Cosmopolis (2012) Poster


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"When he died he would not end. The world would end." (Don DeLillo)
blackbeanie28 May 2012
Eric Packer, genial asset manager, sitting in his limo, contemplating about himself and his visions while playing with numbers that represent an immense fortune, behaving almost in an autistic way once he tries to connect with the real world outside. Eric Packer also as the symbol of the small financial elite that rules our planet, arrogant, shameless and above all what's common and human.

What happens when you have all you want? When there's no challenge, no real desire anymore? When the last goal you want to pursue is, like a real Icarus, to fly so close to the sun that you can't but let melt the wax of your wings and fall, very deep?

This is, IMO, the essence of the story in Cosmopolis, with that difference that the protagonist in DeLillo's novel caused his downfall intentionally, while the financial disaster we live in the last few years was caused by the megalomania of the 1%.

When I first read the novel, I felt confused and a bit dumb too. DeLillo tried to send messages that I didn't understand at all. Then happened Occupy Wall Street and the pie into the face of Rupert Murdoch, so I gave the novel a second chance. I got hooked by the very complex character of Eric Packer, cold and emotionless on the outside and in his actions, but so vulnerable and lonely once you got to know him better. He's a very sad example of how far people can go in our society, just for the sake of money. I've read the book 2 times more, just to enjoy the countless, thoughtful quotes and one liners, weaved into stylistic dialogues as only DeLillo can pull off.

So, why have I written about the novel in a review about the film adaptation of this novel? Because I think that David Cronenberg did a fabulous job in trying to bring this book on screen. As a real master he has chosen to stay true to the dialogues, taking the risk that people, just like me when I first read the book, couldn't get the meanings of them.

He took from the novel what could work on screen and left scenes out, that he thought could disturb or change the mood of the movie. In the first part of the movie, he focused more on the little world of Eric into his limo rather than to shift the emphasis also outside the car. Not that I don't feel sorry some scenes didn't make it on screen (the famous street scene at the end) and for me the reality outside, in the streets of New-York, could've gotten more attention, but I can see his POV and I can live with it.

In this daring exploit Cronenberg made sure of the presence of an excellent cast, with remarkable performances of the supporting actors/actresses for the short time they appeared in the movie. The biggest challenge of course was the casting of Eric Packer, the doomed capitalist, who appears in almost every scene. Once again, David took a risk in hiring Robert Pattinson, but he was confident and he was right. Pattinson nailed this character to perfection. Especially when Eric (as his world) starts falling apart, Rob showed how able he is to bring out the psychotic, insane aspects of human being.

This is a movie that makes you think, that can give you an uncomfortable feeling and mirrors what's going on in some levels of our society. I understand that it is a difficult watch for people who haven't read the book, that they are disappointed but never was promised that this movie was going to be easy. The biggest issue IMHO isn't the movie itself but the fact that, in theatre, you haven't a button to pause and rewind so you can hear the dialogues again and again. Once the words are spoken, they're gone and I can imagine people reacting like WTH?? Though the movie stands on its own, it can only improve your experience if you go a bit prepared to the screening. With my review, I've tried to help those who're interested enough to give it a try. For those who didn't understand and by that didn't like the movie: even Cronenberg and Pattinson didn't understand the story quite well, but they went for it and created a masterpiece. There's nothing wrong with not understanding everything. It doesn't make the audience dumb, it doesn't make the movie bad and it doesn't make a brilliant performance less brilliant.

Sorry for mistakes as English isn't my first language.
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Revise your expectations
donaldgilbert13 January 2013
I'm not sure if I'm more amused or more disappointed by the reaction by so many reviewers here of this film. No, it's not your Hollywood production, it contains few digital effects, no action, not even your standard "Cronenberg gore". This is a novel, and is presented in a way that's similar to the novel; with characters and dialog. As these elements are revealed, and the story unfolds as it does, I was left with a very interesting and satisfying experience.

I wonder if many of the folks giving this a poor review, saying it's boring or confusing, are simply unprepared for what they're renting, and they blame the movie for not meeting expectations. This happened to me. I started the movie while tired and impatient for distraction. After 15 minutes, I shut the film off and waited a couple of days for the right mood to kick in (awake, curious, searching for intellectual stimulation) before starting "Cosmopolis" from the beginning. Some movies are an escape from the work, and/or from thinking. This is not one of them.

