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on 17 April 2017
Oh my god. My respect for Christian Bale is at it's highest. the transformation to play the lead character is amazing and the film is creepy and sinister and keeps you guessing until the end. Wonderful, mesmerizing and disgusting and scary.
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on 3 September 2016
How have I only just seen this? This is the best film I've seen in ages and I take my hat off to Christian Bale! The film is atmospheric, weird, interesting and creepy. The soundtrack adds to the atmosphere and it does a great job of looking at the world of mental health. What Christian did for this film is remarkable and I had so much empathy for the character who was severely emaciated and suffering from insomnia.
Jennifer Jason Leigh was fantastic in this too! I recommend this to film lovers and cannot understand some of the poor ratings. If you liked fight club, watch this!!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 July 2008
"A little guilt goes a long way." So says Trevor Reznik to the waitress in the airport café at midnight.

Christian Bale, who lost 63Ibs to play the part, is Trevor Reznik, the machinist in the title. He's the worker who cannot sleep, whose life is a daze, the man slowly tortured by his own living dream. Why is he so emaciated? Why cannot he sleep? Why is he plagued by sinister tricks of the mind? So many questions; what are the answers? I'm not going to spoil it by giving them here, but suffice to say that his colleague Ivan is not all that he seems. (Bale appears in every scene and his commitment to the film is clear. How he failed to be nominated for his role is beyond me.)

The movie opens at its ending (so keep your eyes well-peeled). A languid pace is prevalent from the start. In his commentary, director Brad Anderson admits to Hitchcock being a direct influence in the making of this clever film - "the last Hitchcock movie never made". The colours are often dark, almost black/white in places with many of the colours leached out; much of it was shot at night. Sinister and curious tropes appear, such as the game of hangman, photographs from a past that was not lived, memory problems, paranoia, nosy old landladies, and cars coloured red. Just what is real and what is not? (The very useful director's commentary will point out clues that you may have missed.)

The Hitchcockian feel extends to the score, written by a Spanish composer but in the style of Bernard Herrmann. There are repetitive harp figurations and deep long breathing in the strings; even the sound of the theremin is resurrected. Anderson says that the film is "a parable about guilt". It's not a horror movie; rather it is a dark drama a la Kafka. Indeed, the screenwriter was inspired by Kafka and Dostoyevsky, and there are references to the latter in the film: Reznik is reading "Crime and Punishment" (nudge, nudge: clue!).

Because Brad Anderson had difficulties raising money in the States for his movie, it was shot in Barcelona and Andorra. But you'd never guess! This was such a surprise to me when it was explained by the director in his commentary. This explains the presence of the Spanish composer, the Spanish DoP, the French production designer, and so on. The team has performed marvels in translating the production into a convincing American milieu from a European base.

As well as the director's commentary, the extras also include a 25-minute interview with Brad Anderson, a 25-minute "making of" (with interviews with the actors and some of the production team), and some deleted scenes.
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on 22 June 2013
Dark and mesmerising, a must-watch.

Bale plays a man crippled with guilt induced insomnia and paranoia and gives one of the best acting performances of his career.
His dedication to his craft - losing 60lbs+ to 'get inside' this character - is both spectacular and awe inspiring. Don't want to give too much away for fear of spoiling it for those who haven't seen it - but the lengths he goes to at the end to get some sleep - and by doing so explaining the reason for his insomnia - is a great twist.

I you like brooding psychological thrillers you have to get your hands on this one! Superb.
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on 30 December 2017
no subtitles, and this wasn't made clear at all so the only way you can find this out is by buying the movie and actually starting to watch it, and of course once you do that you lose the option to get a refund, even if you only clicked on it to check if subtitles are there. useless, every decent streaming site i.e. netflix has subs, there's legit no excuse for this.
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VINE VOICEon 31 July 2011
There is a touch of film noir to THE MACHINIST, and a lot of Alfred Hitchcock, but mostly it is a very good mystery story that attempts to throw you off the scent by a series of shocks. The "hero", brilliantly played by Christian Bale, is obviously not a well-man, but why? How much of what we see is happening, and if it is happening is what we are seeing the actual event? Those of you driven mad by CACHÉ with its missing clues and multi-answer ending will find THE MACHINIST much better value. It shows you everything but in Eric Morecombe style not necessarily in the right order. This is a thoroughly good film if you like working out puzzles; the music is especially effective, and the acting universally excellent.
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on 19 August 2016
This is a fantastic film - Christian Bale does a great job. I bought it to show at a screening for a local film group who have an interested in films with a scientific/medical theme. Two of the panellists on the post-film discussion (a clinical psychologist and sleep researcher) were both impressed with the way the film deals with symptoms associated with psychosis and insomnia, albeit with certain elements being slightly exaggerated for cinematic impact!
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on 19 June 2016
Noir classic. Totally out on its own, this one, Incredibly committed performance from Christian Bale; great work by Jennifer Jason Leigh; scintillating music throughout; very special cinematography; completely ploughing it's own way. What more could you want? I absolutely loved this.
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on 28 September 2015
I had to watch this again. It is a work of art in every way. Brilliant production, amazing use of colour and symbolism, music that haunts as you sink into the subjects confusing world of hallucination and paranoia. Christian Bale is awesome in this. It's among the very best.
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on 2 February 2013
I am a big fan of Christian Bale & I think he was superb in American Psycho & the Prestige among others, he is an exceptional method actor... To lose the weight he did then to put it all back on in time for Batman Begins takes some doing & it is very impressive although his image in the film is disturbing

You really do have to think about this film & try to fit the pieces together but it all comes together in the end & the story line is superb, despite all his flaws & issues throughout the film & the reason for his insanity & insomnia you do actually really feel for the protagonist Trevor Reznik(Bale)

The ending completely shocked me & it is very impressive, I thoroughly enjoyed this film

Highly Recommend
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