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Format: Blu-Ray DVD
UPC 14: 00097361428147
How Do You Wake Up From A Nightmare If You're Not Asleep?
"A moody psychological thriller with a stunning performance by Christian Bale at its core. Achy Obejas, Chicago Tribune
|Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) hasn't slept in a year. The shocking deterioration of his physical and mental health has made his every waking moment an unrelenting state of confusion, paranoia, guilt, anxiety and terror. His only solace from this living nightmare comes from an affectionate prostitute (Jennifer Jason Leigh).|
When cryptic notes turn up mysteriously in his apartment and when hallucinations of a co-worker that no one else sees causes a gruesome machine shop injury, he embarks on a journey to find out whether there is an elaborate plot to drive him mad or his fatigue has simply robbed him of reason. The more he learns, the less he wants to know.
"Psychological suspense at its finest. Michael O'Sullivan, The Washington Post
"...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
"An expertly manipulated exercise in psychological horror. Stephen Holden, The New York Times
"An intense, precision-controlled psychological mystery built around a very creepy lead performance by Christian Bale. Todd McCarthy, Variety
Christian Bale delivers one of cinema's most sacrificial performances in Brad Anderson's mesmerizing thriller. Written by Scott Kosar (2003's THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE), THE MACHINIST takes place in a bleak and nondescript American city, where Trevor Reznick (Bale) is quite literally withering away to nothing. During the day Trevor works in a colorless industrial factory, while at night he seeks refuge in the bed of a tender prostitute, Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh). For reasons unknown even to Trevor, he hasn't been able to sleep for an entire year. In the process, he has shed over sixty pounds, making him look like a walking skeleton. After an accident at the factory costs Trevor his job, he finds himself tracking a mysterious figure that may or may not, in fact, provide some answers to his confusion. Meanwhile, he begins to connect with a pretty airport waitress, Marie (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon), who shows Trevor some much-needed sympathy. By the time the film builds to its revelatory conclusion, it becomes quite clear just what has been tormenting Trevor all along.Anderson and Kosar's vision is brought to spectacular life by cinematographer Xavi Gimenez and composer Roque Banos, whose haunting atmospherics recall the best work of Alfred Hitchcock. And then, of course, there is Bale, whose performance is as terrifying, brave, and devastating as the screen has ever seen.
Cast & Crew
New York Times
"[O]ne of the few movies to scale the barrier between chilly fantasy and authentic cinematic nightmare. The actor backs up his stunt with a performance that builds to a pinnacle of savage fury and desperation."
Los Angeles Times
"Bale, always a nervy, risk-taking actor, gives a haunting performance of fierce concentration."
"[I]t's Bale's gripping, beyond-the-call-of-duty performance that holds you in thrall."
Movieline's Hollywood Life
"Director Brad Anderson has crafted a taut psychological thriller with a terrific payoff."
Sight and Sound
"Bale's performance has the emotional weight to substantiate this body-art spectacle..."
"Not since MEMENTO has there been such an engrossingly murky enigma of a film....This is a terrific pulp puzzler..."
Ranked #23 in Uncut's Best Films Of 2005 -- "[E]choes of Dostoevsky, JACOB'S LADDER and MEMENTO only compound the forbidding atmosphere."
ReelViews 7 of 10
A noir horror movie of the most un-classic kind, Brad Anderson's The Machinist takes you into the unstable mind of an insomniac with a dark secret whose life has become a bleak emotional wasteland devoted only to going through the motions of working. Blessed with an extraordinary performance by Christian Bale, this movie plays out like a nightmare, and will remind some viewers of The Fight Club, Memento, and Insomnia. 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...Style builds suspense. The scenes around the machinery are staged in a way that radiate menace. The expectation - which is fulfilled - is that something will go horribly wrong. The camerawork and claustrophobic atmosphere are designed to externally replicate Trevor's mental state. In addition, Anderson has drastically de-saturated the color, resulting in a spartan look that is only one step up from monochrome. And there's a scene with an approaching thunderstorm that is perfect in the way it is composed and presented...Even for those who are able to piece together exactly what is happening before the movie explicitly reveals everything, The Machinist is still capable of capturing the attention. The film is dark, but rewarding, and it never cheats the viewer. There are no sudden twists designed to blindside an audience. The reveals occur gradually, with Anderson allowing us the pleasure of putting the pieces together. The Machinist requires a certain kind of viewer - one who is comfortable with grimness and a certain amount of gore. Members of that group will appreciate what this picture has to offer.
- James Berardinelli
Chicago Sun-Times 8 of 10
"If you were any thinner," Stevie tells him, "you wouldn't exist." Trevor Reznik weighs 121 pounds and you wince when you look at him. He is a lonely man, disliked at work, up all night, returning needfully to two women who are kind to him: Stevie, a hooker, and Marie, the waitress at the all-night diner out at the airport. "I haven't slept in a year," he tells Marie...Christian Bale lost more than 60 pounds to play this role, a fact I share not because you need to know how much weight he lost, but because you need to know that it is indeed Christian Bale. He is so gaunt, his face so hollow, he looks nothing like the actor we're familiar with. There are moments when his appearance even distracts from his performance, because we worry about him. Certainly we believe that the character, Trevor, is at the end of his rope, and I was reminded of Anthony Perkins' work in Orson Welles' "The Trial," another film about a man who finds himself trapped in the vise of the world's madness..."The Machinist" has an ending that provides a satisfactory, or at least a believable, explanation for its mysteries and contradictions. But the movie is not about the plot, and while the conclusion explains Trevor's anguish, it doesn't account for it. 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. The photography by Xavi Gimenez and Charlie Jiminez is cold slates, blues and grays, the palate of despair. We see Trevor's world so clearly through his eyes that only gradually does it occur to us that every life is seen through a filter...Near the end of the movie, we understand him when he simply says, "I just want to sleep."
- Roger Ebert