I don't like to give spoilers in my reviews, so I will only say to anyone reading, rent this if you're in the mood for a unique movie that gives you cause to reflect and think. And be patient- despite what some have said, I think the ending is exactly right.
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Pretentious and self indulgent
snodlander21 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Let me nail my colours to the mast. I don't like car chase, big explosion, CGI obsessed films. On occasion I even like art house films (last night I watched and enjoyed The Man Who Fell To Earth). But this film was simply two hours of pseudo-intellectual reverie on the meaning of life. I attend the cinema on average twice a week. I cannot recall a film where so many people got up and walked out. Even those that braved it to the end (and I was so close to leaving myself) discussed amongst themselves afterwards why they'd wasted their time.

The dialogue was stilted and unnatural. No fault of the actors, it was the writing. The plot (not that this was ever intended to be a plot-driven film) is subtly drip-fed, hinted at, which i quite liked. There were moments of dark humour, such as when Eric converses with a female employ, all the while wincing and straining as at the other end a doctor gives him a rectal exam. These lifted my score to a three.

That aside, avoid this film. Spend two hours talking to a drugged out philosophy student instead. It will make more sense and be more entertaining.
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Cronenberg faithful to his themes extends it to prophecy
dindondil27 May 2012
This is a very profound and insightful film. It focuses on dialogues more than action, not a lot of things happen. It is demanding for the audience, yes, but every line of dialogue suggests, every line holds a meaning.

Cosmopolis is like an essay about our times and the times to come. What is derivative in our system and how the human mind and the human condition is dangerously shifting. This is pure Cronenberg, very mental, talking about the society through the portrayal of individual psychology.

This is for me the most accurate yet quite pessimistic depiction I've seen of what the society of money and information means for human beings. And it digs quite far, thus can become hard to understand. Our relationship to Time has changed, you focus on minutes and seconds. It used to be manageable, but now it goes out of control. Chaotic profusion of information, self-contradiction, being an enigma for ourselves, blurry perception, blurry identity, and do we even have one ? We as a spectator can feel on the edge, as ambivalent as Eric Packer, both reflective and impulsive. Anyway, I think the viewer will throw his own inner themes in the profusion of concepts that rise from the film. Cronenberg is still the master of suggestion, window big open for interpretation.

Maybe it won't touch those who feel they perfectly fit in their times. Facebook users, people talking about money, people caring for what they've been told to care. Maybe you have to feel a bit out of phase, out of place at least sometimes to get engaged in the film.

It is brilliant in connecting the concepts together in some momentum. There is terrific cinematography by Cronenberg on depth of field and what happens inside/outside the limo -Eric Packer's inner sanctum-. Very great acting by Pattinson, Sarah Gadon, Paul Giamatti and Kevin Durand.
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Worst David Cronenberg film I've seen
whyprod28 September 2012
There are some films you watch and pretty much immediately you know it's not enjoyable. But you stick with it. You hope that there will be some big pay off at the end and then you'll think, wow, must watch that again now I know where it's going.

Well I'm sorry to say, this is not quite one of those movies. True, it started off with me instantly being bored by it. Maybe five times I nearly gave up, but waited for the big pay off at the end. But instead, it was just the end.

Rarely have I been so happy a movie was over.

Considering I'm a David Cronenberg fan, this movie surprised me, it really is awful. It's like your watching some cheap movie made on a cam from someone just out of college.

The dialogue is laboured. It doesn't sound in any way natural and Robert Pattinson seems to be doing his best Christopher Walken impression, but it just doesn't work.

I don't usually write a review of films, but sometimes, people just need a warning.
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Philosophical and poetic
p_v_dshoi4 January 2013
If you are going to watch this movie, you need to give yourself adequate space to do so. This is a philosophical movie and not exactly easy to watch. It comes across more as visual poetry than anything else and therefore won't appeal to a mass audience. Which is partially the reason for a rather low score on this site. In my opinion it deserves more; the reason for this is that I firmly believe a movie has to be critiqued on the basis of it's type - you shouldn't judge this movie on the basis of all movies, but other movies of this sort, which are close adaptations of novels packed with dense dialogue and philosophical themed subject matter. The question you're looking for the answer to is "should I watch this movie?" And yes, you should, but curb your expectations to what type of movie it is. In it's genre, I find it thoughtprovoking and streamlined; It's a limo slowly being covered by graffiti; Something cold, perfect and seamless being torn apart from within. You will find no typical storyline and no lovable characters; at several times I thought to myself that these characters are in fact portraying computers assessing and processing information and various symptoms of the human condition. People do not talk like they do in this movie. The movie is very well executed and absolutely worth your time. If you are interested in this type of movie that is - and if that's the case it will likely leave you inspired in some way because you are constantly thinking throughout.
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Unpredictable absurd comedy, perfect midnight movie
saad_sa116 June 2012
"And a rat became the unit of currency."

