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The Machinist (2004)

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An industrial worker who hasn't slept in a year begins to doubt his own sanity.



790 ( 33)
7 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jackson (as Larry Gilliard)
Mrs. Shrike
Matthew Romero Moore ...
Nicholas (as Matthew Romero)
Robert Long ...
Supervisor Furman
Inspector Rogers
Ferran Lahoz ...
Jeremy Xido ...
Norman Bell ...
DMV Clerk


Trevor Reznik is a machinist in a factory. An extreme case of insomnia has led to him not sleeping in a year, and his body withering away to almost nothing. He has an obsessive compulsion to write himself reminder notes and keep track of his dwindling weight, both scribbled on yellow stickies in his apartment. The only person he lets into his life in an emotional sense is Stevie, a prostitute, although he has an infatuation with Maria, a single mother waitress working in an airport diner. His co-workers don't associate with and mistrust him because of not knowing what is going on in his life that has led to his emaciated physical appearance. A workplace incident further alienates him with his coworkers, and in conjunction with some unfamiliar pieces of paper he finds in his apartment, Trevor believes that someone or some people - probably one or some of his coworkers - are out to get him, using a phantom employee named Ivan as their front. As Trevor goes on a search for evidence as to... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A little guilt goes a long way... See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and disturbing images, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

3 December 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El maquinista  »

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$64,661 (USA) (22 October 2004)


$1,082,044 (USA) (25 March 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Christian Bale found that his weakened condition caused problems in the more demanding action scenes. He found running a particular problem as he simply had no leg muscles left. See more »


The energy bill that Reznik opens, 20 minutes into the film, shows the unlikely meter number of "123-456789". Presumably it was hoped this would not be spotted with the distraction of the large FINAL NOTICE above it. See more »


[first lines]
Ivan: Who are you?
See more »


Referenced in The Insomniac (2013) See more »


Lunar Rhapsody
Written by Buddy Feyne (as Budy Feine) & Harry Revel
Worldwide Publisher Michael H. Goldsen Inc.,
sub-publisher for Spain and Portugal Alondra Music, S.L.
Performed by Les Baxter
(p) 1948 Capitol Records
Licensed by EMI Music Spain, Madrid, Spain 2004
Special products department - exclusive assignee
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An urban nightmare with an incredible performance by Christian Bale
13 November 2006 | by (The Dutch Mountains) – See all my reviews

THE MACHINIST (Brad Anderson - Spain 2004).

Christian Bale is Trevor Reznik, a machinist in an anonymous factory somewhere in America. He is obviously scarred by some past incident but what is it? He finds mysterious notes on his refrigerator, saying 'who are you?' He sees colleagues that don't exist. He seems to have lost it completely.

A Spanish production, but with Brad Anderson at the helm as director and an almost exclusively American cast, this is basically an American film. I must admit, I kept shelving this one, due to reasons I cannot really recall now I've finally watched it, but it probably had something to do with Christian Bale's insane weight loss and all the surrounding publicity. I assumed the film was all about Bale's loss of weight and not much more. A method boy in a film solely hyped for an actor's dedication to play the part, but the film blew me away, as simple as that. Christian Bale gives a solo turn here almost unseen before. No matter how many pounds he lost, it's a remarkable performance.

Director Brad Anderson succeeds brilliantly in conceiving an atmosphere that is so compelling, as one other user on the IMDb stated, 'You just HAVE to know what the hell is going on here.' I think that's the key factor in what makes this film so incredibly compelling. The whole setting is an anonymous industrial town somewhere in the US, that could be Pennsylvania, Michigan or upstate New York (actually, it was shot near Barcelona), but it doesn't really matter where the story is located. It's the atmosphere of estrangement that does it. And Christian Bale gives such an intense performance you really want to know his cause and background. Where on earth does he come from? We know he works in a greasy factory, but why is he skin-over-bone? Why hasn't he slept in over a year? Brad Anderson creates an atmosphere so broody and sleazy, it's like a netherworld, an urban nightmare. In a certain way it reminded me of the strange urban landscape in "Eraserhead" by David Lynch.

Camera Obscura --- 9/10

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