“Christian Bale? WOW!”
“Bale Deserves An Oscar For This Role...”
“Despite Being Predictable At Times, There’s More Than Enough Originality To Hold Our Interest, Due Especially To An Oscar-worthy Performance By Christian Bale As You’ve Never Seen Him Before. ”
A grimy, excessively art-directed psychological horror flick.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
Christian Bale's 63-pound weight loss makes this bleak thriller one of the few movies to scale the barrier between chilly fantasy and authentic cinematic nightmare.
Stephen Holden - New York Times
Give Anderson credit for at least sustaining a mood.
Mike Clark - USA Today
Psychological suspense at its finest.
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post
A stylish but fatally shallow puzzler that suggests a Twilight Zone episode filmed on the leftover sets of Seven.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
As its stricken hero's prominently posed copies of Kafka and Dostoyevsky suggest, the movie takes itself more seriously than it should.
Dennis Lim - Village Voice
A meticulously complex story of guilt and paranoia.
Jack Mathews - New York Daily News
It's a carefully layered, tautly directed and superbly acted psychological thriller.
Philip Wuntch - Dallas Morning News
A powerful, accomplished movie that lingers.
Michael Booth - Denver Post
The director Brad Anderson, working from a screenplay by Scott Kosar, wants to convey a state of mind, and he and Bale do that with disturbing effectiveness.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
A moody psychological thriller with a stunning performance by Christian Bale at its core.
Achy Obejas - Chicago Tribune
Until now Bale's screen persona has been defined by a graceful athleticism; here his physicality is repellent, yet he carries the occasionally creaky plot of Scott Kosar's unsettling screenplay to a resonant finish.
Andrea Gronvall - Chicago Reader
Elegant and shatteringly creepy.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
If grimly atmospheric studies in alienation are your cup of tea, you should find director Brad Anderson's dark brew especially tasty.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
It begins dark and depressing, but ends up merely dull.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Though Bale deserves all the credit that can be heaped at his feet ... there is far more to this sinister psychological thriller than just exhibiting Bale's emaciated form.
Bill Muller - Arizona Republic
Christian Bale gives his all for his art in The Machinist.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Pic's integrity is clinched by Bale, whose haunted, aggressive and finally wrenching performance gives The Machinist a strong anchor.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
Anderson gives The Machinist a sickly noirish look that contributes to the creeping horror -- but it's the emaciated Bale's spectral presence that leaves the imprint.
Megan Lehmann - New York Post
[Bale's] is a great performance, full of commitment and sacrifice, and The Machinist is one of the year's best films.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Smacks of a movie made by people who've spent a lot more time watching movies than absorbing them.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
Anderson's effort here isn't bad, but, as measured on the scary-intruder index, this is more of a front-porch flick. Movie over, it's not hard to shut the door on it.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
Watching it, I kept wondering: What, exactly, is the point? The movie sustains its ominous hum, but in the end, it doesn't really give you all that much to think about.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
Although The Machinist may at times seem to be derivative of those films, and is inferior to them, it is nevertheless a harrowing experience for those to whom this sort of story appeals.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
In its very calibrations, from Scott Alan Kosar's edgy, spooky script to Anderson's provocative visualizations of Trevor's disintegrating mind-set, The Machinist is a gem.
Duane Byrge - Hollywood Reporter
Anderson tightens the screws of suspense, but it's Bale's gripping, beyond-the- call-of-duty performance that holds you in thrall.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Bale, always a nervy, risk-taking actor, gives a haunting performance of fierce concentration that goes beyond his dramatic weight loss.
Kevin Thomas - Los Angeles Times
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
- Sight and Sound
Scott A. Mantz - Scott Mantz' Movie Reviews
If Nine Inch Nails, Swans and Ministry ever loomed large in the landscape of your imagination, Anderson's gloomy aesthetic may exert a sour but lingering pull.
A brilliant, harrowing performance by Bale.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
Victoria Alexander - Movie Reviews in Croatian
It's not necessarily a fun or loveable picture, but it is interesting and entertaining.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
With time as a buffer, it's now easier to see The Machinist for what it is: a labyrinthine leap down the rabbit hole into a nightmarish wonderland.
Ryan Cracknell - Movie Views
It's fulfilling to watch a psychological thriller that demands the audience watch, pay attention, follow along, and decipher for themselves without falling in to the usual Hollywood conventions.
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Here, shorn of every ounce of body fat, Bale is laid open like an autopsy specimen, and he easily gives his best performance.
