The Man Who Wasn't There - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Man Who Wasn't There Reviews

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January 19, 2016
Just the barber
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Michael Nordine
Not Coming to a Theater Near You
October 14, 2011
Ed's problem isn't so much that he isn't there but that, when you finally catch a glimpse of him, there's no way to be sure exactly what has caught your gaze.
Emanuel Levy
April 1, 2011
This stylized black and white noir by the Joel and Ethan Coen is meticulously mounted but too emotionally detached and only sporadically engaging.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Nell Minow
Common Sense Media
December 28, 2010
Some mature themes--best for older teens.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Nick Rogers
September 19, 2010
Few outside of Coen cliques paid this nihilistic neo-noir much attention. Perhaps that's its wryest, slyest punchline: To watch Ed Crane is to largely forget him and, upon returning to him, revisit the pleasure of meeting him for the first time.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
October 13, 2009
Affectlessness is not a quality much prized in movie protagonists, but Billy Bob Thornton, that splendid actor, does it perfectly as Ed Crane.
Philip French
Observer (UK)
November 7, 2007
As good a film as I've seen this year.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
November 7, 2007
The film holds the interest, to be sure, but more due to the sure sense of craft and precise effect that one expects from the Coens than from genuine involvement in the story.
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
November 7, 2007
Joel and Ethan Coen stay true to their bent for dense heroes and neonoir, and to their unshakable conviction that life usually turns out to be splendidly horrific.
Rob Gonsalves
September 27, 2007
Thornton does wonders within the tabula rasa of words and gestures he's limited to.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Joe Lozito
Big Picture Big Sound
July 14, 2007
Mr. Shaloub injects some much needed energy into the film which otherwise feels long at two hours.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Kim Newman
Empire Magazine
December 30, 2006
Slowly paced for a thriller and with a hero many will find off-putting, this is nevertheless a gripping, unusual and challenging work from the most consistently brilliant filmmakers of the last decade.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
June 24, 2006
In this the Coens' sly script is helped no end by Billy Bob Thornton's supremely eloquent performance as the taciturn tonsor, lent terrific support from Frances McDormand as the wife.
Top Critic
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
July 21, 2005
Despite the movie's humor and sense of irony, it takes on a sense of somberness as it progresses.
| Original Score: A
Stuart Klawans
The Nation
March 3, 2005
It's perfectly, elegantly reticent about its subject matter, as suits both the theme and the tradition of film noir (a type of filmmaking that thrives on unstated motives).
Jeffrey Overstreet
Looking Closer
December 6, 2004
You've heard of a 'vacant stare'; now you know what it's like for the person staring.
| Original Score: B
Steve Crum
Kansas City Kansan
October 30, 2004
Thornton's ultra low key performance is a plus, as is the effectively moody, black and white cinematography.
Full Review| Original Score: B-
Judith Egerton
Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
June 23, 2004
Once again, Ethan and Joel Coen have twisted a film genre into something new.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Michael Szymanski
February 24, 2004
Joel and Ethan Coen have created an excellent film that intelligent audiences should really appreciate.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Tim Robey
Daily Telegraph (UK)
October 19, 2003
A perfectly executed illustration of what is not, quite, great about the Coen brothers, which is a kind of grandstanding, and another kind of weirdly alienating insincerity.
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