I loved it, but it won't be for everyone. This is most definitely a midnight movie. It's a challenging and dense movie, not much of a plot, with the focus on lots of talking and long shots. A neo noir in looks and feel about corporations, capitalism, the future, rats as currency, and a highly philosophical, self-destructive corporate analyst of some clandestine organization simply called "Complex".

From the first shot to the last, you're always following Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) in nearly every scene, so everything's seen from his perspective. It's mostly a single-location movie where Eric talks to random dudes related to his company or any woman in his white stretch cyber-pimped limo with an huge protest in the background. Oh man, it looks awesome and gets messed up over the course of the film. If you're a fan of David Mamet and Richard Linklater's works like Before Sunset, Waking Life, Glengarry Glen Ross, and especially Edmond (another great midnight neo- noir), you'll feel comfortable with the pacing. A lot of talking, one- takes, long takes, of people talking about very dense corporate details with not much sense that might go over your head in a first watch. It feels very much based off a play or novel where incredibly verbose characters pontificate about corporations, the world, and time in weirdly absurd conversations. But it's not a film where all those cinematic techniques are evident or shoved into your face, I just happened to notice he had been talking to a sweaty jogger of a mother who's also Eric's chief of finance while he had his prostate examined in his limo for 6 straight minutes.

Eric Packer is a cold, alienated, and highly self-destructive almost- sociopath who goes on about the philosophy of time, corporations, how the world works, violence, and any other topic. His character reminded me heavily of Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) in American Psycho, just without all the 90s pop culture and music references. The self-destructive and hedonistic urges of upper class socialites is evident in most Cronenberg movies, and Eric is no different. The dude's bored with the world, disillusioned, and is a thrill seeker just so he can feel real while he spends most of his time in a purgatory-like limo. Like most of these heavy talking movies, the plot is sparse and it's just Eric wants to get to a barber for a haircut which hints that it's an absurd satire/comedy. He's adamant of making the trek in his white cyber limo eternally stuck in New York traffic over a whole day that goes into night instead of just walking across the street which would only take 5 min. It's almost an absurd comedy at times, like having his prostate examined in his limo by his personal doctor while talking to someone, or he and Benno (Paul Giamatti) casually shooting up an apartment and at each other with futuristic guns in the weirdest Mexican standoff. How he's so stubborn about staying in his limo even though some big, distractive "imminent scenario" is about to happen. How funny it is people related to his Complex company just happen to see his limo and jump in for a long convo.

Robert Pattinson is a captivating actor to watch, and the camera is transfixed to his face even when it's cream-pied later on thanks to an anarchist protester or "pastry assassin" played by Mathieu Amalric (Quantum of Solace, Diving Bell and the Butterfly). There's another famous French actor here with Juliette Binoche (Certified Copy, Three Colors: Blue) playing a highly sexual 41 year old "friend". This is a challenging role for Pattinson, not really for the character he plays of an upper class corporate man, but how he spars against highly experienced, well-known actors in very long single takes or one-shots. Actors just acting a lot in that stage-y way. These actors seem to come and go with not much of an arc between their characters except for a couple, as is the case with most of these heavy talking movies more focused on the journey (Waking Life, Edmond).

It's a bizarre movie, one that will require quite a few re-watches just to get the nuances of the incredibly dense and fast flowing conversations. Also, the rat protesters reminded me of eXistenZ, and the film works almost as a counter-point to that movie where instead of the anarchists, we're on the side of corporate.

I can see some people not liking the movie just because of the pacing and heavy talking nature of it, but being in love with such midnight stage-y movies like Edmond, or talky Richard Linklater films I was not as confused. The verbose conversations can only have been based off a novel. Samantha Morton as Eric's "Chief of Theory" talks about stuff you won't understand on first watch, and is emblematic of how the film's dialog gives more than you can handle, which is why I can see Cosmopolis being ripe for rewatchability. It's really an absurd comedy and satire at times with a pretty serious and cool ending scene with Paul Giamatti. People who were expecting Cronenberg's early body horror might be disappointed although there are some choice moments, but the film's definitely in his older speculative techno sci-fi style.

"My prostate's asymmetrical."
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Dialogue-driven and emotionally empty, "Cosmpolis" requires an intense desire for philosophical discourse
Movie_Muse_Reviews21 September 2012
Let's say that for every 10 "Twilight" fans, at least one is guaranteed to give "Cosmopolis" a go for no other reason than Robert Pattinson. And among those "Twilight" fans dumb enough to mindlessly try the film out, at least 9 of 10 will despise what they see.

David Cronenberg rather faithfully (from what I understand) adapts Don DeLillo's socio- economic commentary rolled into a film about young billionaire Eric Packer, who goes on a long limo ride across New York City for a haircut. What he fails to recognize, however, is that he was completely wasting his time; "Cosmopolis" has no business being a movie.

