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Fight Club
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855 out of 1111 people found the following review useful:

A unique film

10/10
Author: (human@alientomato.com) from Toronto
15 October 1999

Fight Club is one of the most unique films I have ever seen. In addition to presenting a rather fresh take on life, FC also presents its material in a fresh way. My main interest in the film is in that, in my opinion, it does not present characters for us to think about. Rather, it presents actions for us to think about. I will say that I cannot recall *ever* having been "asked" by a film to both suspend my disbelief the way this film asks in its third act AND at the same time come to terms with an understanding that there is no room--or need--for disbelief.

Perhaps these comments will not make sense to the average movie goer who will dismiss this film--and, unfortunately, its premise--as another hollywood flick filled with gratuitous violence. I'd go as far as to say that this film is not about violence. It is about choices. It is about activity. It is about lethargy. It is about waking up and realizing that at some point in the past we've gone to the toilet and thrown up our dreams without even realizing that society has stuck its fingers down our throat.

I would argue that anyone caught, at some point in their lives, between a rock and a hard place--anyone who has reached bottom on a mental level--anyone who has uttered to themselves "Wait, this isn't right. I would not do/say/feel what it is that I just did/said/felt... I do not like this. I must change before I am forever stuck being the person that I am not." These people, they will know what I'm talking about. These people will not only recognize the similarities between Edward Norton's character and themselves--they will be uncomfortably familiar with him. These people will appreciate Fight Club for what it is: a wake up call that we are not alone.

As David Berman once said: "I'm afraid I've got more in common with who I was than who I am becoming." If this sentence makes any sense to you, go see Fight Club. You won't regret it.

L.

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726 out of 991 people found the following review useful:

a dangerously brilliant film that entertains as well as enlightens.

10/10
Author: J.D. Lafrance (j.d._lafrance@ridley.on.ca) from St. Catharines, Canada
10 May 2000

"Fight Club" an aggressive, confrontational, often brutal satire that is quite possibly a brilliant masterpiece. Taking the "Choose life," anti-consumerism rant at the beginning of "Trainspotting," and carrying it to its logical -- albeit extreme -- conclusion this is a big budget, mainstream film that takes a lot of risks by biting the hand that feeds it. The film's narrator (Edward Norton) is an insignificant cog in the drab, corporate machine, dutifully doing his job and what he's told without question. He's an insomniac slave to his IKEA possessions and only finds joy in going to as many self-help/dealing with terminal diseases sessions as he can. It provides him with an escape from his sleepless nights. That is, until Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), a trashy chain-smoking poser, enters his life and upsets his routine. The narrator also meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a charismatic soap salesman whose straightforward honesty, candor and sleazy lounge-lizard outfits are a breath of fresh air. One night, after the two men have bonded over beers, Tyler asks the narrator to hit him. At first, it seems like an absurd request but after they pound on each other for a bit, a strange feeling overcomes them. They feel a kind of release and satisfaction at inflicting pain on one another. In a world where people are desensitized to everything around them, the physical contact of fighting wakes them up and makes them feel truly alive. Others soon join in and pretty soon Fight Club becomes an underground sensation. However, it becomes readily apparent that Tyler has more elaborate plans than just organizing brawls at the local bar. David Fincher has taken the dark, pessimistic worldview of "Seven" and married it with the clever plot twists and turns of "The Game" and assembled his strongest effort to date. "Fight Club" is a $50+ million studio film that remains true to its anti-consumer, anti-society, anti-everything message -- right up to the last, sneaky subliminal frame. What makes "Fight Club" a subversive delight is not only its refreshing anti-corporate message but how it delivers said message. As Fincher has explained in interviews, you don't really watch the film but rather download it. Its structure is extremely playful as it messes around with linear time to an incredible degree. The narrative bounces back and forth all over the place like a novel, or surfing on the Internet -- even making a hilarious dead stop to draw attention to itself in a funny, interesting way that completely works. Yet Norton's deadpanned narration holds everything together and allows the viewer to get a handle on what's happening. This is the way films should be made. Why must we always have to go through the A+B+C formula? "Fight Club" openly rejects this tired, clearly outdated structure in favour of a stylized frenzy of jump cuts, freeze frames, slow motion and every other film technique in the book that only reinforces its anarchistic message. A film like this would have never been greenlighted by a major studio if Brad Pitt had not been attached to the project. Once you see the film, it becomes obvious that he was the only choice for Tyler Durden. Like he did with "Kalifornia" and "Twelve Monkeys", Pitt grunges himself down and disappears completely into his role to a frighteningly convincing degree. During many of the brutal fight scenes, he is transformed into a bloody, pulpy mess that'll surely have the "Legends of the Fall" fans running for the exits. It is an incredible performance -- probably his best -- for the simple fact that he becomes the character so completely. If Pitt has the flashy, gonzo role, Edward Norton is his perfect foil as the seemingly meek yet sardonic narrator. It's a deceptively understated performance as the last third of the film reveals but Norton nails it perfectly. He is clearly our surrogate, our introduction into this strange world and his wry observations on our consumer-obsessed culture are right on the money. They are the perfect setup for Tyler's introduction and his view on the world which is clearly a call to arms of sorts, a manifesto that rejects the notion that we are what we own. And ultimately, that is what "Fight Club" tries to do. The film is a cinematic punch to the head as it challenges the status quo and offers a wakeup call to people immersed in a materialistic world where those who have the most stuff, "win." I think that Fincher's film wants us to tear all that down, reject corporate monsters like Starbucks and Blockbuster, and try to figure out what we really want out of life. It's almost as if the film is suggesting salvation through self-destruction. And it is these thought-provoking ideas that makes "Fight Club" a dangerously brilliant film that entertains as well as enlightens.

