Dead Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dead Man Reviews

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½ February 18, 2017
Neil Young's improvised score and the monochrome cinematography I suppose are intended to artistically elevate the film, because without them Dead Man is a lifeless, agonizingly self-conscious heap of nothingness.
½ November 20, 2016
A unique Western of sorts with fine acting from Johnny Depp. I actually liked the style at first, but things got stranger and creepy as it progressed. It was just too out there and didn't speak to me. (First and only viewing - 11/20/2016)
November 13, 2016
Immensely satisfying, Dead Man is a masterpiece from independent maverick Jim Jarmusch, an historically accurate rendering of the American West that follows the spiritual journey of Wiliam Blake (Johnny Depp) from life to death. Not _that_ William Blake, of course, but the misperception does allow Jarmusch to quote a lot of Blake's poetry, delivered sometimes as faux Native American idioms by Gary Farmer, playing Nobody, Blake's guide on the journey. For this is really a road movie, terrain that cinematographer Robby Muller has visited before with Wim Wenders (friend and mentor to Jarmusch); his black and white footage of the serene wilderness contrasts with the stark views of the ugly white man's town of Machine - both are spectacular. Neil Young's solo guitar score is haunting, ruminative, evocative, sacred - the film would not have reached such heights without it. Most road movies are episodic, as the characters meet other players along the road and have adventures of various kinds and Dead Man is no different; Blake runs afoul of Iggy Pop, Billy Bob Thornton, & Jared Harris who might kill him and Alfred Molina who wants to sell Nobody an infected blanket. The white men are portrayed as flawed and violent here (beginning with Robert Mitchum in his final role), at least as compared to the Native Americans (who are not necessarily idealized). As Blake/Depp travels half-dying (or already dead) from urban decay through pure natural environs to the sea, I am reminded of James Mason's spiritual journey in Carol Reed's Odd Man Out (1947), as an IRA leader who is shot and eventually leaves worldly things. Mason is followed by the cops but Depp is followed by three bounty hunters who meet various untoward ends, allowing Jarmusch to employ some gallows humor. And, although the movie does have some idiosyncratic anecdotes and Jarmuschian moments, mainly it is a majestic, poetic, astonishing meditation on the rape of the land and indigenous peoples, transmuted into William Blake's experience and his writing by fire. At his point in our history, we may all be dead already.
½ November 2, 2016
A artsy tale of a white man, travelling far for nothing, stumbling into trouble and unfortunate events, thus named a the great William Blake, though unfamiliar with the powerful art of poetry. Binding together with his companion "Nobody", his senses slowly starts to emerge towards his fate; the Dead man.
October 28, 2016
No one can survive becoming a legend.
½ October 4, 2016
. So I suggest to watch it when you're in empty mood. Greatness
September 7, 2016
I considered it's first two thirds to be better than its last, but it is nevertheless still interesting, unique, and surprisingly funny.
½ August 11, 2016
Long, drawn out scenes hinder the HELL out of scenery and texture that this film sorely needs to make up for being SUCH a downtrodden fable. Filmed in "Artsy" black-&-white only made me that much more angry to watch, considering 5K, HD television is available now. I stuck with it to the end solely to get the trope payoff of having Depp get some vengeance or SOMETHING at the end of this; but, alas, it was NOT to be. Do N O T waste your time...even if there's nothing else on cable.
July 15, 2016
Depp's Chaplin-esque comedic abilities are hilarious. Beautiful cinematography and rhythm, great humor, dialogue, characters, casting and story amid a moral undertone on the 'winning of the West'.
June 11, 2016
My favorite film. Hey, everyone has to have one and this one is mine. The black and white film is great to see and has good contrast between light and shadow. The story is interesting but even more so, the characters are a joy to see. The music, the settings, the old west feel, and it really does feel like it is happening in the old west and that the viewer has a window seat... a very close view.
May 31, 2016
Strange and unique, but not sure if its good. Johnny Depp plays meek accountant William Blake, who gets shafted out of a promised job, and ends up almost killed when he follows a lady of the night home. Then while the affected parties sends marshals and bounty hunters after Blake, he goes through a spiritual journey of sorts while meeting and shooting all sorts of deranged folks. The movie drags on in its third act, but its an interesting western for sure, even if it may be a bit too art house.
½ May 29, 2016
Dead Man is an undeniably strange movie, and sometimes it's hard to figure out what to make of it. Filmed in black-and-white with an eerie score by Neil Young, and using contemporary dialogue and mannerisms, Jarmusch's picture has a dream-like quality. It's filled with irony and subtle humor, but contains a serious message about the fragility and uncertainty of human existence. Blake, normally the mildest of people, discovers how easy it is to kill. In fact, he becomes wanted for a series of murders.

Johnny Depp has always been willing to take acting chances. From Edward Scissorhands to Ed Wood, Depp has consistently sought out challenges. With William Blake, he breathes life into another in his series of oddball personalities. Depp's Blake is lost and injured both physically and spiritually. Playing opposite the lead actor, Gary Farmer portrays the enigmatic Nobody with a caustic edge that makes him very unlike other Native American movie "sidekicks". The impressive list of actors with cameo appearances includes Robert Mitchum, John Hurt, Gabriel Byrne, Crispin Glover, and Alfred Molina.

Even if it accomplishes little else, Dead Man will almost certainly inspire thought and discussion. This isn't the kind of movie that can be digested easily or immediately. This provocative, puzzling movie will stay with you long after the twangy strains of Neil Young's end credit music have faded away.
½ May 28, 2016
Classic! Great film!
May 27, 2016
There's no other film like this. I didn't understand it the first time but I did feel it. Later I came to the conclusion that there's no need to understand it the way I'm comfortable with; it's something to dive into and to live with afterwards. Probably one of ten most important films for me.
½ March 27, 2016
Dead Man (1995) ? 1/2
Smarmy, overrated B&W Western saga tells stark tale of William Blake (Johnny Depp), a writer who embarks on a dangerous journey after killing Gabriel Byrne and fleeing from the law. Unusual, even quirky at times, defeated by deadening pacing, annoying music cues, low-key (even hostile) attitudes and gross out death scenes for the sake of being disgusting. Only virtues: Robert Mitchum's memorable cameo, sheer originality; otherwise, repellent, sickening, and boring. Evidently, this is revered by many film critics and film historians; I am not among them.
½ March 8, 2016
Dead Man is a unique take on the age-old genre that inspired it, filled with pitch-black humor, subtle satire, and a wide variety of bleak tones.

V: 66%
½ March 3, 2016
Saw this on 1/3/16
The surrealistic acid western starring Johnny Depp and ethnic Gary Farmer has the two leads in memorable characters that have great chemistry. This is enough even though the film doesn't mean much.
February 23, 2016
A quality, strangely post-modern Western. The Indian characterisation is a highlight, as is the black and white cinematography, especially while on the run in the wilderness. Those scenes are almost replays of Down By Law. The ironic ending is excellent, too! The whole movie has a wistful quality, which doesn't strike me as being especially ambitious, but Depp's portrayal is nevertheless compelling and engaging.
January 26, 2016
Stunningly film, especially the black and white cinematography, which just tips beyond beautiful into transcendent. Would've been 4.5 stars except for one huge mistake towards the end of the film.

Also, remember the days when Johnny Depp started in good movies? *sighs deeply*
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