Cronenberg's clean and tight approach to the film can't be denied its technical kudos, but everything he films is emotionally anemic. "Cosmopolis" has no story; its characters are talking heads and its scenes just a collection of political gospel and esoteric ideologies.

Not an ounce of this film goes into giving its characters souls, and the more you hunt in search for just a sliver of one, the less attention you pay to the themes so fundamental to the film's core. If you can focus long enough in any given scene, you'll pick up some thought- provoking nuggets, but our natural curiosity as an audience is to look for the story behind the highbrow dialogue. Doing so, however, distracts from paying attention to all that can be praised about this material.

Therein lies the reason Cronenberg should have left the novel alone. Ideas like the ones presented in "Cosmopolis" deserve time to simmer. If I had read the book, I certainly would have taken the time to re-read portions of it to process the commentary on capitalism rather than thinking at multiple times throughout the film "oh, there are rats, that's a symbol for what this film is trying to say about capitalism!"

With the exception of Packer's newly made wife (Sarah Gadon), the cast of supporting characters suffers a similar fate in spite of some big names in Juliette Binoche, Paul Giamatti and Jay Baruchel. By the time you can begin to so much as chew on the ideas raised in one of any of the several scenes in which Packer meets with a new character in his limo and talks about big-time stuff, that character is gone from the film completely. You never get a moment to catch up so that you can be in step with what's going on.

Providing further distraction from understanding anything that's said in this movie is how Cronenberg — as he always does — charges this film with sexual and violent tension. He's not adding any that's not already in the story, but he accentuates it. Consequently, moments in the film will yank you out of your perpetual state of philosophical processing and snap you back into the moment of the film, usually a violent outburst or a quick cut to a sex scene. That's part of what makes Cronenberg a revered director, but in this case it's what makes "Cosmopolis" such a tough watch.

For those hoping to see what Pattinson does as a top-billed star given weighty material, "Cosmopolis" proves to be an unfair judge. He seems comfortable with the bizarre style of dialogue, but the character and the story are so empty that the film can hardly be considered a fair judgment of his would-be dramatic prowess.

As with any work of art steeped in its ideas, the more you sit with it or re-experience it, the more you're likely to warm up to it, and I have no reason to believe that will not be true of "Cosmopolis." At the same time, a majority of viewers will likely not be equipped with the experience of processing this language as the film necessitates, and the first run-through (obviously the most important) suffers drastically as a result.

~Steven C

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Strange, yet feels good
crocoscar199326 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Let me start by pointing out that I am very far from being a die-hard fan of David Cronenberg's previous works, which in my opinion range from average (a history of violence) to awful (crash) ...

Thus, I was skeptical about Cosmopolis at first, and the beginning of the movie did nothing to reassure me : "in medias res" long, intense, fast, and complex dialogs , characters appearing one after the other according to no apparent logic , etc ... However, I believe this constant overflow of information is deliberately used to make the viewer feel how overly fast, complicated and abstract is the world in which characters such as Packer live in ; moreover, the dialogs are exactly the same as in the Cosmopolis book, so it's definitely not another attempt from our friend David to drown the viewer in useless pseudo- philosophical sentences ...

Besides, as the film goes on, even if the details of the dialogs or the relationships between the characters remain elusive, it becomes gradually more immersive and, while not understanding, one can feel the oppressive atmosphere Eric Packer lives in , the climax being the marvelous face -to-face final scene !

Such an atmosphere could not have been created without the terrific job of Robert Pattinson : miles away from his former teen vampire performance, he was perfectly fit for this role : a young, handsome and bored golden boy, about to let go of the artificial world surrounding him. (the other actors do a great job as well, especially the man Eric Packer confronts in the end)

Short version : If you are ready to not understand everything, and to rather let yourself enter a very particular atmosphere, watch Cosmopolis. This movie is, to my mind, about feelings rather than logic .
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rubbish rubbish rubbish rubbish
paul-wedel21 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
David, Videodrome was a very long time ago!

Dialog: terrible / unbelievable / pretentious

Narrative: unclear / not present

Performances: Giamatti pretty good / all others, terrible / Pattinson: did you read this script before agreeing to the part? Juliet Binoche + Samatha Morton, why are you in this movie? Your parts are terrible! There is no way you can perform well with such lousy poetry.

