MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 65 this week

Being John Malkovich (1999)

 -  Comedy | Fantasy  -  3 December 1999 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 223,815 users   Metascore: 90/100
Reviews: 825 user | 241 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of the movie star, John Malkovich.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 47 titles
created 05 Oct 2011
 
a list of 49 titles
created 31 Mar 2012
 
a list of 38 titles
created 12 Nov 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 01 Jan 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Being John Malkovich (1999)

Being John Malkovich (1999) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Being John Malkovich.

User Polls

Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 55 wins & 56 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adaptation. (2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A lovelorn screenwriter becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean for the screen.

Director: Spike Jonze
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A theatre director struggles with his work, and the women in his life, as he creates a life-size replica of New York City inside a warehouse as part of his new play.

Director: Charlie Kaufman
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.

Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Stars: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A disk containing the memoirs of a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous gym employees who attempt to sell it.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, George Clooney
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.

Director: Sofia Coppola
Stars: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi
Magnolia (1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jason Robards, Julianne Moore
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In the deep south during the 1930s, three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman pursues them.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.

Director: Michel Gondry
Stars: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An estranged family of former child prodigies reunites when their father announces he is terminally ill.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Gene Hackman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston
High Fidelity (2000)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Rob, a record store owner and compulsive list maker, recounts his top five breakups, including the one in progress.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Todd Louiso
Rushmore (1998)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The extracurricular king of Rushmore preparatory school is put on academic probation.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Derek Mantini
...
Father at Puppet Show
Madison Lanc ...
Daughter at Puppet Show
...
Woman in Elevator (as Octavia L. Spencer)
...
...
...
K.K. Dodds ...
Wendy
...
Don (as Reggie Hayes)
Byrne Piven ...
Captain Mertin
Judith Wetzell ...
Tiny Woman
...
...
Cab Driver
Edit

Storyline

Puppeteer Craig Schwartz and animal lover and pet store clerk Lotte Schwartz are just going through the motions of their marriage. Despite not being able to earn a living solely through puppeteering, Craig loves his profession as it allows him to inhabit the skin of others. He begins to take the ability to inhabit the skin of others to the next level when he is forced to take a job as a file clerk for the off-kilter LesterCorp, located on the five-foot tall 7½ floor of a Manhattan office building. Behind one of the filing cabinets in his work area, Craig finds a hidden door which he learns is a portal into the mind of John Malkovich, the visit through the portal which lasts fifteen minutes after which the person is spit into a ditch next to the New Jersey Turnpike. Craig is fascinated by the meaning of life associated with this finding. Lotte's trips through the portal make her evaluate her own self. And the confident Maxine Lund, one of Craig's co-workers who he tells about the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Ever Wanted To Be Someone Else? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 December 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dans la peau de John Malkovich  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£296,282 (UK) (17 March 2000)

Gross:

£1,882,462 (UK) (5 May 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene in the Merton-Flemmer building lobby, when Craig browses the floor listings to find LesterCorp, the camera scrolls past the listing "Eric Zumbrunnen, CPA". Eric Zumbrunnen is the film's editor. See more »

Goofs

The chimp actor changes a few times - sometimes it has a white beard, while at other times it has no beard. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lotte Schwartz: Craig, honey, it's time for bed.
[fade out and in]
Orrin Hatch the bird: Craig, honey, time to get up, Craig, honey, time to get up, Craig, honey, time to get up, Craig, honey, time to get up,
Craig Schwartz: Lotte...
Lotte Schwartz: I'm sorry. I didn't know Orrin Hatch was out of his cage.
See more »

Crazy Credits

at the end of the cast listing is noted ...and John Malkovich See more »

Connections

References The Sorcerers (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (as Tchaikovsky)
Performed by Boston Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Seiji Ozawa
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophone Gesellschaft GmbH, Hamburg
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Absolutely sublime modern classic
5 July 2005 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Originality is one thing that I very much admire in cinema, and it's also the reason I rate Being John Malkovich so highly. Charlie Kaufman has taken an amazingly weird premise and twisted round a suitably offbeat story to create a movie that is as bizarre as it is as it is compelling, and it's definitely a major highlight of American cinema in the 1990's. Charlie Kaufman may have scripted his most acclaimed film in 2004 with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but if you want to see his best work - you need look no further than his first feature. Quite how anyone could have thought of this premise remains a mystery, but I'm certainly glad that Kaufman did. The story revolves around a portal that leads directly into the head of the actor, John Malkovich. After discovering this portal, puppeteer Craig Schwartz shares it with his colleague and crush, the beautiful Maxine Lund. Things start to get complicated when Craig's wife, Lottie, becomes involved and it turns out that Craig's not the only one with a crush on Maxine.

The usually presentable John Cusack and Cameron Diaz are completely unrecognisable as this film's leading couple and both give career highlight performances. Catherine Keener fleshes out a threesome of leads. She is seductively sexy, and delivers a performance that reflects the quality of this film on the whole. And, of course, John Malkovich stars also. The fact that it's John Malkovich who is the title actor is what really makes this film. Had the film have been, say, 'Being Tom Cruise'; it wouldn't have had nearly the same impact. Malkovich is a big actor, but he's not THAT big and the fact that it's him takes the film away from the mainstream and allows it's offbeat indie roots to stay intact. Kaufman ensures that the story works by constantly adding new and weird events into the plot, and this in turn ensures that we never know what's coming next. Of course, this is exactly what you want from any film. The elements of the story aren't bound tightly enough to really make a lasting impression where substance is concerned; but it hardly matters, as there's enough offbeat invention in this film to more than adequately mask that fact It's easy to call this movie pretentious or silly; but it's also pointless. Being John Malkovich is a modern classic.


36 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why John Malkovich? miles_fierce_larson
I completely do NOT get this movie, care to explain? yuan-van
Something that I didn't understand. DrKosher3
Catherine Keener as Maxine? metanthrax
Highly Overrated chironaphelion
This is a horror movie georgetazberik
Discuss Being John Malkovich (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?