Devin Faraci - CHUD
Bale is superb as Trevor, able to not only convey the wasted person within, but to avoid making his physical appearance the only thing we care about or notice.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Um angustiante pesadelo que, trazendo Bale numa performance corajosa e repleta de auto-sacrificio, funciona como um estudo poetico sobre os extremos da culpa.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Christian Bale starves himself to near-death proportions in this trippy, creepy film about insomnia in the workplace.
Jason Gorber - Film Scouts
full review in Greek
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
It's a somber, sometimes slow-slithering dark piece that's heavier on style than substance, but it all works.
Staci Layne Wilson - About.com
An intelligent, well-crafted picture.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
A few scenes into the gloom and you'll have a good idea what is generally up, if not the specifics, making the journey toward the eventual, inevitable twist fairly one-dimensional.
Ian Nathan - Empire Magazine
One can't deny the dubious appeal of the spectacle of the skin-and-bone Bale, quite possibly endangering his health for the sake of his art.
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
An absorbing and eerie study of paranoia and psychological torment.
Chuck O'Leary - Fantastica Daily
Kosar has ... constructed an exercise in existentialism that is so literal it's a true feat that he was able to reign it all back in for the somewhat tidy ending of this film.
Don R. Lewis - Film Threat
It's like a film the Coen Brothers would have made, back when they still made good movies.
Alex Sandell - Juicy Cerebellum
replacing phrase "going De Niro" with the phrase "going Bale" in many vocabularies
Dragan Antulov - Draxblog Movie Reviews
A clever, taut thriller that will have everyone guessing right up to its avant-garde conclusion.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
Anderson's use of lighting, editing, sound design, and score hit just the right nerve endings, creating a film that keeps turning over in your mental gears for days afterward.
Brian Mckay - eFilmCritic.com
Some people will pick up the clues early in The Machinist and some won't. I got some, not all, but I remained unengaged throughout, largely because of the film's deliberateness, which feels like lack of passion.
Paul Byrnes - Sydney Morning Herald
A chance for Bale to show off his new lean look for what the filmmaker mistakenly thinks is art.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
A gimmick with no real payoff.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
Christian Bale gives his best by giving less in this nightmare tale of a machinist who is one tool short of the full set.
Anton Bitel - Movie Gazette
The performances are nothing short of superb - Bale's skeletal form alone is likely to be the most haunting visual image of the year.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Director Anderson weaves a creepy little web of intrigue and misdirection and The Machinist is mostly entertaining and clever.
Michelle Thomas - Future Movies UK
Mark Twain said that Wagner's music isn't as bad as it sounds. The Machinist isn't as good as it looks. But Bale's fever-dream performance is otherworldly great.
Tim Appelo - Seattle Weekly
Bale's performance has the emotional weight to substantiate this body-art spectacle, ranging from prickly self-righteousness through panicked self-doubt to morbid self-pity...
Ben Walters - Sight and Sound
The Machinist doesn't offer large rewards beyond Bale's presence and its vague atmosphere of dread, but those are enough.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
This bleak exercise in paranoia is somewhat thin on 'entertainment value,' but it's heavy enough on mood to warrant spending a few hours inside Reznik's skin.
Jon Niccum - Lawrence Journal-World
You'll join the dots in Anderson's thriller within the first five minutes - a real crying shame since Bale deserved much more for his pound -- or 63 -- of flesh.
Jamie Russell - BBC
You can't stop thinking about how awful Bale looks-partly because his transformation is so unnerving, but also because the film doesn't give you anything else to think about.
Paul Matwychuk - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Hanh Nguyen - Zap2it.com
An unsettling psychological thriller despite being composed of old, familiar parts, the film has an atmosphere that's as scary and tense as anything else this year.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Watching The Machinist can be a chore, as it requires absolute attention from the viewer. But don't let that scare you away.
Forrest Hartman - Reno Gazette-Journal
Too derivative to earn a strong recommendation
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
[Bale's] haunted, sunken-eyed look will stay with you for days.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Bale's body-sacrificing performance is worth catching, even if the story is as thin as he is.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
The Machinist doesn't take us to a happy place. For those who appreciate true mind-bending grit, though, this is the bedeviled place to be
Larry Ratliff - San Antonio Express-News
The film is admirably atmospheric but it ultimately loses its nerve and is revealed as just another comforting lesson in redemption.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
A product of precision engineering, a compact model of bare-bones efficiency.