Sex scene(s): both scenes awkward and terrible (and I really enjoyed Crash)

Visual FX: pretty good actually

Ending: what ending?
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Not for Everybody
Tom Gooderson-A'Court15 June 2012
Young billionaire Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) decides to take his stretch limo across New York City for a haircut. Along the way he conducts business, meets friends, family and acquaintances before being mobbed by anarchists and confronting someone who has malicious intent to harm him. This film reminded me of a good Shakespearean play; I only understood about half of it but enjoyed it a lot. There are long elongated stretches of duelling dialogue which are spoken in a half alien language of metaphors and double meanings. The word 'this' takes on new meanings and is used in – it feels like – almost every sentence. Much like a Shakespearean play there are odd comic moments and in keeping with Director David Cronenberg's cannon, brief scenes of extreme violence. These few instances ignited some of the more drawn out and dare I say duller scenes to keep the audience on tenterhooks. Despite these flashes this wont be a film for everyone and a man next to me in an early afternoon screening fell asleep while a couple on the row in front left about half way in. Robert Patz' character reminded me a little of Michael Fassbender's in Shame. Both felt like they were on a path to destruction which they both sort of wanted or at least drew themselves towards. R-Pattinson defies the advice of his security to actively search out trouble and seems to show no emotion in doing so. In fact there is very little emotion in any scene and the whole cast seem to live in a world of robots. Sarah Gadon plays Robbie-P's wife as an android with almost no movement or signs of feeling. Equally The Robster's bodyguard played by Kevin Durand is focused solely on his employer's safety and shows no signs of living in a world outside of the film. This and also the cinematography lead me to wonder if the film was set inside a dream. It certainly had a dreamlike quality to it. Pattinson is surprisingly excellent in this film, playing a character that is sealed off from the outside world in such a way that he barely notices when it is crumbling in front of him. He has stoicism and magnetism that is rarely matched on film. As I said a couple of paragraphs ago I didn't understand a lot of what was actually going on. There is a lot of financial talk and discussions on a metaphysical level which went over my head. None of this stopped me enjoying myself though and I only felt bored once, in a long scene featuring Rob-Patz and Paul Giamatti. The scene was livened up though by a wonderful creeping score which slowing increased in volume as the tension racked up as well as a short sharp burst of violence. This film definitely won't be for everyone but I do hope hordes of young Twilight fans go and get bitterly disappointed and confused. Personally I thought it was very good but felt perplexed at times. Unlike the source novel the ending is slightly ambiguous which I felt was a good thing. This is a film I'd recommend to hardcore Cronenberg fans and anyone who doesn't mind having to think a little but if you're only interested in Rizzle-Patz cos' he's super hunky then stay away.
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Unending verbal masturbation
katwmn6-120 June 2012
So bad, it's not even worth wasting my time writing a detailed review.

The film is a long, uninteresting, verbal masturbation session. It's two hours of proselytizing from characters you don't care about, who don't say anything you couldn't have read off an Occupy Wall Street protest sign.

Don't believe anyone who tells you it's genius.

I would have walked out of the cinema after 30 minutes if I hadn't been with a friend's family. I honestly considered feigning illness so as to have a valid excuse to leave. Hands down one of the worst films I have ever seen (this coming from someone who's seen "Weekend at Bernie's 2").
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I Got Through Forty-five Minutes
chicagopoetry19 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, I see a lot of movies, and I know the difference between a weird masterpiece like El Topo and boring, pretentious crap like Cosmopolis. Did something happen after I turned it off, like some Transformers came down and blew up the city, because honestly I'm wondering how they spent twenty million dollars filming in the back of a stretched limo. Almost all of the dialogue is spoken in a monotone and is not natural language but a forced attempt at poetry that is so bad it isn't even funny. It's just one sequence after another with this flaky billionaire head of a company having ridiculously unnatural conversations with characters who are never formally introduced and who act like they are on Quaaludes or have had lobotomies. Imagine going to some off-Broadway play that is going way too far in its attempt to be weird for two entire hours with the worst actors possible who just say random things that make no sense. Okay, I only watched forty five minutes of it, granted, sooner or later I'll try to watch the rest of it and if by some miracle a plot or something develops, I'll come back here and edit my review, but, somehow, I highly doubt that's going to be the case.
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Not for everyone - but genius
facebook-688-23462029 April 2014
The film starts a bit slow, the actors seems uneasy in the plot and it feels very unnatural. Yet after a while it starts to fall into place while you are in the film and walked along - not in a plot of a movie but in the meta-description of a movie which isn't shown full frontal.

Instead of cheesy lines, the antagonist communicates directly his desires and his wife directly communicates her concern. ("I want to have sex with you" - "you reek of sexual interaction" - "that is because I want to have sex with you"). In a conventional film you would have some atmosphere, a man "courting" the female, the female not going in on his avances. While you wonder what is holding her back, the man continues to pursue and feign interest or make himself more clear of his underlying desires.(and as viewer you anticipate this consequence of sexual tension - considering the possible ways this might unfold). Cronenberg shows the deeper inner underlying dialog which is in this case explicitly outspoken.

