Being John Malkovich

Starring: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, John Malkovich, Charlie Sheen

Directed by: Spike Jonze

Produced by: Single Cell Pictures, Gramercy Pictures, Propaganda Films

Distributed by: USA Films

Genre: drama

Xibo's grade:


Average grade:



Review by Xibo Date seen: February 12, 2000
Viewing Location: Times Square, NYC Grade: B
Summary: Really wonky but not that impressive.
Actually I thought Charlie Sheen was the best part. I had to see this movie after all the buzz my friends gave it. (I was planning on skipping it.) Basically, John Cusack, a pathetic, unemployed puppetteer married to a pathetic, sexually frustrated pet shop manager, gets a job at a pathetic "filing" firm that's on the 7 1/2th floor of a building, where there is only 5 feet of clearance. There, he discovers a magical "portal" into the mind of John Malkovich, and he also discovers a manipulative sexually perverse and also pathetic bitch that uses the portal for her own sexual purposes. Uh, the plot kinda degrades from there, with the filing business's pathetic, ancient, sexually frustrated owner... uh... the good parts of the movie are its originality, John Malkovich's performance, and Charlie Sheen's character (playing himself...). Unfortunately it's all a big waste of time, as nothing profound really happens. Oh well. Pretty odd though, worth checking out. 

A- A- A-
Review by Finrod Date seen: 0, 0000
Viewing Location: dvd Grade: A-
Summary: Dude, this is pretty fscked up right here
This is the kind of screwy movie that is mostly pointless to try to describe; overall the movie is done well but is probably not the kind of movie you'll want to watch again and again. But it's definitely worth seeing at least once just for the ride.  

Review by hughjtoad Date seen: December 1, 1999
Viewing Location: Mountain View, CA Grade: A
Summary: we need more movies like this
Totally original, great story, great acting. No hugs or lessons, just a great story told well.  

B+ B+ B+
Review by Nightfall Date seen: December 20, 1999
Viewing Location: Washington DC Grade: B+
Summary: oh my head
Um, let's see. It was freaky. No, it was freakish. And yet, very cool. I agree with tif about wanting to hurt the characters. But it seemed like a goal for the director, so kudos to him for his success there. It's definitely to be seen, although I don't know if I'd see it over and over.  

Review by smeehrrr Date seen: January 21, 2000
Viewing Location: The Evil Empire Grade: A
Summary: What the hell was THAT?
Surrealist comedy/dramedy starring John Cusack as a puppeteer who find a portal into John Malkovich's brain. It's not often that I find a movie where I have no idea what's going to happen next, but when it does I realize that there's no way it _couldn't_ have happened. Excellent script, excellent performances by John Cusack, Catherine Keener, and Cameron Diaz. Nice work by John Malkovich, too. This is worth not only a single viewing but two or three. 

B- B- B-
Review by tif Date seen: January 21, 2000
Viewing Location: Piper's Alley, Chicago IL Grade: B-
Summary: Um? Sure, why not.
My main problem with this movie is that there wasn't a single character in it that I didn't want to torture painfully. It reminded me of 'The Big Lebowski'.

On the other hand, the puppeteer segments were worth the price of admission. Abelard and Heloise? Dance of Despair? Hilarious. Almost meaningful! Oh, and the Moebius voyage to the Restaurant of Malkovich was also a riot. Too bad the rest of the movie wasn't as cool.


Review by Z Date seen: December 14, 2000
  Grade: A
Summary: eccentricity is what mainstream movies need
It's gratifying to see this and American Beauty released by major studios. For too long, American movies have been about bullets, cars, disasters, and recycling. While BJM won't win any awards for character development, it does place interesting people in interesting situations, and the self-reference is done exceedingly well. 

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