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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 30.61%
Just Average: 12.24%
Pretty Crappy: 4.08%
Sucks: 14.29%

3 reviews, 31 user ratings

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Marathon Man
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by wintermute

"One of the dreaded 70's-stumble-around films"
1 stars

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Dustin Hoffman was going to fall into the pseudo-action trap that lurks in waiting for all serious dramatic actors.

Accosted by his spooky brother, played with gusto by Roy Scheider, Hoffman becomes embroiled in a plot involving Nazis, diamonds, and a winding, disjointed narrative.

Unfortunately for Dustin, not only does he have to deal with murderous National Socialists and missing precious stones, he also has to try and figure out just what the hell this film is all about. And I am afraid I can be of just as much help to him as a viewer as the script was to him as an actor. Which is to say, less than zero.

Hoffman runs marathons. Great. Does this figure into the plot of the film? Not really, but it makes a great title. Lawrence Olivier plays a Nazi/Dentist (insert requisite drill joke here) who at one point tortures our protagonist in a tedious, predictable manner. I know I am going to catch some flack for that, but honestly, that scene did nothing for me. In fact, the only real glimmer of interesting film making I could take with me from this movie was when the nefarious Nazi stumbles in the sewer and spills his diamonds all over the metallic grating that served as a floor. A cascade of white reflected light taunts both the villain and the hero. After this, you might as well stop watching.

Hoffman bravely continues to lurch from scene to scene, much like a passenger on the deck of a luxury liner caught in rough seas. It's a valiant attempt at cohesiveness, but in the end, bodies to the left, bodies to the right, Dustin's character is just as confused as he was when he started the movie. And so am I.

A terrible way to pass 125 minutes. Characters with no motivation other than their own destruction, meaningless violence and convoluted plot (this happens and then THIS happens and then THIS HAPPENS) made me want to drill out my own teeth (hahahahahaha)

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1421&reviewer=321
originally posted: 11/18/02 17:11:47
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User Comments

11/27/18 Anne Had enough after an hour 2 stars
1/31/11 David A. Zzzzzzzzzzz!!!!! (That's the sound of the drill going into Dustin Hoffman's teeth!) 4 stars
12/30/10 Dave Excellent! Laurence Olivier gives me nightmares! 5 stars
12/10/08 Jack Burton It has some cool moments and a strong atmosphere. Plot a little hard to follow at times. 3 stars
3/01/08 Pamela White overrated story and acting 3 stars
2/10/07 action movie fan excellent thriller!! so many good things about it> one of the best of 76 5 stars
5/22/06 tatum Stunningly overrated; big dental torture scenes are about ten seconds each 2 stars
12/31/05 goatfarmer this is DH at his best. Totally convincing. Icy performance by LO 5 stars
10/29/05 R.W.Welch Kafkaesque nightmare pic has perfect cast and near flawless direction. Bordering awesome. 4 stars
3/26/05 Jack Sommersby Logic-impaired but undeniably nerve-frying. Top-notch directing and acting. 4 stars
11/27/04 Jim Stowe I can'telieve the folks who didn't like this film! Too much plot, perhaps? 5 stars
6/02/04 Jacob West Not bad...the first time. 2nd time and your bored. 3 stars
11/29/03 john intense and violent..a true edge of your seat thriller - brilliant script! 5 stars
9/28/03 Alan Winterdumb describes the ending and says, "After this, you might as well stop watching." 4 stars
4/25/03 mr. Pink Has some memorable and exciting moments, but the plot is very weak. 3 stars
2/12/03 r. dassow Whoever wintermute is, he/she/it is a moron 5 stars
11/19/02 Joseph Kettering A really great spy movie. A classic in the genre. 4 stars
9/01/02 y2mckay OK spy thriller with Dustin Hoffman vs. old Nazi war criminals. Dentist drill torture - BAD 3 stars
8/13/02 Ramblin' Wreck Great movie!! 5 stars
8/29/01 Monster W. Kung A very enjoyable, very well done spy story. 4 stars
8/07/01 Jaan Well-made and stylish movie with decent perfomances, a thriller heaven! 5 stars
5/13/01 Aaron Hanson A very good film, but by today's standards very slow, younger viewers will probably dislike 5 stars
4/10/01 Tommy Thompson Shows how organizations can be displayed in movies to broaden the spectrum of the plot. 5 stars
3/29/01 Thurmes Guy rather good film 4 stars
2/03/01 mouton Amazing edge of your seat thriller. One of the best in the genre 5 stars
7/31/00 Matthew Bartley Excellent thriller. Very scary in parts 5 stars
5/31/00 Add Its biggest crime is in under using Olivier and over using Hoffman but worth your time. 4 stars
7/03/99 J-Dogg The only reason I like this film is too see all the torture scenes in it. 4 stars
5/02/99 Michael Grimm BORRRRRRIIIIIINNNNNGGGGGG!!!!!! 1 stars
12/30/98 Todd Is it safe? 5 stars
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  06-Oct-1976 (R)

  N/A (18)
  DVD: 07-Mar-2002

  10-Feb-1977 (M)

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