Existenz

1999

Existenz

Critics Consensus

Gooey, slimy, grotesque fun.

74%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 69

69%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 48,835
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Existenz Photos

Movie Info

Set in the near-future, eXistenZ depicts a society in which game designers are worshipped as superstars and players can organically enter inside the games. At the center of the story is Allegra Geller whose latest games system eXistenZ taps so deeply into its users fears and desires that it blurs the boundaries between reality and escapism. When fanatics attempt to assassinate Allegra, she is forced to flee. Her sole ally is Ted Pikul (Law), a novice security guard who is sworn to protect her. Persuading Ted into playing the game, Allegra draws them both into a phantasmagoric world where existence ends and eXistenZ begins.

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Cast

Jennifer Jason Leigh
as Allegra Geller
Jude Law
as Ted Pikul
Ian Holm
as Kiri Vinokur
Don McKellar
as Yevgeny Nourish
Oscar Hsu
as Waiter
Kris Lemche
as Noel Dichter
Robert A. Silverman
as D'Arcy Nader
Vik Sahay
as Male Assistant
Kirsten Johnson
as Female Assistant
Balazs Koos
as Male Volunteer
Kris Lemeche
as Noel Dichter
Stephanie Belding
as Female Volunteer
Gerry Quigley
as Trout Farm Worker
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News & Interviews for Existenz

Critic Reviews for Existenz

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (14)

  • eXistenZ - both Allegra's latest beta release and David Cronenberg's dizzying B-movie - makes the different textures of game, film and life increasingly difficult to tease apart.

    May 21, 2018 | Full Review…
  • I just don't happen to like puzzle films of any kind, but I must credit Mr. Cronenberg with more intellectual depth than most of his fellow pessimistic movie pranksters.

    Apr 27, 2007 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Observer
    Top Critic
  • Dark, delirious fun.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It's good art direction in search of an idea.

    Jul 21, 2005
  • In the hands of anyone else, the notion of computer game terrorists would be ludicrous, and even Cronenberg fails to explain their motives, using the film instead to indulge in surreal exercises of dream logic.

    Dec 3, 2001 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Jamie Woolley

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh is an ideal Cronenberg heroine, projecting a personality that is smart, wary and capable of obsessiveness.

    Feb 14, 2001 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Existenz

  • Feb 17, 2016
    It is not easy to guess what is coming in this movie. The premise is interesting - when does a game become so real that you have troubles distinguishing reality and a game. I did not think Cronenberg's version had much thought to it. Whenever the plot got boring, another layer got added.
    Red L Super Reviewer
  • Jan 01, 2016
    Occasionally interesting ideas can't salvage the predominantly shaky acting, relatively lifeless script & characters, and inappropriately pedestrian (& stylistically dull) form of direction in this film.
    Kyle M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 10, 2015
    Certainly not Cronenberg's best.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 08, 2015
    Existenz is about what one would expect from a late nineties, low budget, Cronenberg film. The first half hour is poor but overall, the film redeems itself and delivers on modest expectations. We get imagination, both paranoid and grotesque, and an eerie vibe that grows more compelling as the film progresses.
    Robert B Super Reviewer

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