Permanent Midnight - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Permanent Midnight Reviews

Page 1 of 10
May 29, 2016
Dark comedy about a $5000-a-week TV writer with a $6000-a-week heroin habit. Painful to watch, with a surprisingly great performance by Ben Stiller. I heard about this 1998 movie through the Los Angeles episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Tony meets Jerry Stahl whose autobiography the script is based on.
February 19, 2014
A story of a drug addicted man trying to make a living in LA while under the influence.
September 30, 2013
2013-09-30 well done but pretty much of a downer. don't see how anyone could call it "high-energy" or "wicked sense of humor". "darkly cautionary", yeah.
September 5, 2013
I re watch this the other night this art house flick came out the year Ben stiller became a house hold name with there's something about marry being released stiller plays a successful tv writer in l.a. With really bad heroin addiction this movie is dark it's a drama with a little humor stiller does really good job in it wish he go back to his roots if you haven't seen it and a fan of art house films I recommend it !
½ July 15, 2013
A dark film based upon the autobiography of successful TV writer Jerry Stahl (Moonlighting, ALF, thirtysomething) and his downward spiral into drug abuse. Ben Stiller stars as Stahl, as do some of Stiller's frequent comedy collaborators, including Owen Wilson, Jeaneane Garofalo, Andy Dick, but this film is a lot more "Trainspotting" than it is "Zoolander." Still, like "Transpotting" there are certainly some very dark humor here as well. Still, it's far from a light or glib film. Stiller shooting up in a car next to his baby in a carseat is pretty rough. The film also features Maria Bello as a fellow recovering junkie and also has Elizabeth Hurley showing some surprising acting chops as Stalh's head-in-the-sand wife. The film doesn't quite come together as a whole, but Stiller gives a fine dramatic performance that holder your interesest and keeping you with the film throughout. And anything with Fred Willard, even in a bit part, is worth watching, right?
½ June 24, 2013
I'm sorry, but taking Ben Stiller seriously is a tough thing to do. At least for me. Him huffing and puffing and shooting heroin into his neck (even with the infant present) just seemed silly to me. And his face made me laugh.
March 29, 2013
Stiller did an excellent job playing this heroin addicted character. It was a hard movie to watch as Jerry slowly fell deeper and deeper into his addiction, but it is definitely a great performance to watch.
March 26, 2013
A low-budget indie feature from 1998 that is based on the head writer of the hit sitcom Alf, who was a serious heroin addict during the time that he became one of the show's most prominent members on the creative board. It details his abandoning of his wife and child as well as his downfall from the entertainment industry as he spirals into the uncontrollable habits of his addiction. Its a downer with an odd sense of humor and an up front confession of one man's losses through the choices he makes as an addict.
March 4, 2013
Permanent Midnight is based on the autobiography by Jerry Stahl, a Hollywood writer who's life spiralled out of control due to a heroine addiction. At the time he was writing for the tv series ALF he was earning $5000 a week and had a $6000 per week drug habit. His story is legend in Hollywood and his exploits rivalled that of Hunter S Thompson. Ben Still is perfectly cast as Stahl. He looks just like him and his performance is incredible... in fact he has never been better. The film is heavy and some of the scenes of him shooting up are grotesque and difficult to watch... a scene of him injecting heroine into his neck while he sits beside his baby daughter is heartbreaking. The film is also backed with some great support actors such as Maria Bello, Owen Wilson, Charles Fleischer, Janeane Garofolo, Fred Willard and Peter Greene. As the poster suggests, Elizabeth Hurley also stars but she's the weakest link in this chain. I've never considered her a good actor and she is sadly miscast in this one. Nevertheless it's a powerful film and most definitely a rarity for Ben Stiller. He puts his entire being into the role.
February 4, 2013
Sad true story with no real victory. Sure, Stahl eventually overcame a several decade addiction that put him in further debt that his success (with ALF) could hold him up.

He's really done nothing since then. A couple screen plays and a handful of CSI episodes.

What a waste he made of his life. But again, maybe what he has going on behind the scenes is much better for him than Hollywood success.
January 15, 2013
What Permanent Midnight (fairly) successfully captures in a spiraling drug habit (at least as much as an hour and a half allows), it fails at in portraying how hard it actually is to get clean. Still, Stiller delivers a solid performance. I am not a fan of his comedy roles, but he did a good job with this material.
½ January 12, 2013
I somewhat enjoyed this pointless drama.
½ December 17, 2012
I had alot of problems with permanent midnight, but it is undeniabley shocking and hard to endure
½ November 5, 2012
Stiller in a really powerful role. This is dark, gritty, depressing and real. A+
½ October 12, 2012
I hate Ben Stiller so much less in stuff like this.
½ September 26, 2012
Ben Stiller as a heroin addict. And he's STILL funny!
August 19, 2012
There have been a lot of movies about addicts and addiction, but "Permanent Midnight" finds its own story to tell despite some scenes that feel familiar and cliched. It's based on a true story but in the end that doesn't really matter all that much. The behind the scenes of a popular '80's sitcom could have been interesting, but this is more about one man's struggle and it;s all the more effective because the focus is restricted to that single storyline.

It may seem odd now to think of Ben Stiller in a role like this, but early in his career he was much more of a risk taker, and he's phenomenal in this role. More attention paid to the terrific work he did here and in other earlier, darker films might have led to him choosing more dramatic roles and the world may have been spared one more moronic comedy. Unfortunately, that never happened.

This is one of the most unflinching, rawest films on the subject of drug addiction in recent memory, not shying away from showing just how ugly and desperate people become. The film never glamorizes its subject matter, and there are plenty of characters here, written smartly, who see through Stiller's facade. It's refreshing to see.

I also appreciated the unique structure of the film, opening at the story's end and relating Stiller's descent through flashbacks. The technique can be flashy and distracting, but it works here. There's nothing at all that's flashy about this picture. "Permanent Midnight" is human and compassionate, but at the same time honest and uncompromising. Stiller's character is unsympathetic but it's perhaps the best performance of his career. It's a trendy story starkly told.
August 17, 2012
Not a bad flick. Ben Stiller did a great job of portraying Stahl. It drags along at times but for the most part not too bad. Message I got: don't use herioin.
½ August 14, 2012
I really enjoyed seeing Stiller play a drugged out mess.
August 13, 2012
A well made film with a great Ben Stiller performance. Too bad it doesn't bring anything new to the table.
Page 1 of 10