The Man Without a Past 2002

The Man Without a Past

Critics Consensus

Kaurismäki delivers another droll comedy full of his trademark humor.

98%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 99

90%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,629

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Movie Info

After a brutal beating in a Helsinki park, a middle-aged welder (Markku Peltola) falls into a coma. When he wakes up, he cannot recollect a single detail about his life. Unable to provide information to the authorities, the man has no legal way to regain his life. He finds a community of homeless people, and creates a home out of a metal container. He eventually meets Irma (Kati Outinen), a Salvation Army worker, and they fall in love while he rebuilds a life with new friends and a new job.

Cast & Crew

Annikki Tähti
Manager of Flea Market
Elina Salo
Dock Clerk
Outi Mäenpää
Bank Clerk
Esko Nikkari
Bank Robber
Aki Kaurismäki
Director
Aki Kaurismäki
Writer
Aki Kaurismäki
Producer
Timo Salminen
Cinematographer
Outi Harjupatana
Costume Designer
Nadja Delcos
Assistant Director
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Critic Reviews for The Man Without a Past

All Critics (99) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (97) | Rotten (2)

  • Quote not available.

    December 30, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
    Empire Magazine
    Top Critic
  • Kaurismaki's movies can tickle you with the briefest of statements, the smallest of gestures.

    August 29, 2003 | Rating: 4/5
  • At the end of The Man Without a Past, I felt a deep but indefinable contentment.

    June 27, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A powerful film made with minimal means, it's a story of poor people on the fringes of society, done without sentimentality or condescension but with wicked humor.

    June 27, 2003 | Rating: 4/4
  • After watching it, I wasn't too sure myself if my choices would be any different than those M makes. He has no clue as to the life he's led, only feelings that tell him he wasn't the type of man he necessarily wanted to be.

    June 19, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Deliciously slow-paced film.

    June 19, 2003 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for The Man Without a Past

  • Sep 26, 2013
    Slow and dry, this Finland-set dramedy and its amnesiac protagonist seem to be searching for meaning along with the audience. It's a challenging watch, especially for those who know little about the local culture, but there remain moments of universal humor, warmth, and melancholy that overpower Kaurismaki's alienating idiosyncrasies.
    Sam B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 09, 2011
    The Man Without A Past raises a question, "what would make a changed better man?" A rather odd but interesting lovely story that delineates past, present, and future. Vivid, subtle characters blessed with sincere humanity and profound personalities. Hilarious. Brilliant. Compelling.
    Jan Marc M Super Reviewer
  • May 29, 2011
    Great dialogue, interesting story and all that...but it just felt meh. It's a bit too dry for my tastes
    Idrees K Super Reviewer
  • Dec 14, 2010
    Jim Jarmusch aptly summarized this film: "it's sad enough to make you laugh, and funny enough to make you cry."
    Stefanie C Super Reviewer

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