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Hauntingly bleak and thrillingly ambitious, The Double offers Jesse Eisenberg a pair of compelling roles while reaffirming writer-director Richard Ayoade's remarkable talent.
All Critics (127)
| Top Critics (31)
| Fresh (105)
| Rotten (22)
| DVD (1)
The film's bleakness is almost satirical. It's Brazil drained of the daydreams.
The Double invites second looks and close examination. As Simon finds when peering into mirrors, what we see is often unexpected.
The Double doesn't get very deep, but it does get interesting.
"The Double" has a theatrical, self-conscious quality to it; the performances feel stagy and its production design looks like a grimly monotone Wes Anderson movie.
"The Double" is a striking piece of work, but it's nostalgic for a kind of paranoia that may no longer exist. There are different things to frighten us now.
Most of the time, "The Double" feels less like watching a book than reading a movie.
It is always refreshing to be able to witness something that lies outside the box of the conventional. The Double always fascinates and, despite the confusing narrative.
Only a truly talented filmmaker can take an oft-told story and make it feel original. By succeeding, Ayoade establishes himself as one of the best filmmakers in Britain today.
There's just one problem with a deliberately paced, artsy, mysterious film with little dialogue - you can appreciate it a great deal but still find yourself checking your watch.
I don't know whether Ayoade has much firsthand experience of boring office work, beyond having starred in a sitcom about it, but almost everything in "The Double" seems to come from other films.
British director Ayoade's second film is jam-packed with witty references, from cheesy sci-fi soap operas to the long-suffering men who populate the Coen brothers' films.
Building on his promising debut, Submarine, Richard Ayoade is emerging as a director of some talent.
This atmospheric and visually stylized psychological thriller based on Dostoevsky brings to mind Kafka, Hitchcock, Brian De Palma, Orson Welles and even David Lynch in the way it makes us share the unsettling existence of a shy man who is forced to confront his loneliness.
No better pairing could exist than having an adaptation of Dostoyevsky directed by Richard Ayoade. One is absurdist and nearly dystopian, the other whimsical in a deliberate way. With grim settings, on edge characters, and a premise that belies logic for a sense of anonymity, "The Double" is a weird, wondrous ride through the mind of an invisible cog in a strange machine. Featuring Eisenberg in dual roles, he is both uncouth and barely audible, shamelessly self-promoting and irresponsibly obtuse. Other great performances come from Wallace Shawn as a near sighted boss, Mia Wasikowska as the love interest, and Cathy Moriarty in a great cameo as a waitress. Though much of this is engrossing, I would say the level of thoughtfulness sometimes overshadows the action, as it feels like a calculated thought experiment, more than a plot driven farce. What makes this film an interesting watch is the palpable tension between what's real and what's not, what's fair and what's not. It's outrageous in its simplicity, and depressing in its realism. Highly recommended for those with a quirky sense of humor, a love of the absurd, and a need for something intellectually stimulating.
Pretty yawn-inducing till it's halfway through, then gets a bit interesting for a while before it finally loses the steam again.
A creepy dark, unique thriller that teases the senses but ultimately falls flat. It's like marmite you'll either love it or hate it!
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