The Machinist (2004)

logoDirector: Brad Anderson

Writer: Scott Kosar (Screenplay)

Starring: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, John Sharian, Michael Ironside, Lawrence Gilliard Jr

Plot: An industrial worker who hasn’t slept in a year begins to doubt his own sanity.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Thrilling Drama


Story: The Machinist starts by showing our protagonist Trevor Reznik (Bale) rolling a body up in a carpet before dumping it into the ocean. Trevor is a lonely man who gets his company from a prostitute Stevie (Leigh), he never sleeps and gets on with his job but is losing weight dramatically with his latest weigh in 121 pounds. We learn the Trevor hasn’t slept for a year now, he gets a visit from a mysterious man Ivan (Sharian) who seems to show up when something bad is about to happen.

When an accident happens at the work place Trevor starts to wonder what is happening as the Ivan figure he saw has never worked for the company. Trevor gets a cryptic clue on a post it note on his fridge and he starts to wonder what it is meant to be. As Trevor tries to solve the puzzle his world starts to unfold around him but can he figure out what is happening?

The Machinist is a slow moving story that could easily be a straight forward look at cause and effect but taking the story back over a year makes the impact of the final reveal extra special. I do feel the story really is all about how good Christian Bale does because without his performance this would fall very flat and lose a lot of its interest. You will pick up on hints and I think once you know parts of the ending these hints will appear a lot clearer for you. This is a very compelling story because you just want to know what will happen and what has happened, you will end up having to put a lot together by yourself though. (8/10)


Actor Review


Christian Bale: Trevor Reznik insomniac whose world starts to fall apart around him when a mysterious man starts showing up and Trevor is still trying to figure out what is going on. Christian gives a stunning performance and shows an amazing level of commitment. (9/10)


Jennifer Jason Leigh: Stevie the prostitute that Trevor befriends and is someone who he goes to, to talk to. Jennifer does a good job in a supporting role. (7/10)


John Sharian: Ivan the mysterious man that is haunting Trevor turning up whenever Trevor has something unusual happens. John does a good job in the role giving the mystery. (7/10)


Support Cast: The Machinist has a lot of supporting characters but they only have small scenes to help the character get to his final conclusion.


Director Review: Brad Anderson – Brad does a good job directing making the film thrilling without giving too much away. (8/10)


Drama: The Machinist uses the effects of an event to show how the lives have changed for the people involved. (9/10)

Thriller: The Machinist keeps you guessing to what has actually happened for a long time and doesn’t try to give you any false outcomes but it littered with clues. (9/10)

Settings: The Machinist keeps the settings looking like everyday ones to keep the story looking realistic. (9/10)

Suggestion: The Machinist is one to be watched by all the thriller fans it really does leave you shocked with the final outcome. (Thriller Fans Watch)


Best Part: Bale’s performance.

Worst Part:  Some scenes remain unanswered.


Believability: What happens could happen as well as the reaction filled with denial. (8/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Memeto


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $8.2 Million

Budget: $5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

Tagline: How do you wake up from a nightmare, if you’re not asleep?

Trivia: Brad Anderson had not asked Christian Bale to lose such a vast amount of weight and was genuinely shocked when he saw Bale’s appearance on the first day of shooting. He also confessed to being thrilled by the actor’s dedication.


Overall: Stunning Drama with Heavyweight Performance

Rating 85

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