Choke (2008)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  26 September 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 27,844 users   Metascore: 47/100
Reviews: 69 user | 159 critic | 27 from

A sex-addicted con-man pays for his mother's hospital bills by playing on the sympathies of those who rescue him from choking to death.



(screenplay), (novel)
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2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Based on a chapter of the novel 'Lullaby' by Chuck Palahniuk. In a cramped apartment, a man hangs suspended between bitterness of losses and the numbness of his solitude. Having lost his ... See full summary »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kathryn Alexander ...
Mousy Girl / Agnes
Teodorina Bello ...
Jamaican Lady
Edwin's Wife
Willi Burke ...
Deranged Socialite (as Wilma 'Willi' Burke)
Internet Date / Gwen
Viola Harris ...
Nico (as Paz De La Huerta)
Shapely Nurse


Sex addict and colonial theme park worker, Victor Mancini, has devised a complicated scam to pay for his mom's hospital bills while she suffers from an Alzheimer's disease that hides the truth about his childhood. He pretends to choke on food in a restaurant and the person who "saves" him will feel responsible for Victor for the rest of their lives. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


From the author of Fight Club


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 September 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asfixia  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,319,286 (USA) (26 September 2008)


$2,926,565 (USA) (21 November 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ryan Gosling and Heath Ledger were cast before Sam Rockwell eventually took the role, according to the author Chuck Palahnuik. See more »


In the scene where Victor played the rapist to a woman's fantasy of rape. In the first angle, the frustrated woman grabbed Victor's hand, which was holding the knife, so that it would be placed at her neck, then proceeded to use the vibrator on herself. Then when Victor says, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, what about me?" the angle changed and focused on the woman, in which Victor's hand and the knife weren't anywhere to be seen. In the next shot, Victor had his hand and knife at her neck again. See more »


Internet Date: You don't hit me with a knife, that's called stabbing me!
See more »


References Gilligan's Island (1964) See more »


Padre, Germani, Addio! - Ilia, Idamente
Performed by Heather Harper and Jessye Norman
Courtesy of Opera d'Ora Records and Allegro Corporation
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A movie a mature audience will enjoy
8 February 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Chuck Palahniuk appeals to a younger audience? I thought this movie was very well written, very well acted and dark and disturbing. I will add this book to my must read.

I guess I'm a Sam Rockwell fan, and the reason I desperately wanted to watch this movie and it was only after watching it did I realize this was based on a book. The movie stands alone very well. I just can't stop thinking about it. I never believed Victor (Sam Rockwell) to be a disgusting human being, I saw him as flawed, horribly flawed, misunderstood, imperfect and what else can you expect when your mother was completely insane.

I thought Choke was a phenomenal movie, with amazing depth of character and insight about mental illness. Victor is a sex addict, so there is an awful lot of sex in the movie - if this bothers you, then do not bother. You will need an open mind to enjoy this movie.

The comments here on IMDb are extremely disappointing, so please do not bother reading them.

41 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
NO SERIOUSLY, every single amateur mistake possible. Count em. WestTheFest
Did anyone watch this without reading the book? annaFTW
Who would you like to see direct the next Palahniuk movie? Why-soserious
Who would have made a better Victor? mafu82
Liked The Book, Should I See The Movie? jastewart-2
which is better the book or the movie? honeyloveoxoxo
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