Once I started to see the film as an inverse of a movie - every detail played out with the intention to project an idea, feeling or thought, implicit - This movie however makes the intent explicit and takes away the usual and cliché implicities.

A guy sitting in a limo with heavy protection, looking out for danger - assessing the moment "it might hit". Instead of shiny cars, with displays of a luxury lifestyle, bullets, fire and someone being taking of his money in classic Hollywood cheesy action. This movie shows the potential of all this happening. And examines the mindset, desire, inevitable consequences.

"The luxury leather, the glow of the screens - it appeals to me. But I don't know why and I don't understand it" - while you realize it has this effect on you. You are in the scene. You are being explained your impressions. Like the billboard displaying just the text "A specter is ruling the world. The scepter of capitalism", instead of showing a "generic corp", as in other scifi movies playing on the same issues. (granted, in the background you do see a Hershey's ad)

Cronenberg is explaining the cue's that draw you in, play on you, the associations you make, desires, projections you make, and the dots you would be "led to connect". All the while shining a light on our current society and pulling it apart before examining all the little intrinsic interactions and co-existences. As if he is filming you from behind, and projects your on-look and mental frame onto a screen of a film while you are unaware of the original film which is in Cosmopolis *implied*

This film is a brilliant piece which could be easily under-appreciated.
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The worst movie ever
Angela Stone12 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
What a waste of time Too much dialogue. The dialogue would be fun in a book, but all that dialogue in a film is too much. All characters babble on for far too long. At least 50% of the dialogue should have been ditched. (I kept pace with all the dialogue, but found it too lengthy and was often bored during this movie.) When a Shakespeare play is made into a movie they intersperse other scenes to make use of the visual nature of the cinema. I found Robert Pattinson not up to the task. Looked like he was just saying his lines, and he missed the nuance of the meaning that could have been presented. In particular the double-meaning that could be placed on many important moments.

The blue-screen out the windows of the cars was terrible. The whole thing felt like a shoddy production. The dialogue actually mentions that the car has cork soundproofing that doesn't screen out all the background noise of the streets, but inside the car it is dead silent, and there is no movement, no juddering, no change in the light reflections on the windows, no feeling of the car moving. This makes it feel staged and fake. The sex scenes are awful, especially the 2nd one. They are just trying to remember their lines and there is no chemistry between the two. I usually enjoy Cronenberg films and think I can see what he likes, so (SPOILER ALERT) it's clear to me this character is devastated by his mis-calculation and the massive losses his company will suffer. He doesn't have the balls to kill himself so he's hoping to run into someone else who will kill him. Paul Giamatti does a nice job and it's clear Paul's character won't kill Robert's character. Though I found the religious overtones with the towel over Paul's head too heavy-handed.

I see why this story appeals to some now. But recently there have been so many govts bailing out finance companies, if anything such a character these days would really not have to worry too much. Furthermore, many of the super rich have declared bankruptcy, but kept their personal wealth and gone back into remake themselves. So no, this is not a story for today. I would not recommend this film to anyone. Not even Robert Pattinson fans. Pattinson fans can see him with his shirt off. The character talks about working out and yet Pattinson has a puny body, not worth looking at. His body looks like that of a patient who is terminally ill.
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What was the point?
Jens Wegar6 September 2012
Simply put, this has got to be one of the weirder films I've seen. Like an American version of a French art film. The film builds absolutely no momentum at all. There is exactly one surprising moment. Surprising because, like with a lot of the film, the action made no sense. Yes, you can argue that the film is about the dialog and I'll admit there is probably some profound insights to be found. But what good does insightful dialog make if you're about to fall asleep constantly. Besides, if you argue that the dialog is at the center, then there are plenty of scenes of graphic nature which do absolutely nothing to further the story in itself. As far as the dialog is concerned, those scenes could just as well have been placed in a coffee shop.

Paul Giamatti's performance, although short, was a small highlight of the movie. Even though it also dragged on, it once again showed why this guy stays on the radar all the time. For those that are only interested in the movie due to Pattison's torso, there is some material for you. His acting though is not that good. Not sure if that's because of the script or because of other reasons.

