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The Machinist (2004)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  3 December 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 260,959 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 445 user | 202 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

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



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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  »

Filming Locations:

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?


Oddly enough, Christian Bale claimed that he actually enjoyed losing so much weight, oftentimes finding himself in a euphoric state due to the extreme condition he subjected himself to. As well he was able to deal with the very hot July and August temperatures in Barcelona much better than the rest of the crew. See more »


While sitting in his truck at the airport terminal car park (1hr 19 mins) the feet of the cameraman can be seen briefly in the truck's metallic wing mirror. See more »


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


References Jacob's Ladder (1990) See more »


Susan in the Summer
Written by John Sbarra
(c) 615 Music Cathalogue
Authorised by Konga Music, S.L., exclusive subpublisher for Spain
All rights reserved
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

'Thinner' meets 'Memento' by way of 'Angel Heart' a la Hitchcock
25 October 2004 | by (fairview, nj) – See all my reviews

THE MACHINST (2004) ***1/2 Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, John Sharian, Michael Ironside, Reg E. Cathey.

'Thinner' meets 'Memento' by way of 'Angel Heart' a la Hitchcock

There are a few select actors who have gained or shed weight to make a true transformation on screen but the one that will probably remain imprinted for years to come is the truly shocking display by Christian Bale who lost a whopping 63 lbs. to a skeletal shell of 120 for his portrayal of dank creepy perfection.

Bale stars as the afflicted Trevor Reznik, a shell of a man who works in a machine factory and apparently is nursing some horrible demon that has led to his astonishing appearance, ghostly pallor and paranoia soaked delusions that call to question his amazing confession: How can a man not sleep for an entire year and waste away to a shadow of his being and keep his sanity?

The answer isn't so transparent as Reznik becomes submerged in some sort of dreamscape nightmare of conspiracy theories and the innate distrust of his own mind playing tricks on him one night when he encounters the perpetually grinning Ivan (Sharian sporting the sharkiest Cheshire Cat smile in recent film memory) an apparently new shift employee who distracts him to the point of a horrific accident that causes his employer and co-worker to mistrust him and suspect his deteriorating looks as something a tad more sinister.

Reznik's only solace is in literally a mother-whore relationship he shares with a well-meaning lovely waitress (Sanchez-Gizon) at the airport diner he frequents as much as the hooker he lies with to express his thoughts and odd happenings (Leigh in her umpteenth whore role that must have filled her quota by now).

After the accident Reznik is plagued with a series of Post-Its sporting a game of hangman that leads to a few clues to his rationale and ultimately to his fate of 'Who Am I?'

Directed by Anderson who helmed the criminally underrated spooky horror flick 'Session 9' a few years back returns to a dark story of a man clearly unraveling and destroying himself in the process that echoes Stephen King's 'Thinner' by way of the identity crises of 'Memento' and the psychological thriller 'Angel Heart' yet invokes a sharply executed script by Scott Kosar (who penned the worthy remake of 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' last year) that recalls David Fincher meets David Lynch paroxysms of fate and the build up to a discovery that is all too recognizable to the thriller genre in recent years of identity masked as phobic reality with its latter day Hitchcock everyman skewed nicely. Kudos to cinematographers Xavi Gimenez and Charlie Jiminez for its bleak, green/grey drudgery and the Herrmannesque score by Roque Banos mixes perfectly to the dread at hand displays.

Bale went above and beyond the call of duty in his somewhat controversial display of Holocaust invoking demeanor yet it works shockingly well as it delves into the troubled soul of a man who is wasting away not only as a metaphor but as a penance for some hell to pay.

255 of 326 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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