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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Original psychological thriller
This is a fairly dark, surreal, psychological thriller about an industrial machine operator living a life of solitude in his own dreamy hell.

The central character acts brilliantly through the torment and confusion. Searching out the truth following some strange events and encounters, he finds some buried information painful to discover.

Without...
Published on 6 Jun 2006 by Some Bloke

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 reasons to watch this movie
The cinematography. Colours are washed out of each frame more effectively than a biological detergent (or the bleach that Reznick compulsively washes his hands with). The effect provides a potent symbol of the netherworld between sleep and consciousness that Bale's character now resides.

The soundtrack. An homage to Bernard Hermann that echoes the roiling...
Published on 30 Aug 2006 by customer


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie but with French subtitles I can't remove!, 8 April 2011
By 
Ms. E. R. Munsey (Britain) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The titles says it all. Christian Bale is outstanding in this and the film will have you guessing all the way, but the DVD came with French on the box instead of English and was subtitled in French too! Not happy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "And I Fell Into A Dream"..., 15 May 2010
By 
Ian Millard - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Machinist [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
This is a pretty gripping film and one which I can certainly recommend even to those who, like me, have a preference for linear narrative and clear storylines.

The film follows the day to day life of a machinist in a workshop, who has not slept for a year. Without wishing to spoil the film for anyone, I can say that the film explores the nature of reality in the human mind under stress and guilt.

The film is made in colour, but, by an interesting film-making technique, the colour seems to strengthen and weaken depending on the main character's grip on reality. Quite fascinating.

Set in one of the warmer parts of the USA (never specified in the film itself), it nonetheless reminded me somewhat of the some of the work of the Russian film-maker, Tarkovsky.

Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "What's going on in that crazy head of yours?", 15 May 2009
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Machinist [2004] [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Trevor Reznik looks like a ghost of a man, only half existing, his body is on the brink and his mind is breaking down...

...Having not slept properly for a year and seemingly having hallucinations, the grim style of directing frames a fractured story which reflects the state of mind of the antagonist. As a viewer I shared Reznik's disorientation over what he was experiencing; never quite understanding what was real and what was the creation of a damaged mind in his perceived reality. There is always a feeling that there's some unifying link between everything he is seeing, a trigger which has caused it all, and that once this is identified - order can be restored. Will Trevor Reznik recognise the significance of his mind's tricks to resolve his disorder so he can finally sleep at night?

Christian Bale shows his dedication to his art by giving a truly believable performance as the emaciated factory worker. The sense of paranoia and vulnerability comes through strong without ever being over-acted. His alienation is perfectly depicted as he becomes an outsider to the people he has worked with for so long, and Bale often says everything that needs to be said just by his facial expressions.

In a nutshell: A troubled mind is losing grip on reality, a year of sleepless nights and constant paranoia has caused a man to forget what caused the mental trauma. There are echoes of Hitchcock and dark psychological thriller Pi in this gripping film which keeps you thinking that you've solved the underlying mystery - but it's only watching everything come together in the final moments which satisfies your suspicions as the symbolism of the previous hour and a half becomes apparent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To sleep, perchance to dream, 3 Aug 2008
This review is from: The Machinist [2004] [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
The Machinist is a haunting study of a man's slide into delusional paranoia and obsession. Christian Bale's performance as Trevor Reznik, the eponymous machinist, is as compelling as any performance I have seen. His dedication to the role included losing so much weight that I can only hope he did so under medical supervision and that it hasn't left any long-term damage. The image of his emaciated form will stay with the viewer for some time. I can't help but wonder if he might have garnered an Oscar nomination if this movie had been a more mainstream one.

Although steeped in grimness and horror there are a few darkly comic moments here. The fact that the story revolves around a blue collar worker is a refreshing change from the more typical anti-hero. And the resolution is a satisfying and moving one which does not telegraph itself to you too far in advance.

