The Man Who Wasn't There Reviews

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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.
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.
December 8, 2002
The resulting hodgepodge is a medley of the brothers' favorite verbal and visual tics, making much noise and signifying nothing.
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.
March 22, 2002
A paradoxical film even by the Coen brothers' standards: a painstakingly crafted throwaway.
January 22, 2002
The Man Who Wasn't There denatures pulp, and although I know this was the Coens' intention, it's not a particularly gratifying one. Their movie isn't there, either.
December 28, 2001
'...it's so relentlessly referential that The Man Who Wasn't There slips almost into claustrophobia.'
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.
December 16, 2001
Arguably their weakest film in years.
December 9, 2001
Visually magnificent but otherwise disappointing.
November 16, 2001
If the drabness doesn't get you, the deliberately glacial pacing will.
November 15, 2001
It's a bit of a mess, the work of bratty geniuses with talent to spare, but unsure of what -- if anything -- they're trying to say.
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.
November 10, 2001
Trouble is, there's not enough there there.
November 9, 2001
It's James M. Cain without the prevailing sexual tension and without characters pleasuring themselves in deceit.
November 9, 2001
It's hard to care about characters with this level of detachment.
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.
November 2, 2001
More gris than noir.
November 2, 2001
Even for longtime Coen fans, this is a movie that isn't all there.
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