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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 34.31%
Just Average: 7.84%
Pretty Crappy: 2.94%
Sucks: 0.98%

8 reviews, 54 user ratings

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Machinist, The
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by Elaine Perrone

"The Machinist: A Skillfully Crafted Thriller."
5 stars

Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) is a man living in his own personal hell. He hasn't slept in a year, he can't eat, and he is tormented by visions that may or may not have some basis in reality, or may be completely the product of his steadily escalating derangement.

Working in a machine shop, his exhaustion leads to inattention, which in turn causes an horrific accident in which a fellow worker, Miller, (Michael Ironside) loses an arm. Never popular with the men with whom he works, who suspect drugs at the root of his mental and physical deterioration, Trevor is completely ostracized by them after the accident. His only solace comes from his relationships with two women, a call-girl, Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who nurtures him lovingly; and an airport waitress, Maria (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, "I'm Not Scared"), who serves him coffee and pie, which he leaves untouched, every night. Both women gently scold the skeletal Trevor with the same words, "If you were any thinner, you wouldn't exist." Stevie offers to give up hooking to be with Trevor exclusively. Maria invites her lonely customer to spend Mother's Day on a carnival outing with her and her young son.

When Trevor isn't being comforted by Stevie or Maria, he is being hounded by a menacing co-worker named Ivan (John Sharian), who the other men in the machine shop swear doesn't exist. When he's not being dogged by Ivan, he sits alone in his apartment, writing Post-its to himself and obsessively scrubbing his bathroom floor with bleach and a toothbrush.

Someone seems to be breaking in to Trevor's apartment, leaving grisly souvenirs in his refrigerator and cryptic sticky-notes of his (or her) own. A strange little game of Hangman, in particular, sends Trevor's feelings of paranoia skyrocketing and leads to an unsettling confrontation between him and his suspected tormenter.

Director Brad Anderson and screenwriter Scott Kosar have crafted a brilliantly hallucinatory and claustrophobic tale that twists back and forth upon itself, shifting between past and present, reality and imagination (or delusion), and leaves the viewer off-balance and breathless. Like the diabolical funhouse ride to hell, Route 666, that is at the film's center, one is horrified by the carnage while simultaneously being unable to turn one's eyes away from it. The denouement, when it arrives, is at once unnerving and weirdly satisfying, a beautifully written, if tragic, closure to all the tantalizing ambiguity that precedes it.

Christian Bale is perfection as the haunted Trevor, a man literally crazed by personal demons that make his life a waking nightmare. Bale lost over 60 pounds for the role -- a third of his normal body weight -- going from about 180 to 120 pounds, but the weight loss is in no way a gimmick that gets in the way of or detracts from what is an astonishing performance. While the viewer never gets past the emaciation, it is Trevor, not Bale, who is the focus of attention, and Bale slips effortlessly into Trevor's skin (and bones!), becoming him.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8511&reviewer=376
originally posted: 10/02/04 10:08:27
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Chicago Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Vancouver Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Toronto Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Mill Valley Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Mill Valley Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Leeds Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Leeds Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