All in all, although there are echoes of other films here, the Machinist is an impressive and original piece of independent cinema.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very watchable clever piece of work., 8 Jan 2006
By 
This review is from: The Machinist [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
This is the sort of film where you need to stay awake. Certain landmarks and remarks have specific meaning to the storyline which can easily be missed if the audience does not pay full attention. The directing was superb, demonstrating the dangerous effect caused on the mind of long-term insomniacs. Christian Bale who plays Trevor Reznik gave an outstanding performance. His skeleton appearance and tortured demeanour truly convinced the viewer of the agonised guilt he experienced which resulted in him not having slept for a year. The film kept you guessing throughout, was this reality or hallicinations. Maybe Trevor without realising it was lapsing into short bursts of REM(Dreamstate)sleep as chronic insomniacs sometimes do. My only criticism was the dark and gloomy film effects causing the film to almost verge on a black and white movie, but I think the director probably felt this appropriate to capture Trevor's misery.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bale, as ever is totally convincing, 28 Jun 2005
By 
Joti Plahay (UK) - See all my reviews
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A little guilt goes a long way...
Having not slept for a year, lathe operator Trevor Reznick (Christian Bale) is dying of insomnia. Why he can't sleep, he can't remember. His every waking minute has become an unrelenting nightmare of confusion, paranoia, guilt, anxiety and terror; each of which is part of an escalating series of
clues that will lead him to the source of his mysterious affliction...
Method actor Christian Bale, who favours total immersion in the roles he plays, lost an astonishing 63 pounds from his already lean frame in order to convey the shockingly gaunt physique of the main character. Exhausting in his preparation, close to the point of permanent physical damage, Bale is the centrepoint of this extraordinary film.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark, disturbing, yet amazing film!, 20 Aug 2005
By 
J. Page "J Page" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Machinist [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
If you want to feel what it is like to be inside a slowly unravelling mind then you should watch this film. Christian Bale plays Trevor Reznik, a machinist who has not slept for a year. Apparently Bale lost around 60 pounds to get into character and his emaciated figure on screen is truly disturbing. We are unable throughout the film to distinguish reality from the product of Reznik's sleep deprived mind and this gives a sense of disorientation that is genuinely unnerving. Bale's performance is amazing and he really manages to capture the viewer in his world and, to be honest, it's not a very nice place to be, but the fact that he achieves it is testament to his ability as an actor. This film is probably not for everyone but it I would still recommend it because it contains some truly stunning acting and it is superbly directed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could you live with your conscience?, 4 Aug 2006
By 
Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Machinist [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
The Machinist is an utterly compelling and highly atmospheric psychological thriller in similar vein to Memento and Insomnia and also ringing faint echoes of Fight Club, Sixth Sense and Angel Heart. In my opinion though, it far outstrips each of those.

Bale is superb as the tortured soul Reznik. Baffled as to why he cannot sleep and to the reason behind his dramatic weight loss (that truly has to be seen to be believed!), he becomes increasingly paranoid about life. Weird post-it notes depicting a game of hangman materialise on his fridge, which exudes a rather bloody-looking gunge. His only fleeting moments of something approaching happiness are in the arms of a prostitute - sympathetically played by Jennifer Jason Leigh and his seemingly successful attempts to strike up a relationship with waitress Marie.

Convinced that his work colleagues, who find him increasingly creepy and unsociable, are out to get him, he loses his job after a violent outburst. Determined to track down the mysterious and unsettling "Ivan" (check out those disturbingly long teeth!) who always seems to be around when negative things happen, Reznik eventually discovers the appalling truth.

Those of you familiar with the movies mentioned above will probably be alert to the "twist" but, I must admit that I only got that blinding flash of realisation shortly before the grand denouement this time.

So, whilst slightly derivative, The Machinist remains a very clever and satisfying morality tale.

Remember, always take the Right path!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Machinist is beautifully crafted, 1 Feb 2006
This review is from: The Machinist [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
From the start of the film you know there is something wrong. The machinist seems to have no past and is suffering extreme insomnia. The sense of dislocation builds steadily through the film continually keeping you guessing like a good detective story before reaching the climax where everything suddenly falls into place - but not in anyway that we were expecting.
Satisfying and well crafted - highly recommended
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dark Journey of Guilt, 19 Aug 2005
This review is from: The Machinist [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
"The Machinist" is not an easy film to watch, as one sees Trevor Resnik (Christian Bale) descend into hell, plagued by visions we don't know the source of, until the pieces fit together in the final section of the film. There are "signposts" along the way...an intersection with a water tower, a coffee shop at the airport, a red car...and many roads that end in right/left choices. He keeps turning left (sinistro) as he goes down the rabbit hole of madness. Rather like Dostoyevsky's Roskolnikov in "Crime and Punishment," we are watching his mental state affect his physical world, as the phantoms of his conscience become real.
Another reason this film is not easy viewing is Christian Bale, who lost 63 Lbs. for the part of Trevor. He is skeletal, and no other actor has gone so far to act in a film. His performance is excellent, and his reptilian look adds to the mystery of the plot, which includes his claim that he has not slept in a year. Famous in her native land, Spanish actress Aitana Sanchez-Gijón is wonderful as Marie the waitress, and Jennifer Jason Leigh is superb as Stevie, a "heart of gold" prostitute who befriends Trevor. In smaller parts there is Michael Ironside as Miller, who works in the machine shop, and John Sharian as the bizarre Ivan.
The cinematography by Xavi Giménez, mostly in steely shades of blue and gray, is extremely effective. Shot in Barcelona (for financial reasons, because no US studio would put up money for the film), the story by first-time scriptwriter Scott Kosar is supposed to take place in a West Coast city. By keeping most of the action in an old machine shop and a warehouse, the film's locations have the look of any dilapidated part of town, anywhere in the world.
Directed by Brad Anderson, this strange but sometimes oddly beautiful film is not going to appeal to everyone, but is sure to become a cult favorite. It needs more than one viewing, so that one can see it after having put the puzzle together, and appreciate it for its cinematic skill, which is almost deserving of a 5 star rating. The score by Roque Baños has the necessary eerie quality, and total running time is 102 minutes. DVD extras include audio commentary by director Anderson, "The Machinist: Breaking the Rules," 8 deleted scenes, and the theatrical trailer. As the original tag line said, "A Little Guilt Goes a Long Way."
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The Machinist [2004] [DVD] [2005]
The Machinist [2004] [DVD] [2005] by Brad Anderson (DVD - 2006)
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