In short, if you're keen on watching a dialog for 109 minutes, then this might be for you. Don't expect anything but weird, and somewhat pointless action scenes though.
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A Thought provoking story that mirrors contemporary life
Samrat Mitra8 March 2015
I had avoided watching Cosmopolis because of the unsympathetic reviews it received from critics. Surprisingly, this is a very thought provoking film that delves into the disastrous consequence our society is headed for. First of all, Critics (the so called paid ones): Were you actually listening to the dialogues or were you just not paying attention to what was going on? Did any of the dialogues strike even a remote chord of reflection on , for example, the fact that the firms or companies most people work for actually treat them as worker bees? That actually while we talk and stress on our individuality and unique perspectives are actually forced to follow and sacrifice ourselves to a vision of the more powerful and influential members of the society? Robert Pattinson is a revelation, he has been working very hard in all the movies recently such as The Rover, Maps to the Stars among others. We are sure to see more of this talented actor as he seems to choose his roles in movies more carefully than his equally if not more talented peer Danielle Radcliffe. The open ended conclusion in the story is bound to leave a few viewers a bit miffed but the whole point of the story is not the conclusion but about smart billionaire's approach to life especially when he feels little empathy or achievement because everything in life was given to him. This is today's generation who live their lives as if death would never conclude life. If you see closely, you will notice that today's work pressures are created artificially by people like the ones portrayed by RPatz: They are joyless mostly unhappy workaholics who would keep pushing people without having any empathy about what they are going through! All in all, a movie well worth watching more than once, thanks for reading!
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Casey's Movie Mania: COSMOPOLIS (2012)
caseymoviemania23 September 2012
Talky movies are always hard to pull off, especially those which deals with complex or dense subject matter. To make them interesting, it's always important to engage the viewers with captivating performance(s) and strong dialogues. This is no doubt a difficult test for director David Cronenberg. He's hardly known as a director who relies heavily on dialogue to tell his story. Actually he did attempt such approach before in last year's A DANGEROUS METHOD, but he failed miserably with his static direction. This time, he hits an all-time low in COSMOPOLIS -- a lifeless and painfully boring motion picture that even a die-hard art-house fans might find this a monumental waste of time.

Based on Don DeLillo's novel of the same name, the movie centers on a 28-year-old billionaire named Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) who wants a haircut from his father's old barber. Even though his head of security, Torval (Kevin Durand) has warned him about the streets are currently jammed due to a visit by the President of the United States, an anti-capitalism riot and a funeral march of a famous hip-hop star, Packer insists on going ahead no matter what. And so he hops on his stretch limo and begins his long-winded journey. En route, he finds himself in a series of complications and meet some of the peoples he knows including his colleague Shiner (Jay Baruchel), distant wife Elise (Sarah Gadon), mistress Didi Fancher (Juliette Binoche), financial adviser Vija Kinsky (Samantha Morton) and many others. As the world is slowly collapsing around him, Packer eventually finds himself face to face with his own destined assassin, Benno Levin (Paul Giamatti).

Judging from the source material and especially the trailer that promotes the movie, it looks as if die-hard fans are in a treat for the good old David Cronenberg's bizarre trademark. Unfortunately what is shown in the entire movie is a different story altogether. Despite its timely plot that touches on the current financial crisis and many other topical subject matters, Cronenberg's adapted screenplay is all heavy dialogue but no substance. Seriously, this movie is a very frustrating movie to watch for. Characters are spend all the time talking, talking and talking but everything wanders around in the same circle aimlessly. The pace is so awfully slow to a standstill, that its 109-minute running time seems like forever.

No doubt David Cronenberg's typically cold direction doesn't fit well for this kind of talky movie. He's clearly out of his element here. Meanwhile, lead actor Robert Pattinson is fatally miscast as well. Originally intended for Colin Farrell (really?) but forced to withdraw because of scheduling conflicts, Pattinson's performance is as wooden as a piece of plank. There's hardly any personality behind his dead-eyed expression that makes him at least a worthwhile character to pay attention for. If Pattinson fares the worst, same goes to the supporting actors as well. Even with the presence of some highly-reliable actors like Juliette Binoche, Samantha Morton and Paul Giamatti, their performances are as uninteresting as they goes.

Visually, Cronenberg does insert a few moments of violence and strong sexual contents, but they are all gratuitous and feels patchy altogether.

Ultimately, I understand that Cronenberg tries to make a lot of statements here but unfortunately, the message doesn't get across. It's the kind of movie that drags on and on, but doesn't accomplish a single thing. Easily one of the worst movies of all-time.
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wullers2 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Why does a grossly overpaid Hollywood person bother with portraying the (apparently eagerly awaited) downfall of capitalism? He has nothing of value to add. This movie was not even entertaining.

Why Robert Pattinson? Paul Giamatti: Why?