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415 out of 640 people found the following review useful:

Great Film: Deserved Several Academy Award Nominations

10/10
Author: robertharkins from San Diego, CA
24 September 2001

The script was tight, the theme fascinating, the acting incredible (especially Edward Norton, as one might expect), the direction inspired, and the cinematography stunning. It is one of the few films of the past five years that deserves to be seen multiple times. In fact, if you have seen it only once, you have missed something. I was seriously hoping the movie would receive Oscar nominations for Best Actor (Norton), Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Picture.

So, how is it that the film received no nominations? Unfortunately, it had a mismatched ad campaign. The ads made it seem like the movie was about street boxing, instead of a intellectual and emotional ride through a man's psyche as he takes a strange path toward rebellion against consumer society. As a result, most who went to see it were disappointed, and those who would recognize its brilliance stayed far away from the movie theaters. This is one of the most underrated movies I know.

I always love movies that keep you entertained and keep you guessing, and this movie scores a 10 in both. Those who enjoyed The Game, Memento, or The Matrix really should check it out.

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392 out of 651 people found the following review useful:

It doesn't get much better than this

10/10
Author: Matt Willis from Middlesbrough, England
25 June 2000

Similar in idea to 'American Beauty' but certainly not in style or content this bleak look at underground culture and the spiritual redemption it brings is easily one of the most intelligent films I've ever seen. Directed by the same man who brought us the superb 'The Game' this is another film which you'll have to see more than once to truly understand. Focusing on sad white-collar, middle-class Norton whose only real dream in life is to own all the contents of an IKEA catalogue it follows him through a chance meeting with charismatic stranger Pitt and the unfortunate events which conspire to draw them together. After a nights hard drinking they start a friendly-ish scrap which is viewed by a couple of others and from that small acorn a mighty oak called Fight Club grows. This is the point around which the whole film revolves with Norton and Pitt forming an underground club which draws more and more disillusioned young men to join it. Based on firm 'Queensbury Rules' it is a cathartic if bloody way to spend your night. Eventually as it becomes a huge operation Pitt, the de facto leader, moves it up a gear and creates his own cult from this secret society. This is where the film becomes brilliant and the twist near the end is magnificent, better even than the much talked about 'The Sixth Sense'. It just has so much to say about things: the emasculation of an entire generation of young men ("No great war to fight, no great depression"), the growing isolation we all feel from one another and the need to find something to draw us back together and most importantly, the power of an exciting, challenging idea and it's fermentation into cultism. However, where many films would just say 'This is a bad thing' 'Fight Club' doesn't. It is more a condemnation of a materialistic society which has forgotten about a large section of itself. You can empathise with these men completely, even when they band together against this uncaring society that has reared them to be something their instincts don't understand. It's as close to genius as you'll get and one film you'll talk about and think about for days.