Tim Hansen - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The trouble with the movie is that its dramatic content is almost as thin as Reznik's extremities, and nearly as obvious as the ribs that poke through his skin.
Steve Schneider - Orlando Weekly
...more freak show than creep show.
Thomas Delapa - Boulder Weekly
It is well worth enduring for the performance of Bale.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
It's one of those movies that you admire more than you enjoy, but Anderson and Kosar are clearly talents to watch.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
A generic Twilight Zone-type thriller
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
A stunt that didn't merit Bale's startling, and dangerous, transformation.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
Bale's weight loss is no acting gimmick, but merely the most extreme aspect of what is truly an astonishing performance.
Rob Thomas - Capital Times (Madison, WI)
It's well made and involving, and Bale is obviously committed to bringing this desperate character to life.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Bale is totally convincing, if not especially endearing, as the sleep-challenged title character. If it's true that Oscar can't resist a likable actor in a self-punishing role, this one is going to be hard to top come February.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
The physical terror, at the very least, makes the intended impact. That's more than can be said for this well-crafted, but overall unremarkable psychological thriller.
Phoebe Flowers - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
It would be easy to accuse Bale of a warped kind of egomania if his performance wasn't so mesmerizing.
Joe Baltake - Sacramento Bee
Anderson definitely has a flair for creating a diffuse sense of fear, paranoia, and mental illness onscreen.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
It is not for everyone -- it is difficult to watch, sad to contemplate and not altogether successful. Nonetheless, it is worth seeing for Bale's performance.
Jean Lowerison - San Diego Metropolitan
The problem with relying on a second viewing is that, the first time out, it's really tough to identify with Reznik in any way.
Luke Y. Thompson - New Times
Low-budget, high-shiver horror film is anchored by Christian Bale's unsettling portrait of insomnia.
James Rocchi - Netflix
Trevor Reznik. Machinist. Insomniac. A man wracked with guilt who can only find redemption ... in the Twilight Zone.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
Mainly this is all Bale's show. He is strangely sympathetic, taking us right into Trevor's pain without any special pleading.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
A foreboding, noir-bending film of visceral, internalized tension and confusion.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
The story, which should strip down scarily like Reznik, starts to bulge and wander pretentiously.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
A superior exercise in mood and atmospherics, a drama that springs from a place of deep disturbance.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
A pretentious, sadistic film.
Mary F. Pols - Contra Costa Times
The secret to the appeal of The Machinist is director Brad Anderson's ability to sustain an off-balanced, discombobulated mood throughout the film.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
It's an overly calculated, schematic graph of a script that eliminates the things we go to the movies to experience: interesting characters, a story we can relate to, an emotional release.
Steve Murray - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Wish it all added up to more than a stock morality play.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
While it's hardly a great movie, thanks to Bale's remarkable performance it's a genuinely creepy and engrossing one.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
A relentless and painful reminder of concentration camp terrors and famine relief operations.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
Interesting premise, terrific performance, shocking transformation - the image of Christian Bale's skeletal appearance will stay with you long after you leave the theatre.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
Although the primary plot line turns out to be a letdown, there are aspects of The Machinist that redeem it. Bale's performance is one; another is the dull, metallic look of the picture.
Marc Mohan - Oregonian
If the intent of Anderson, Bale and Kosar is to create empathy for their tortured character and synesthesia with his madness, then they succeed many times over.
Matt Kelemen - Las Vegas CityLife
The thing we most dread is that this existential mystery will have an unsatisfying resolution, and in this case, our worst fears are realized.
Scott Von Doviak - Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Scott Von Doviak - Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
Christian Bale delivers one of the most astounding performances of the year in this exceptionally written psychological thriller. **
Angela Baldassarre - Sympatico.ca
Needless to say, Bale goes the extra mile for the role of title character Trevor Reznick.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
Riveting not only for its visuals ... it's also riddled with amusing metaphors.
Steve Head - IGN Movies
Anderson struggles to maintain an emotional connection, but he crafts a remarkably sure-handed little thriller.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Don't know about you, but I'm going out for some prime rib, a pitcher of beer and some kind of whipped cream desert. And, Mr. Bale, you're invited to join me!
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
There's no avoiding getting overwhelmingly hooked on this character, and ready to follow him into whatever nightmare realm.
Prairie Miller - WBAI Web Radio
It's more of an idea, like the premise for a Twilight Zone episode or the skeleton of a 20-minute short film awkwardly stretched to feature length.
