The Machinist


The Machinist (2004)


Critic Consensus: Brad Anderson's dark psychological thriller about a sleepless factory worker is elevated by Christian Bale astonishingly committed performance.


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Movie Info

Brad Anderson directs the psychological thriller The Machinist, a production of Spain's Filmax company. Christian Bale plays Trevor Reznik, a factory lathe operator who has developed a serious case of insomnia. Lack of sleep has already started to wear down on his brain and his body. When he's involved in an accident at work, his co-workers turn against him. He starts to find strange notes in his apartment and see people that apparently aren't there. Jennifer Jason Leigh stars as call girl Stevie. The Machinist premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Machinist

All Critics (142) | Top Critics (37)

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.

Oct 24, 2011 | Full Review…

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.

Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

[Bale's] is a great performance, full of commitment and sacrifice, and The Machinist is one of the year's best films.

Dec 10, 2004 | Rating: 5/5

It's one of those movies that you admire more than you enjoy, but Anderson and Kosar are clearly talents to watch.

Dec 3, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A stunt that didn't merit Bale's startling, and dangerous, transformation.

Dec 3, 2004

It begins dark and depressing, but ends up merely dull.

Dec 3, 2004 | Rating: D+
Detroit News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Machinist


Relying on a bluish palette of desaturated colors, Anderson creates a tense atmosphere of nightmare, but it is Christian Bale who deserves especial merit for his unbelievable dedication (mostly physical) in this intriguing thriller about the unbearable weight of guilt.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Shades of Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling permeate this excruciating trip through the realm of hallucinatory insomnia ... and one hell of a guilt trip. Spot-on performances and a blue noirish atmosphere complete this pretty good Los Angeles hair puller that was actually shot in Barcelona.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Bale is amazing, as always. But this is a strange film.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

You are either going to love this film or hate this film, but I don't see why anyone wouldn't choose the latter. I fully believe this film to be a masterwork in every possible way. Christian Bale gives the performance of his career in my opinion, as Trevor Reznik, a man who has literally not slept in over a year, because his body is incapable of it. All that is left on him is skin and bones. Once tragic events begin to occur, he starts to vision a man, who really doesn't exist, who serves a purpose as to why these events are happening. The conclusion will absolutely blow your mind. The direction is very unique, the writing is perfect, and the story is impeccably visioned. "The Machinist" is a film that I shall not forget!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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