The Machinist - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Machinist Reviews

Page 1 of 497
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2007
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.
Super Reviewer
October 27, 2012
Bale is amazing, as always. But this is a strange film.
Super Reviewer
October 1, 2010
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!
Super Reviewer
½ June 18, 2006
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.
Super Reviewer
½ December 29, 2010
Relying on a bluish palette of desaturated colors, Anderson creates a tense atmosphere of nightmare in this intriguing thriller. But it is Christian Bale who deserves especial merit for his unbelievable dedication (even physical) in this story about the unbearable weight of guilt.
Super Reviewer
January 23, 2011
Trevor Reznik: Right now I wanna sleep. I just want to sleep.
‚How Do You Wake Up From A Nightmare If You‚(TM)re Not Asleep?‚?

The Machinist is a brilliant psychological thriller. It is extremely engrossing and watching Christian Bale will make you feel tired. The way he transformed himself into this 120 pound character that has not slept in a year is insane. He looks like a holocaust victim. Every bone in his body pops out. It is pretty crazy to think about him in this role in 2004 and then a year later in 2005 he was the buff Bruce Wayne/Batman for Batman Begins. It just proves that he will put everything into his roles.

But the film is much more than just a skinny Christian Bale. The plot is absorbing. We meet Trevor Reznik, a factory machinist who hasn‚(TM)t slept in a year. He goes about a routine of work, hooker, and airport diner. He starts seeing messages in his apartment and he also sees a man named Ivan that no one else does. Everyone believes him to be crazy and it is pretty obvious why. He looks like a crack head and when he starts talking crazy, it is hard not to believe that he is nuts.

Brad Anderson does an amazing job directing The Machinist. I loved the cinematography, which shows the story in a grayish sort of filter. It makes us look at the events through Trevor‚(TM)s sleepless eyes. The story progresses at a perfect pace, moving slowly when it needs to, but still cranking up the tension as it goes.

As a fan of the psychological thriller genre, this film proves to be one of the more unique ones I have seen. That isn‚(TM)t to say that it is the best, but it is incredibly interesting and very good in its own right. The originality of the story with the amazing performance by Christian Bale paired with a good supporting role by Jennifer Jason Leigh makes for an intriguing watch.
Super Reviewer
½ October 30, 2011
The Machinist is a near flawless psychological horror film that is supported by a great cast. Christian Bale delivers yet another great performance. Director Brad Anderson crafts a solid film that is a really unique viewing experience. I thought that The Machinist was effectively well constructed and that the plot was elaborate enough to keep you guessing, which is something that I quite enjoyed. Added to that was the horror elements, which elevated the plot even further. The Machinist is one of the best psychological horror films that have come out in recent memory. This is a brilliant film that has a superb cast and a great story, and the film is able to keep you on the edge of your seat till the very end. That's the biggest strength of The Machinist. The plot is so engaging, thrilling and horrifying that you cannot look away from the film. The Machinist is a solid piece of cinema. I loved the film, and thought that the plot was very good and wonderfully constructed for the viewer to be totally immersed into the story, and after watching it really be blown away at what they've seen. I very much recommend anyone looking for a great psychological horror thriller to check out The Machinist as this is one of the strongest films that genre has produced in quite some time. Director Brad Anderson knows how to effectively craft a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat and keep you wondering what will happen next. The Machinist is a well crafted film and is a film that you won't soon forget. A must see for Psychological horror fans.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
October 25, 2011
Christian Bale shows his dedication to film through brutal physical suffering as a man literally dying from insomnia. The twist at the end might not get you but the tension along the way is one hell of a rideQ
Super Reviewer
½ June 14, 2006
If you didn't know that Christian Bale looked fantastic and healthy for his role as Batman a year after this, his sight alone would already be enough to give you nightmares here. Looking like a concentration camp victim he stumbles through this psycho thriller, looking for peace or mind, sleep and normality. The reasons for his behavior do not become clear until very late, when the audience sees through this riddle of paranoia, imagination and guilt. Bale delivers a tour the force of acting, torn between anger and the search for a normal life, the music and camera work add up to the bleak, confusing and frightening mood of the film. While the twist is not entirely new to the genre it's still well presented and offers redemption.
Super Reviewer
½ September 26, 2011
I loved this movie. It was really good. I loved the directing. Everything was great....The music, the sound, the lightning. (it was dark lighting....but it really fits the movie). And it's very mysterious. You don't know what to expect. Really exiting. And I don't think anybody can question Christian Bale's comitment to the role. But he does a good job with it to. I'm gonna watch it again..
Super Reviewer
October 26, 2010
Really, really good movie! This was one of those films that I really wasn't sure about at first...I loved the darkness, and eerie tone, and I didn't quite have any idea where it was going, but all the while there was something that kept me fascinated. It was worth it!

