7.7/10
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555 user 217 critic

The Machinist (2004)

Trailer
2:33 | Trailer
An industrial worker who hasn't slept in a year begins to doubt his own sanity.

Director:

Brad Anderson

Writer:

Scott Kosar
Reviews
Popularity
1,257 ( 89)
7 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Bale ... Trevor Reznik
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Stevie
Aitana Sánchez-Gijón ... Marie
John Sharian ... Ivan
Michael Ironside ... Miller
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. ... Jackson (as Larry Gilliard)
Reg E. Cathey ... Jones
Anna Massey ... Mrs. Shrike
Matthew Romero Moore ... Nicholas (as Matthew Romero)
Robert Long Robert Long ... Supervisor Furman
Colin Stinton ... Inspector Rogers
Craig Stevenson ... Tucker
Ferran Lahoz Ferran Lahoz ... Gonzales
Jeremy Xido ... Evangelisti
Norman Bell Norman Bell ... DMV Clerk
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Storyline

Trevor Reznik is a machinist in a factory. An extreme case of insomnia has led to him not sleeping in a year, and his body withering away to almost nothing. He has an obsessive compulsion to write himself reminder notes and keep track of his dwindling weight, both scribbled on yellow stickies in his apartment. The only person he lets into his life in an emotional sense is Stevie, a prostitute, although he has an infatuation with Maria, a single mother waitress working in an airport diner. His co-workers don't associate with and mistrust him because of not knowing what is going on in his life that has led to his emaciated physical appearance. A workplace incident further alienates him with his coworkers, and in conjunction with some unfamiliar pieces of paper he finds in his apartment, Trevor believes that someone or some people - probably one or some of his coworkers - are out to get him, using a phantom employee named Ivan as their front. As Trevor goes on a search for evidence as to... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A little guilt goes a long way... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and disturbing images, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The producers of the film claim that Christian Bale dropped from about 173 pounds in weight down to about 110 pounds in weight to make this film. They also claim that Bale actually wanted to drop down to 100 pounds, but that they would not let him go below 120 out of fear that his health could be in too much danger if he did. His diet consisted of one can of tuna and an apple per day. His 63-pound weight loss is said to be a record for any actor for a movie role. He regained the weight in time for his role in Batman Begins (2005). See more »

Goofs

While sitting in his truck at the airport terminal car park (1hr 19 mins) the feet of the cameraman can be seen briefly in the truck's metallic wing mirror. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ivan: Who are you?
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Soundtracks

Broadway Lights
Written by Frances Ruffino
(c) Parry Music Cathalogue
Authorised by Konga Music, S.L., exclusive subpublisher for Spain
All rights reserved
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User Reviews

 
A strong mood piece, but not for everyone
29 October 2004 | by SurecureSee all my reviews

There are many good things about The Machinist that are well deserving of praise. The very atmospheric nature of the film is supported very strongly by excellent performances all around. Christian Bale takes things to the extreme in his embodiment of his character. It is hard to take seeing him in his near-starvation body mass, which elevates the tension of this piece even further. The storyline leaves a little to be desired. While it creates its mood excellently, it does tend to plod along a little too much.

One thing that does stand out is how reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock this film plays. Almost everything about the film screams Hitchcock, from the editing of certain scenes (the driving sequences are very much in the style of Psycho) to the Bernard Herrmann-esquire score (lots of bass clarinet), the lack of fully-exploring/revealing some of the creepier points of the film (what is dripping from the fridge?), and the washed out, grainy photography. If you want to see what a film would look like if Hitchcock were alive to film it today, this is the closest thing you could probably come across. And if that was part of Brad Anderson's intention in directing this, I have to commend him on the execution because it is uncanny.

Overall, I would recommend this film, but not to casual movie-goers. This is very much a movie-phile experience for those who appreciate character development and cinematography as much as plot points and a storyline that can be defined and followed from one action to the next. In that way it is closer to films like Magnolia or the Others, where the apex is the characters. If you are looking for a typical popcorn Hollywood thriller, this is not what you are looking for.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Spain | France | UK | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

3 December 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Machinist See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$64,661, 24 October 2004

Gross USA:

$1,082,715

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,203,235
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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