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324 out of 560 people found the following review useful:

A rare film that challenges the viewer to come up with his own interpretations

10/10
Author: golight from United States
18 October 1999

Faithfully following Chuck Palahniuk's acerbic satire, Fight Club presents the vast emptiness of modern existence- ridden as it is with shallow values, rampant consumerism, empty of meaning, feeling and life itself- in a slick and ironically consumer oriented fashion. In a different vein from American Beauty, Fight Club explores the solutions to the veritable sleepwalking existence that plagues modern life. The film is violent, but it is not gratuitous violence, and any reviewer who claims that the film is promoting violence has missed the entire point of the film. A very black comedy, it is sure to provoke much conversation- it is definitely a film to see with friends. The film is fast-paced, densely packed and merits a second viewing, just to take it all in, especially if you haven't read the book. In typical Fincher style, you the viewer are left to draw your own conclusions. He feels no impetus to tell you how to interpret what you've seen, appropriate since the film condemns falling victim to the strictures of what society tells us to think and to value. My only criticism is that the editing is not as tight as it could be in the middle section of the film, it drags just a bit then picks up again. Other than that, it should definitely be an Oscar contender.

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91 out of 100 people found the following review useful:

Welcome to movie heaven!

10/10
Author: gogoschka-1 from wherever good films play
16 December 2013

Let's ignore the advice and talk about "Fight Club". This film was a milestone; although it bombed at the box office, Fincher's cinematic language left a mark that can still be felt now, 14 years later, on many current releases. Despite the risky 'cutting edge' nature of the film, Fincher got a huge budget for this and it shows: the camera effects and the whole production design are amazing.

This movie has a raw energy that grips me every time I watch it. What a crazy, fun ride! Whether it is a very clever satire or pure testosterone going on a rampage - both are fine by me. A film so visually stunning and sexy, with career best performances by all involved - welcome to movie heaven.

My vote: 10 out of 10

Favorite films: http://www.IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/

Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Favorite Low-Budget and B-Movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/

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362 out of 661 people found the following review useful:

Probably the best movie of the decade

10/10
Author: tyler.td (tyler.td@gmx.de) from Hamburg, Germany
29 November 1999

After watching this movie I was totally filled with enthusiasm. Fight Club is definitly Fincher's best movie even better than se7en. It's not only the story but the optics which fascinated me. When I had seen it for the second time I could see this movie with the knowledge of the conclusion which is really fascinating as you'll see Fight Club in a totally different perspective. Also great about Fight Club is its soundtrack performed by the Dust Brothers and especially the song 'Where is my mind' by the Pixies which really fit to the end of the movie. Unfortunately Fight Club didn't have much success in Germany but anyway the movie got best reviews of the German press. I also have to mention the brilliance of Ed Norton and Brad Pitt who plays best in roles in which he performs the villain. But it's quiet amazing what Edward Norton is able to do - he is just overwhelming. For that role he has to get the oscar.

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304 out of 556 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Direction and Superb Acting

9/10
Author: camiloarenivar (camiloarenivar@yahoo.com) from Los Angeles
6 December 2001

Fight Club is a brash slap in the face of consumerism and the working dead. It questions reality. It is strikingly thought provoking and visually stimulating. The direction is incredibly brilliant. Director David Fincher (Aliens, Se7en and The Game) is at his finest here warping both space and time, dropping in things here and there to make things clear. Edward Norton is excellent as Jack, the narrator of the movie. He is a nerdy insomniac who catalog shops at Ikea and has a going nowhere job. Brad Pitt is dynamic as Tyler Durden, an anarchistic man who lives in a run-down abandoned house and makes and sells soap for a living. Helen Bonham Carter is also great as Marla Singer, the manic-depressive chain-smoking woman in both their lives. Her role is critical and she plays it well.

There has been some controversy about the violence in this film but it is not gratuitous violence, it is part of the story and serves it well. It is much less than what you would see in your average Hollywood blockbuster. This is actually an insightful film and in many ways similar to American Beauty, although this film is much more in your face about it's message. If you are squeamish, you may not want to see it. There are some very painful bloody scenes, but if you can stomach it, then check it out. There is also a huge twist in this film that almost rivals the twist at the end of The Sixth Sense. And I must admit, it is the twist in this film that made me really love it. The best audience for this film is men in their 20's or 30's, but anyone that can appreciate film as a modern art should like it. One of the best films of 1999.