The story was really interesting...I don't think I've seen anything quite like it. Although it dragged in a few spots, the pacing was excellent. The story remains a mystery until the very last scene...I loved the "twist."

The tone and atmosphere was really appealing. The dark setting, bland color pallete, and eerie music sets up a mood that really draws you in. It gives the mindset that something is up, but it never spoils any of the thrills.

Finally, the performance and dedication of Christian Bale is unreal. He literally weighed 120 pounds. He's a skeleton! I give props to any actor who is willing to put his life at risk for his role. He's a great actor and his performance is usual, for him!

See this film, it's a great psychological thriller! I don't think you'd be disappointed!
Super Reviewer
August 3, 2010
Another film dealing with insanity on a scale unknown to the general public, yet we're able to understand it equally so. In this case, the mental health provision is insomnia, resulting in hallucinations, and the invention of a co-worker with a big toe and pinky toe instead of five fingers on one hand, named Ivan. Trying to track down Ivan after he inevitably causes a machinery accident, Trevor Reznik (Bale) is also trying to clear his name. Sadly this leads to isolation from his co-workers, the deterioration of his sanity in the way of left post-its on his refridgerator and hallucinations, and a relationship with a prostitute named Stevie (Jason Leigh). All of the chasing and yelling and shock value, build to one hell of an ending. It wasn't the most original film, but the skeletal appearance of Bale (reported to have weighed 110 pounds) the originality of the script, and the ridiculous nature of Ivan and the leaps in Trevor's logic all made for a great film.
Super Reviewer
May 12, 2011
A factory machinist is suffering from severe insomnia and loss of appetite; paranoid hallucinations soon follow, but what's causing them? Well done psychological thriller; the one thing nobody can get out of their minds is the image of a skeletal Christian Bale, who lost so much weight for the role that's it's horrifying to look at him with his shirt off.
Super Reviewer
April 6, 2011
A dark twisting mind game that's not so difficult to figure out, but still perks curiosity. The weight Bale lost for the role is impressive but shocking.
Super Reviewer
August 2, 2009
Incredible performance from Christian Bale again with a storyline that's not as clever as it wants to be. Full review later.
Super Reviewer
½ January 5, 2011
Christian Bales total dedication to the role makes for an amazing film of twists and turns. Worth the watch just for Bales performance.
Super Reviewer
½ June 17, 2009
yea of course you will guess the twist if you've seen "Fight club", but let us remember the good things: dark, depressing cinematography, rich dialogue, great character acting, and Jennifer Jason Leigh's great tits. oh, they're not great? oh, ok.... this movie isn't bad.
Super Reviewer
½ November 23, 2010
I did not believe that Bale had actually lost all that weight. But then IMDb said it was so. Holy hell. I wish I could say I remember this movie when it came out, but I don't. But as a girl who doesn't particularly like suspense/ thriller I liked it. I think Bale deserves at least a star and half in this movie alone. Holy hell. (Again.) Not only was the weight loss commendable, but the acting was superb. Really killer. (No pun intended.)
Oh and I love the lack of color. Usually I'm so trained to notice deep, rich colors that not seeing it is unique! And very thematic for this film.
Super Reviewer
November 14, 2010
Very interesting and sort of unique film. You're wondering the whole time, "Who is the bald guy with the red car?" and "Why do people keep say he IS the bald guy?" and "Why has Trevor not slept in a year, or why's he so skinny?" Then all our questions are finally answered at the end. Someone recommended me this movie about 2 years ago, and I'm glad I finally watched it. Recommended from me!
Super Reviewer
½ February 1, 2009
Very dark movie. Bale gives and outstanding performance. Bales weight loss for the movie is frightening.
Page 1 of 497