2/19/12 posttoastee Bale gives an impressive performance. Good stuff. 4 stars
12/03/08 Crabes Dostoïevsky would have been so proud of this powerful film ! 5 stars
9/29/08 L. Gary Captivating moroseness with a pedestrian ending. Bale shined througout. 4 stars
8/27/08 Alex Thorne A remarkable portrayal of the fragility of human sanity.Should have been oscar nominated 5 stars
5/02/07 Tracey Chambers anything with christian bale is worth a look 4 stars
4/13/07 cindy this is one good fucking movie. I can't believe how much weight he lost for this movie 5 stars
12/28/06 David Pollastrini boring, dull, etc. 2 stars
12/15/06 Minotaur AWESOME! I havent been able to get it out of my head for a week. 5 stars
9/23/06 teofisto great film, lost a lot of weight... true actor 4 stars
9/14/06 Beth Plaxco I can't believe the physical changes to make "the Machinist" after watcing "American "psych 5 stars
8/25/06 james burke Even if you see it coming it's still a fascinating film 5 stars
5/08/06 andy outstanding performances....thmbs up for bale..excellent progression of a wicked tale 4 stars
2/15/06 Carlos Idelone Dream-like like the Carnival of Souls 4 stars
1/08/06 Frenzy Just great 5 stars
12/02/05 sex trade worker christian bale is gorgeous 5 stars
11/19/05 Bestit 'Just an incredible film, no matter how you look at it...one of the best in years. 5 stars
10/12/05 eddiejohns I almost didn't recognize Mr. Bale. He's wonderful and the movie is fantastic! 5 stars
9/30/05 ShabbaRanks Hands down the best film of the year! Amazing!!! 5 stars
9/29/05 Lori Excellent, gripping, unnerving, totally had me in its spell 5 stars
9/15/05 del malliaros this movie is fucking awesome and at the end christian bale is gorgeous 5 stars
9/05/05 Dirk I am a machinist anything about this trade would have to a horror 5 stars
8/31/05 Badhobbit Reznik's experiences are a nightmare come to life. Spellbinding! 5 stars
7/31/05 TheOthersFan AAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CHRISTIAN BALE WHAT DID YOU DO TO YOURSELF?!?!!!!!!?! 2 stars
7/30/05 KOR Indrid: Don't think they were going for the "David Lynch thing." Try Hitchcock or Kafka. 5 stars
7/21/05 Indrid Cold Very well done, but somehow doesn't quite pull off the David Lynch thing. 4 stars
7/18/05 Kankasaur It's refreshing to see a film that impresses both the art-house and artless. 5 stars
7/12/05 Frenzy Great story, great acting 5 stars
7/11/05 paige i dont understand the symbolism everyone is taking about......they speak about symbolism??? 5 stars
7/11/05 Taylor Fladgate Creepy creepy creepy...very good, would have been good except for the untied ending 4 stars
7/10/05 Brian Feiler Great mystery/suspensefull thriller. Bale almost appears to be dissapearing before our eyes 5 stars
7/05/05 Kirsten way overrated gimmicky crapola 2 stars
6/29/05 Phil M. Aficionado Haunting/daunting story, great casting/acting/directing -- just a little "much" in places. 4 stars
6/25/05 malcolm hypnotizing and intense. who woulda thunk skinny-ass Bale could make a great batman? 4 stars
6/21/05 Jim Dennen intense study of Christian Bales' character from a year with no sleep. Great casting! 5 stars
6/20/05 David Hollands A haunting mind-bender. Bale is fantastic. Anderson's direction is incredible. 5 stars
6/14/05 Phil Hunt Interesting...but entertaining 4 stars
6/05/05 John Bale Not since Polanski's REPULSION such a devasting essay into a disturbed mind 5 stars
6/04/05 ANNA unsettling, disturbing, tragic, thought provoking, one of best films i have ever seen 5 stars
6/04/05 Hack-SAW Not too bad... But it reminded me of "Session 9", "The Salton Sea" & "Fight Club"!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
5/11/05 MCKROB Creepy.. Christian Bale is fantastic... 5 stars
4/20/05 Caiphn Dark, sometimes hard to watch, outcome not as obvious as some of the reviews say. 4 stars
2/17/05 ALDO Only watch it if you liked "Angel eyes" and "Fight club"...Otherwise stay away 3 stars
1/29/05 Tiffany A must see performance by Christian Bale 5 stars
1/21/05 Uncle Phucker Pretty bad ass movie. Not totally original but brilliant looking and fine acted by cast. 4 stars
12/13/04 Lord Durvok 2 Anderson pwns! But this one was kind of... eh. 4 stars
12/06/04 pin Crime and Punishment adaptation - given a nod, no credit 4 stars
11/02/04 f. fendt confession: good for the soul, good for the body 5 stars
10/25/04 Klaus Great movie. Very dark. Definitely one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. 5 stars
10/25/04 P.J. Dunlevy Christian Bale - wonderful, physical performance. 4 stars
10/21/04 natasha Readers' Digest condensed version of Dostoevsky meets Fight Club 3 stars
7/01/04 jeffrey Weird!!! Maybe I'll like it more the 2nd time. A little slow to watch 4 stars
2/19/04 josh christian bale is god. 5 stars
2/08/04 Jake Absolutely wonderful, I am a big fan of Session 9 and this film equals that. 5 stars
2/07/04 CC Bad....to Crappy 1 stars
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  22-Oct-2004 (R)
  DVD: 07-Jun-2005



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