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247 out of 464 people found the following review useful:

Generally positive comments

10/10
Author: Ian (rmic@home.com) from pittsburgh, pennsylvania
15 February 2000

This film, is basically, at least in my opinion, one of the greatest films ever, period. I read the book afterwards, and equally enjoyed the book. The film is definitely for younger people, the critics of films, in general are older, so they cannot appreciate this film. The film defines the younger generation, only younger people can relate to it, however, older people(middle aged+) can appreciate the art of the film, the beauty of the camera work, as well as the excellent acting. The film, in every aspect is fantastic, it begins with a rather humorous narration, from a person we grow to know as, "narrator". It goes about to show how he lives, and his way of life. In these scenes alone, movie lines that will go down in history are said, and it's only the first twenty minutes. The film tends to progress faster and faster as the film continues. We delve into the narrators psyche, and find that he is not unlike most people in this world, he has a tendency to say to people what they want to hear, even if it is not the truth in it's entirety. Almost all folks can relate to the main character, and he feels to be a real human, not a character in a story. This, is partially due to the excellent directing, as well as book, but it is mostly due to the fantastic performance by Edward Norton. It, in my opinion is an Oscar performance. Bradd Pitt gives his best performance to date, he is definitely an excellent coworker with David Fincher, they seem to share a common thread when it comes to film making I suppose. I have full intention of purchasing this film when it is released on VHS and DVD. Do yourself a favour, see this film, if that is not an option, at least read the book. If you are younger and feel unrest with society, this is the film.

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79 out of 151 people found the following review useful:

The comparison to Clockwork Orange makes me puke

1/10
Author: Derek Dammann from Cincinnati
11 June 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Please.

This is a dismal movie. I'm going to spoil some stuff, so don't read if you don't want, but read on if you want to save some time and money.

After I sat through this abomination, I knew I'd come on here and see that it got great reviews, because it tried to be so artsy that weak-minded people would say they liked it just to try to convince themselves that they have advanced taste. Midway through I told myself that if I heard that "I am Jake's this and that" line again I would get up and leave, but sure enough I kept hearing it and I stayed. Maybe I'm as dumb as the filmmakers. The fact of the matter is that I haven't seen a plot this full of holes since "Slugs". So if I start a fight club, the participants will just start showing up at my doorstep out of the blue and turn into mind-numbed drones that do my evil bidding??? Not only that, but this movie also taught me that if I stick a gun in my mouth and pull the trigger, not only will I live but I'll be able to talk to people in my normal voice, as long as I put a gauze pad on it.

If you still don't know, this movie is about a clinically-depressed guy who's search for therapy leads him to Brad Pitt, who teaches him that beating the bejeezus out of people will brighten his spirits. More guys find out about this, and they all join the "fight club" and then naturally go live with Pitt to become his evil minions. Of course! This must be how the Wicked Witch found all those monkeys. Their evil deeds get worse and worse, and the supposedly still-sane Norton inexplicably keeps hanging out with this bunch. This leads to one totally inane scene where the evil monkeys return from a gunfight with one of their members dead, and all Norton can do is whine "C'mon guys, cut it out".

So after this movie backs itself into a miserable corner, it's only escape is the equally awful "It was all a dream" ending, where we find out that Brad Pitt was just Norton's evil imaginary friend, and that Norton had been committing all these acts himself. Please audience, forget the fact that the "imaginary" Pitt managed to pull Norton from a burning car wreck and pick him up off the ground and hurl him down a flight of stairs. I don't care how psycho you are, your imaginary friend cannot physically pick you up.

Plot hole #9233 asks us to believe that during this short time, Norton had been in EVERY MAJOR CITY in the US forming more armies of mind-numbed robot monkeys, and that every male over the age of 18 in the United States was now a member of his "secret" evil gang. So anyhow, Norton finally realizes that he's been crazy all this time, and to kill Pitt he sticks a gun in his own mouth and blows his neck off, a wound which apparently isn't as debilitating as you would think, since he manages to get right up and make up with his girlfriend and watch peacefully as his evil plot comes to fruition. But wait, you thought he was sane now and would be horrified at what he did? So would I, but that apparently also is not the case.

Before you typically think that my movie tastes aren't as cultured as yours, let me tell you that I loved the masterpiece that was "A Clockwork Orange", and this movie was NO "Clockwork". If Clockwork ended by telling you that the old man in the wheelchair was actually the killer and that McDowell was just his evil imagination, then we'd have a comparison, but Kubrick wasn't that horribly stupid.

I am Jake's bad movie review.

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