Clockwatchers (1997)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  15 May 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 3,993 users  
Reviews: 111 user | 40 critic

Iris can best be described as a wallflower. She begins her first day as a temp for the nondescript Global Credit Association by waiting in a chair for two hours. This sets the scene for her... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen FitzGerald ...
Mr. MacNamee
Mr. Kilmer
Milton Lasky
Bud Chapman
Jack Shoberg
Irene Olga López ...
Coffee Lady (as Irene Olga Lopez)
Global Credit Receptionist


Iris can best be described as a wallflower. She begins her first day as a temp for the nondescript Global Credit Association by waiting in a chair for two hours. This sets the scene for her (mis)adventures with the other "corporate orphans", Margaret, Paula and Jane. Led by Margaret, they find subtle ways to lessen the ennui of corporate oppression. The tension escalates when the new permanent hire, Cleo, enters the picture. Written by Vanessa Exum <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief language | See all certifications »





Release Date:

15 May 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Avokonttorin prinsessat  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$34,838 (USA) (15 May 1998)


$444,354 (USA) (21 August 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


When Iris attempts to retrieve the bag Paula drops on the bus, the small child who was sitting immediately in front of Paula vanishes. Iris immediately sits where the missing child was last seen. See more »


Margaret: See that old woman over there? That's me in a few years.
See more »


Referenced in New Guy (2003) See more »


Brokenhearted I Will Wander
Written by Dennis Brennan
Performed by Dennis Brennan
Published by JuJak Publishing (BMI)
Courtesy of Upstart Sounds
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

Accuracy is never boring.
27 March 2001 | by (San Francisco, CA) – See all my reviews

I suppose the viewers who label Clockwatchers "boring" simply don't understand that dramas are MEANT to be slower than your garden-variety Indiana Jones or Die Hard. These "action" flicks are ten-times as dull as the corporate setting for this astonishing study on class, friendship, and inner-awareness. Or maybe it is the female perspective or "chick-flick" factor that turn certain people off. Or maybe temporary status in modern American business isn't relevant to everyone. Or the subtle, less gimmicky observations of reality.

Clockwatchers is all of these things at once. Toni Collette plays the ultra-shy newcomer to Global Credit, the ultimate transnational corporation, who slowly comes to realize that the doomed bond she makes with three other temps is an extremely sacred event in her life. Iris slowly gains confidence through such comradery and at one point she doesn't want to leave, even though her father has higher career expectations for his daughter. Iris comes full circle at the end of the film, confronts one of her many bosses whom plot against her, and atones for not standing with Parker Posey, who is the life of the party as Margaret.

The creators of this film are SO incredibly accurate in revealing what worklife is actually like (the boredom, sharing someone else's space, not knowing someone's name or them not knowing yours), that I felt almost honored to know I wasn't alone. (Movies that are this honest about despair are never depressing.) This is combined by the subtle observations of Iris, which I suppose aren't as exciting as blowing someone's head off or toilet humor, but intriguing nonetheless. It is finally layered with political analysis as the female temps organize a strike.

Suffice it to say, Clockwatchers covers a lot of ground, but the layers are folded well together in a way that makes you care about what happens to these characters and their station in life. A must-see sleeper for those who prefer (for example) Merchant & Ivory over Van Damme & Seagal. 9 out of 10.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Any temp 'horror' stories you'd like to share? jumpingjoe821
The Ending was very sad..... wakkadakka
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