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Impostor
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Reviews & Ratings for
Impostor More at IMDbPro »

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97 out of 119 people found the following review useful:

Philip K. Dick would like this movie

9/10
Author: gracie28 from Raleigh, NC
26 June 2004

This movie has gotten a bad rap mostly from folks who just didn't get it. Of all the movies based on Philip K Dick stories, this one actually is most true to the plot line. And as a fan of Philip K Dick I give this movie a lot of credit for that. He visualizes a dark, grim future world at war with aliens and the fear and confusion that comes from the impostor accusations. The movie reflects that very well. They did add some material just to make it a full length feature flick, since the original literary work is a short story. Sinise is excellent, Stowe is pretty and sensual as usual and D'Onofrio is over the top , as usual. A good cast, good photography and an interesting set design. I give the movie high marks, and recommend it especially to any fans of Philip K Dick.

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59 out of 66 people found the following review useful:

Quite superb... captures PKD's visions well.

8/10
Author: shanfloyd from India
13 February 2006

I have no idea why this movie is such underrated. Yes, Gary Fleder is no Steven Spielberg or Ridley Scott. He doesn't have the excellent imagery or visual wonders of the other directors' films. But at the same time, he has been more faithful to the original short story than Scott or Spielberg could have been. He has added only one major twist which made the film rather more interesting. And one major credit of the film is that it could capture quite obviously the feel of paranoia that's been the mainstay of Philip Dick's most stories.

Gary Sinise is always pleasure to watch on screen. And in this case his performance is flawless. D'Onofrio plays the tough security officer with enough passion. Madeline Stowe is rather frigid in her role.

In short, 'Impostor' is a gripping tale with solid plot and enough substance. A must see for every genre fan, regardless of the fact that one of the greatest sci-fi writer has penned the story.

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70 out of 89 people found the following review useful:

Better Than I Would Have Thought.

Author: BigHardcoreRed from Calimesa, California
21 May 2005

Impostor is a Sci-Fi movie mixed with some elements of action & mystery. This was better than I thought it would be. I even put off watching it for awhile because I did not have very high hopes for it, but it turned out pretty decent.

Gary Sinise plays Spencer Olham, a doctor along with his wife, Maya, played by Madeleine Stowe. Spencer wakes up and goes to work the next morning to find that he is a wanted man. It appears that the military and the U.S. Defense department think that he is actually a cyborg with a bomb placed in it's heart, with a mission to kill the Chancellor! Pretty far out stuff. The visuals explaining this were pretty cool, too.

Spencer manages to escape but always has the military hot on his trail. This is where the mystery comes in. The viewer is forced to wonder whether or not Spencer is actually himself, or the cyborg programmed to be Spencer. The movie does an excellent job of placing doubt in the minds of those watching, no matter which way they are leaning. If they think Spencer is really himself, it still makes you wonder. Major Hathaway, played by Vincent D'Onofrio, claims that the cyborg is merely programmed to act human, as if it really wants to live.

The special effects here are pretty good as well. At the beginning, I thought we would have another Starship Troopers (visually) on our hands. Since the story takes place in the year 2079, it would not be a good science fiction without the cool household gadgets and such. We see plenty of that here, especially in the beginning. Parts of the movie reminded me of I, Robot, Demolition Man and at times, even Star Wars. This comes recommended for science fiction fans.

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74 out of 99 people found the following review useful:

Much better than Minority Report...

7/10
Author: kdmagnusson from Albuquerque
5 October 2003

I was surprised to see that IMDB users had rated this movie as low as they did. This movie really exemplifies the paranoia that is typical of the works of Philip K. Dick much better than the more expensive and more widely-seen "Minority Report". As much as that movie had going for it (great visuals and action, leavened by the right amount of humor), it let the viewer off the hook at the end by resolving the story with a tidy, happy, feel-good ending. "Impostor" is a much lower budget film and very grim but remains true to its Phildickian origin throughout, with the plot unfolding layer by layer until the end, which is both shocking and inevitable. It's the kind of stuff great "Twilight Zone" episodes were made of.

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42 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

Superior Sci-fi Film

7/10
Author: BB-15
13 January 2003

Like Total Recall, Impostor was based on a short story by Phillip K. Dick. (Dick's stories were also the inspiration for Blade Runner and Minority Report.) In my opinion Impostor is a solid science fiction film.

The core of these stories by Dick has to do with the nature of reality and Impostor is no exception. If we have memories implanted in our minds, how can we tell what is real and what is an artificial memory? Added to this in the movie is the change in a society that comes from years of war. Can we have freedom and human rights when anyone can be a spy? This combines two great traditions in sci-fi; illusion vs. reality (Total Recall) meets taking over our minds and bodies by an alien power (Invasion of the Body Snatchers).

Add to the great story concepts is superior acting by Gary Sinise and Madeleine Stowe. The supporting cast is good with Vincent D'Onofrio playing a complex character. Is he a villain? Nothing is as it seems.

With all of these positive comments, I cannot give the film a 10/10. This is a low budget film which first started as a short film and grew into a feature. While the story of Impostor IMHO is superior in some ways to Minority Report and much better than typical sci-fi, the lack of money for Impostor shows.

