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

The Man Who Wasn't There Reviews

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Garth Franklin
Dark Horizons
December 16, 2001
Arguably their weakest film in years.
Read More | Original Score: 4/10
Victoria Alexander
November 9, 2001
It's James M. Cain without the prevailing sexual tension and without characters pleasuring themselves in deceit.
Full Review
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.
Christopher Null
October 14, 2001
Merely Z-grade noir full of weird non-sequiturs
Full Review| Original Score: 2.5/5
Erik Childress
October 30, 2001
Plays like Death of a Salesman without all the hard-hitting action.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
October 30, 2001
There's a fine distinction between the cool and the comatose and, punishingly slow, The Man Who Wasn't There repeatedly drifts over the line.
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Tom Long
Detroit News
November 11, 2001
A noble failure in the canon of America's best sibling film team, a movie that was there just a bit too long.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
David Keyes
December 23, 2001
Ed may be very well be the man who wasn't there, but that's not the only thing absent from this letdown of a motion picture.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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.
May 13, 2003
A case of style over substance - Coens or not.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Dustin Putman
November 8, 2001
Knowing that such a wasteful project was done by such talents as Joel and Ethan Coen makes the outcome all the more mindbogglingly weak.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Saul Austerlitz
Film Threat
December 8, 2002
The resulting hodgepodge is a medley of the brothers' favorite verbal and visual tics, making much noise and signifying nothing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Jeffrey Chen
Window to the Movies
July 12, 2002
A more outwardly dramatic offering than what we're used to seeing from the brothers, and, without the usual doses of droll comedy to keep the story moving, the weakness of a petering final act feels magnified.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Mark Freeman
Critical Eye
December 28, 2001
''s so relentlessly referential that The Man Who Wasn't There slips almost into claustrophobia.'
Scott Von Doviak
November 2, 2001
Even for longtime Coen fans, this is a movie that isn't all there.
Alex Keen
September 24, 2001
The characters lack the spark that is required in a Noir.
Top Critic
Jonathan Foreman
New York Post
October 31, 2001
Elegant but cold and meandering homage to film noir.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
October 31, 2001
A frustrating experience even by Coen standards.
Dave Kehr
November 1, 2001
Falls frustratingly short of its potential, thanks to the Coens' inability to construct a fluid narrative or respect characters enough to make them more than live-action cartoons.
Eric Lurio
Greenwich Village Gazette
November 1, 2001
Yes it may be brilliant, but it's not entertaining, which is something that the Coens usually are.
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