film about insomnia in the workplace.

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

full review in Greek

October 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

It's a somber, sometimes slow-slithering dark piece that's heavier on style than substance, but it all works.

June 12, 2006 Full Review Source:

An intelligent, well-crafted picture.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A few scenes into the gloom and you'll have a good idea what is generally up, if not the specifics, making the journey toward the eventual, inevitable twist fairly one-dimensional.

April 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

An absorbing and eerie study of paranoia and psychological torment.

December 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Fantastica Daily
Fantastica Daily

Kosar has ... constructed an exercise in existentialism that is so literal it's a true feat that he was able to reign it all back in for the somewhat tidy ending of this film.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

It's like a film the Coen Brothers would have made, back when they still made good movies.

August 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Juicy Cerebellum
Juicy Cerebellum

replacing phrase "going De Niro" with the phrase "going Bale" in many vocabularies

July 12, 2005 Full Review Source: Draxblog Movie Reviews

A clever, taut thriller that will have everyone guessing right up to its avant-garde conclusion.

July 5, 2005 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for The Machinist

Shades of Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling permeate this excruciating trip through the realm of hallucinatory insomnia ... and one hell of a guilt trip. Spot-on performances and a blue noirish atmosphere complete this pretty good Los Angeles hair puller that was actually shot in Barcelona.
February 22, 2013

Super Reviewer

Bale is amazing, as always. But this is a strange film.
October 27, 2012

Super Reviewer

You are either going to love this film or hate this film, but I don't see why anyone wouldn't choose the latter. I fully believe this film to be a masterwork in every possible way. Christian Bale gives the performance of his career in my opinion, as Trevor Reznik, a man who has literally not slept in over a year, because his body is incapable of it. All that is left on him is skin and bones. Once tragic events begin to occur, he starts to vision a man, who really doesn't exist, who serves a purpose as to why these events are happening. The conclusion will absolutely blow your mind. The direction is very unique, the writing is perfect, and the story is impeccably visioned. "The Machinist" is a film that I shall not forget!
September 13, 2012
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

In this slick little psychologicla thriller from director Brad Anderson, Christian Bale plays Trevor Reznik, a lathe operator at an industrial machine shop whose life is really in a bad way: he's been unable to sleep for around a year, he's lost an extreme amount of weight, he begins to see thigns that are merely hallucinations, and, after these distractions cause him to maim a co-worker in a gruesome accident, things really get worse: his co-workers turn against him, he starts recieving cryptic messages left on post-it notes, and it becomes harder and harder for him to determine what's really going on.

The basic premise is nothing new at all, and there are times when this variation on a theme moves along decently, but overall, there's really not enough here to make it stand out. Even though the film has a great atmosphere, and the set up is nicely done with lots of moodiness and mystery, the end result really doesn't addd up to much, the conclusion is unsatisfying, and it really seeems too jumbled t work like it should. Some of the cinematography is decent, I'll give it that, but unfortunately there's an overuse of washed-out blue tint to everything, and it's overbearing after a while.

The score is good though. It's very Bernard Herrmannesque, and that's fitting. That's one thing that I really don't have much of an issue with, if ast all. Now, we come to the acting. I love Bale. He's a really good actor, but here, the ONLY thing about his performance that really stands out and is worth mentioning is the ridiculous amlunt of weight he lost. He lost a record breaking amount of over 60 lbs in order to illustrate just how deterioriated Trevor had become mentally and physically. That's defintiely impressive, as is the fact that he was able to gain in all back in time for Batman Begins. However, the strength of his overall performance cannoit be judged by his dedicated method acting alone. Take away the weight loss, and his take on a guy wit ha severely fractured mental state is rather run of the mill and underwhelming. Jennifer Jason Leigh does pretty decent though as Stevie- an affectionate prostitute who seems ot be Trevor's only real source of comfort. John Sharian is quite good though, and probably gets the best role as Trevor's mysterious nemesis like figure Ivan. I do enjoy Michael Ironside, and heck, even Larry Gilliard, but those two really could have used more screentime (and Gilliard deserve a lon of more work in general anyway).

All in all, this could have been a real stunner. Unfortunately, it doesn't all quite come together, and, despite a few really good and well done moments, as well as some decent mystery and atmosphere, the final product is just rather blah and seems ot be relying on Bale's method work to carry everything.
March 25, 2012
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

    1. Ivan: You look like you've seen a ghost.
    2. Trevor Reznik: Funny you should say that, the guys at work don't even think you exist.
    3. Ivan: That's why I can't get a raise.
    – Submitted by Tristan H (8 months ago)
    1. Trevor Reznik: Stevie, I haven't slept in a year.
    2. Stevie: Jesus Christ!
    3. Trevor Reznik: I tried him too.
    – Submitted by Angela T (15 months ago)
    1. Trevor Reznik: A little guilt goes a long way.
    – Submitted by Kine S (2 years ago)
    1. Stevie: Well, don't look so surprised. Even a call girl can scramble an egg.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Marie: Trevor, is someone chasing you?
    2. Trevor Reznik: Not yet. But they will when they find out who I am.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (5)

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  • El maquinista (ES)
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