The director, Gary Fleder is no Speilberg, Ridley Scott or even Paul Verhoeven. Sometimes the pace of the film seemed to need tighter editing. The script in the central part of the film could have used more work to learn more about this world. And the music was just ok in supporting the action and emotion of the film.

Still Miramax was right to decide on making this a feature film rather than a short subject or straight to TV film. Impostor has some great sci-fi story ideas and good performances. 8.5/10

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26 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

"Those who deny the existence of robots may themselves BE robots..."

9/10
Author: kdm042 from USA
26 October 2002

The previously posted comment for this film would have successfully steered me away from it... If I weren't such a huge fan of "Criminal Intent" (Vincent D'Onofrio) and "Monk" (Tony Shalhoub) that I had to see it anyway.

I wondered throughout the movie, "Is this guy (Gary Sinise) a robot or NOT???" The sets and direction (not to mention the performances of Gary Sinise and Vincent D'Onofrio, which were intense) sucked me in. D'Onofrio makes a fabulous driven investigator. Shalhoub's role was small, but I was too busy grooving on the plot to care. My one regret in the performances is that Madeline Stowe didn't have much to do, except alternate between the roles of a stereotypical uber-doctor and a limpid, grieving wife. The one scene that hints at her acting talent occurs when she confronts her husband at the abandoned park.

Granted, the film does start out like it's going to be typical sci-fi schlock, but once it was past the first 15 minutes, I almost forgot it's science fiction.

The bottom line: This movie WORKED for me! 9 / 10 stars

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25 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Not great, but not bad, either.

Author: Li-1
22 December 2002

5.5 out of 10

Impostor was the first of 2002's futuristic thrillers (the other two being Minority Report and the Equilibrium) and it's also easily the weakest, which is no surprise when you consider this is essentially nothing more than a blown-up short film. Not surprisingly, critics were harsh on this one, and while many of the complaints are valid, Impostor is still a bit better than its reputation.

The film's concept, that of a seemingly normal man accused of being a replicant, is a fascinating one, but it's unfortunately drowned by director Gary Fleder's obsession with shaky camera movements and quick cuts. The script, written by a committee (or at least a group of people who had a hand in it), suffers from too many logical flaws to fully work as the cerebral sci-fi it obviously aspires to be. Most importantly, the question of identity and what it means to be human is never fully addressed and only touched upon briefly.

But flawed as the film is, the cast is solid, with Sinise delivering yet again another terrific performance, and the special effects are actually convincing (the cityscapes are genuinely awe-inspiring). The movie's fast pace ensures it's never dull and there are even a few exciting action sequences (most notably the hospital fight/chase). But best of all is the climactic plot twist, a no-holds barred surprise that boosts the film up a notch. As a whole, the movie is mostly middling, but there are enough inspired moments to make this an enjoyable viewing.

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28 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

very,solid,well done sci/fi entry(one of the best i have seen so far)

9/10
Author: disdressed12 from Canada
16 April 2007

this is a terrific,well acted movie.it has plenty of action,a very good storyline and is also realistic.it asks many questions and leaves the viewer to answer most of them.i was drawn into this movie right from the beginning until the very end.there are some great,and unexpected (for me,anyway)plot twists.the ending i thought was brilliant.i felt the writers really captured the look and feel of a futuristic earth at war with the enemy.i also liked the fact that you never really know who the enemy is,until the very end.even then,i wasn't sure.if you are looking to be entertained,you should give this movie a try.if you like compelling and thought provoking action and drama,you should also give this movie a try.this movie has some intelligence behind it,which many movies today are sorely lacking.this is one of the best movies of the Sci/Fi genre i have seen to date. i wouldn't call it a masterpiece,but it is a very solid,well done film.My vote for "Imposter" is 9/10

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29 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Skip the full length movie; watch the short version!

Author: norockets from Alpha Centauri
31 March 2004

I watched the feature length "director's cut", then viewed the 37 minute short version on the dvd. The short film is much better! It's more faithful to the PKD story and captures the theme of identity and illusion vs reality more concisely. It's essentially the beginning and ending of the feature w/additional scenes that flesh out the characters. The short makes Olham a little more contradictory - he tells his wife that his project is a good thing, then he questions what he's doing with his friend at the Project. What's missing is the interminable chase that's been done better in innumerable films (see The Running Man for example). Vincent D'Onofrio is a particularly good villain who's not really a villain (or is he?)......................

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20 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Don't miss this movie!

10/10
Author: Keith Stanfield from Vancouver, B.C.
17 July 2003

This movie surprised me, it was far better than what I was expecting, seeing as I believed the critics and chose not to see it at the theatres based on that. I won't be listening to critics anymore! I wish I had seen it at the theatres now, and supported it. More science fiction as well done as this film should be made, considering far worse movies, make far more money.

The special effects were 1st rate, locations, cinematography, acting, all very, very good. The story was compelling, lots of action and kept you guessing the entire movie, right up until the very end!

Very well done, I recommend this flick to ALL sci-fi fans, don't miss it!

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