The Minus Man

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 35


Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,046
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Movie Info

Notable as the directorial debut of Blade Runner co-scripter Hampton Fancher, this darkly comic thriller stars affable Owen Wilson as Vann Siegert, a different brand of serial killer: one who actually believes he's doing his deeply depressed victims a service of mercy. Wandering up the West Coast, Vann chooses victims from a parade of colorful social misfits -- including a haggard junkie (singer Sheryl Crow) whose pain he ends with a nip from his flask of poison amaretto -- and expounds on his motives with a pocket tape recorder (a drawling monologue that serves as the film's narrative voice-over). A brief layover in Owensville eventually finds Vann in the company of quarreling middle-aged couple Doug and Jane (Brian Cox and Mercedes Ruehl), who grow fond of the young drifter's amiable demeanor and take him on as a boarder. After landing a job at the local post office, Vann catches the eye of co-worker Ferrin (Janeane Garofalo), and a tentative romance blossoms -- but even love can't distract Vann from his crusade to terminate people's unhappiness: "They come to me like moths, because I shine," he explains. Though not the complex psychological game it purports to be, The Minus Man is an intriguing character study -- imagine a kindler, gentler version of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer -- with some clever twists and fine performances, including a touching portrayal from the usually acerbic Garofalo. Geared more to the art-movie crowd than to fans of Hitchcockian thrills, this film opened to raves at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival.

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Critic Reviews for The Minus Man

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (14)

Audience Reviews for The Minus Man

  • Jan 27, 2012
    Something constructed back when Owen Wilson felt a need to act. The film hangs far too often.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • May 15, 2010
    In this movie Owen Wilson stars as a cold-blooded serial killer who travels around the country in order to choose victims who complain about their lives and talk about all their misery. When the killer comes to a new small town where he gets to stay at a unhappily married couple, he just waits to find his next victim. He sees ghosts who taunt his concience and he later starts a relationship with a woman from his job. It was very interesting seeing Wilson in this kind of character and I think it suited him well. He expresses this kind of innocence. Very interesting movie.
    Naughtia N Super Reviewer
  • Nov 17, 2008
    This movie is so lame.
    Kevin L Super Reviewer
  • Dec 28, 2007
    I first saw this movie in 2000, I thought it was good then. I just seen it again today for a better clarity of the movie, and I have to say it was pretty good. Low-key. But, fairly well. Great cast- Owen Wilson, Brian, Dennis Haysbert, and Janeane Garofalo.
    Leo L Super Reviewer

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