Peter Debruge - Premiere Magazine
- Boston Phoenix
Bale's complete immersion into Trevor's afflicted soul and Sharin's southern fried freak make the descent into paranoia worth the journey.
Tom Meek - Boston Phoenix
Anderson and Bale build something that only sounds like a chore: a character study as its own prison
Jesse Hassenger - Filmcritic.com
The movie is ingeniously designed. It is also repulsive and I wish I hadn't seen it.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Not the most entertaining thriller you'll sidle up to, but its relentlessly grim tale has that timeless car crash quality.
Paul Sherman - Boston Herald
[A] powerful evocation of guilt, anxiety, and incipient insanity...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
There is more to Bale's performance than the stick figure physique. Trevor is a man literally being consumed with angst, eyes hollow, posture stooped and mouth agape.
Lisa Rose - Newark Star-Ledger
Next year, everyone will know him as Batman, but this year Christian Bale wants us to know he can act. Mission accomplished.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Stylishly grim and nervously intriguing for most of its running length, but concludes with an underwhelming, derivative whimper.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
It is tortured and it's consistently fascinating.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
Christian Bale delivers an expert performance...
Tony Toscano - Talking Pictures (U.S.)
Imagine if the twist in The Sixth Sense had turned out to be something as depressingly ordinary as, say, Bruce Willis' character never having been a licensed psychologist.
Brett Buckalew - FilmStew.com
The film's persuasively doom-haunted atmosphere and star Christian Bale's astonishing transformation into an emaciated walking skeleton are hypnotic, in a roadkill, rubbernecking sort of way.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
This is not a horror film, but it is horrifying.
Pam Grady - Reel.com
Anderson does keep a fairly predictable, deeply depressing plot line engrossing for most of the way.
Bob Strauss - Los Angeles Daily News
Bale is skeletal, magnetic, mesmerizing in this adult horror tale.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Though the film starts slowly, it unfolds irresistibly, thanks mainly to Bale's full-bodied, soulful performance.
- E! Online
As flashbacks show Trevor at other moments, when his head is slightly less scrambled and his body less eaten away, the film is never not about process.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
Bale's brilliance in the role lies not only in the fact that he starved himself for months but that he fully inhabits this wasted, paranoid man.
Annlee Ellingson - Boxoffice Magazine
This ultimately disappointing picture is suitably dingy-looking, intermittently scary, and boasts a nice, creepy score complete with theremins and Bernard Hermann-esque bass accents.
Kim Morgan - L.A. Weekly
Effectively weirded-out chiller about a factory worker who may - or may not - be a cold-blooded killer. Bale is brilliant.
David Sterritt - Christian Science Monitor
Bale provides us with images that we won't soon forget. The script, however, is never nearly as good as the film's indelible images.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
The Machinist is a beautifly haunting - chillingly stark - film that places you knee-deep within an oblique nightmarescape a strange and troubled man is experiencing.
Emily Blunt - Blunt Review
Scott A. Mantz - Entertainment Insiders
Covers familiar ground with elegance, teasing out its twists and turns in a way that seems natural rather than contrived.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
A fairly standard issue psychological thriller, although Christian Bale's physical transformation for this film is truly astonishing.
Phil Hall - Film Threat
Reduces tragedy to a mere punch line, and as such its lead character exists less for himself and more for the gratification of the Memento fan club.
Ed Gonzalez - Slant Magazine
Even in a time when weight gains and losses in the service of a role have become commonplace, Bale has accomplished an astonishing change.
Carlo Cavagna - AboutFilm.com
Bale's performance, which is more than merely his physical transformation, keeps you in the story, even during its more surreal moments.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Director Brad Anderson is clearly going for more of a '70s character study vibe rather than that of a thriller, a decision which absolutely works.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Worth a look just to see the frighteningly thin Bale, and some nice washed-out photography from Xavi Gimenez.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
Anderson builds up suspense quite brilliantly, using a deliberate pace that draws the viewer into Trevor's strange world.
Lewis Beale - Film Journal International
Nowhere near so frightening as it pretends to be.
Donald J. Levit - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
...one of the better movies that I've seen so far this year.
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
The Machinist manages to forge something fresh and unique while clearly showcasing some affection for the film noirs and the twilight zones that came before.
Scott Weinberg - eFilmCritic.com
A fractured puzzle of a film that continually toys with our expectations, yet never lets us see its entire hand until Anderson wants us to
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com