Critics Consensus

While bolstered by strong performances from Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston, Choke struggles to capture the tone of Chuck Palahniuk's novel.



Total Count: 141


Audience Score

User Ratings: 34,989
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Movie Info

Victor Mancini (Sam Rockwell) has got some problems -- when he's not at Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings hunting for women to bed, he masquerades as a choking victim in restaurants as a scheme to gather money from unsuspecting strangers, which he uses to keep his ailing mother (Anjelica Huston) in a high-end extended-care facility for her extreme dementia. But what happens when this messed up Colonial-era theme-park employee finds Mrs. Right in the guise of his mother's doctor -- and how can he give their relationship a try when she tells him he's the next coming of Jesus Christ? Based on Chuck Palahniuk's (Fight Club) pitch-black comedic novel, Choke is adapted and directed by David Mamet alumni Clark Gregg, whose career spans stage, screen, and TV work as well as a screenplay credit for Robert Zemeckis' 2000 thriller What Lies Beneath.

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Critic Reviews for Choke

All Critics (141) | Top Critics (38)

Audience Reviews for Choke

  • Nov 07, 2017
    I read the book many years prior and even before Fight Club struck it big on home video, one of those books you laugh at or cringe about. This film felt like a dream come true, Rockwell was a choice that seemed great, what could go wrong? The biggest issue I have with the film is the deviation from the source material, Palahniuk wrote a great book but the essence is nowhere to be found. I feel Gregg wasn't the right choice for the writer and director, the film has no core, the plot elements are there from the book but Gregg leaves everything super vague. The film plays it very safe, it needed the biting satire that made the book so funny, this has moments but never clicks together. The wall building, the actual choking and the book are quickly tossed to the side for what ends up a mixed film. There a few more books I want to see as films but this fell to yhe area of way too safe, you can't make a safe Palahniuk adaptation. 07-11-2017.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Feb 06, 2016
    For all its lurid subject matter, Choke gets wrapped up in a package that's perhaps a little too neat and tidy. That is, Choke at times plays almost like a bizarre romantic comedy didactic about the roots of addiction. But there's also quite a few very funny, clever, and moving scenes. And it's always good to see Sam Rockwell. I think there is also some effective insight given into what essentially causes addiction too.
    Super Reviewer
  • Sep 24, 2015
    Choke became more like a romantic black comedy in this interpretation. Victor is a sex addict who cons people by faking choking to get sympathy money to pay for his mother's stay in nursing home, and he fell in love with the resident doctor. Yeh, it was pretty funny, but it didn't have the same tone as the book and the message was lost in the film adaptation. I did have a few good laughs though!
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Feb 25, 2015
    A severely underrated work loosely based on Chuck Palahniuk's novel of the same name. Bizarre but charming to the right sort of audience.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer

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