Regarding the plot, the movie is about Robert Pattinson who reads lines off que cards while driving a futuristic limousine. One after another his employees, who portray different parts of society, enter the limo and the discussion. Over the course of the next few hours, Pattinson loses his money, clothes, wife(some curious self portrait of the arts), security detail, and limo. In the final scene, the maimed Pattinson confronts his assassin for a lengthy dialogue. This scene should vibrate off the intensity. However, the camera is too sloppy and Pattinson is too incompetent. Giamatti tries but there is only so much one can do when faced with such adversity. Besides, as stated above, there is not much substance to the dialogue. The viewer is stunned and stoned by all the hints as to what the right interpretation should be. The clothes, the car, the excessive and repetitive dialogue sequences, and so on and so on. Cronenberg tries to make a masterpiece by force - and fails.
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Lara J.16 July 2012
I have no words for how bad this movie is. It bored me stiff. I never saw so many people leave the theatre in the middle of a movie. That should say it all.

The director seems to have mistaken movie for radio. This "movie" is nothing but a never-ending, pointless verbal diarrhea. None of the monologues (for there aren't really any dialogues) made sense. None of the characters made sense. Actually, the movie didn't have any characters. Just some more or less famous actors (what on earth was Juliette Binoche thinking when she decided to appear in this piece of c**p?) appeared randomly out of nowhere, talked a lot of nonsense, then disappeared into the nowhere. I couldn't detect the whiff of a story. After a short while - I couldn't leave, because my friend wanted to stay - I quite simply wanted to die.

Unless you want to accidentally end your own life because you still prefer suicide over sitting through this movie for a second longer, DON'T WATCH THIS MOVIE!
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vLOBOv2 June 2012
Do you want more? Why?

Cronenberg in my opinion made a full read of our times showing the most respect for DeLillo work. Two genius supported by a secure representation of the actors who were most certainly instructed to bring some charisma of their own (Pattinson and Giamatti). The objects used in the movie give us a real sense of possession and every one of them are there for a reason (limo,gun,etc). The man and what he creates is a well known issue. But What can we do when at the end of the day all we want is just some...more? Why?

With the chewing gum trash movies that come out every day we just need to be thankful for a real statement movie like this. Tank you.
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"Everything is barely weeks. Everything is days. We have minutes to live."
Patryk Czekaj22 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Cosmopolis, based on Don DeLillo's bestseller of the same name, is the first feature film both directed and written by David Cronenberg's since eXistenZ. That, in a way, explains why the movie may be recognized as a very decent adaptation and an exceptional film in itself.

Cosmopolis comes as an utterly spellbinding, eye opening, perversely expressive and philosophically challenging evaluation of the 21st century's economic crisis, placed in juxtaposition with a precise look at the main character's gradually imploding life. It's easy to notice that, in the finance-related sphere, this insightful neo-noir movie is also like a more ideological and, thus more enjoyable, version of Margin Call. The movie flows like an odyssey, without changing its well-balanced pace, focusing mostly on long, single takes.

Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson), a manipulative, emphatic, vainglorious, and filthy rich power broker from New York, decides he needs a haircut on one sunny and seemingly peaceful morning. He gets into his shiny, luxurious limousine (equipped with everything money can buy) and goes for a ride that will eventually turn his whole world upside down, in less than 24 hours. It's so ridiculous that Eric spends the entire day stuck in a huge traffic, and, when he eventually gets to the barber shop (during the night), he gets only half of his hair cut.

The film's conversation-driven narrative has Packer involved in various philosophical and overly perplexing encounters. Most of the time they are connected to very serious notions, such as existence, death, pain, money, future. In all the engaging, and sometimes mind numbing, dialogues we hear many incoherent one-liners that may definitely cause some disputes over their actual significance.

What's interesting is that the limo seems like it's some sort of a peculiar entity, totally detached from the human world, a kind of futuristic spaceship, taken straight out from a science fiction picture. Most of the time the viewer isn't able to see what's happening on the streets, but at one particular moment the barrier between the inside and the outside is suddenly broken, due to the violent riots caused by anarchists. 'And a rat became the unit of currency' – this illusory quote gets an entirely different meaning, as the protesters roam around town holding dead rats in their hands, signalizing the forthcoming political and financial collapse. The, so-called, cyber capitalism is abruptly coming to and, and Packer becomes one of the victims of its downfall. What's more, he is also effectively creating his own demise in a very subtle manner.

Cronenberg did only a few slight changes to the book (the Japanese Yen is now the Chinese Yuan; Parker doesn't have sex with his wife, like he wanted to so badly in the book), which truly enhance the director's auteur approach to the film.

A surprisingly proper and convincing performance by Robert Pattison makes him look like an adequate choice for future roles in more ambitious production than Twilight or, lately, the overly dull Bel Ami. With his handsome looks, unmet sexual needs, self-conceit and arrogance, he reminds of two other well-known, fictional rich men – Patrick Bateman from American Psycho and Don Draper from Mad Men.

All in all, even though the movie might seem too complex or a bit boring, it still is definitely worth a watch, as it is both a great adaptation of the novel, and an interesting character study of not only the protagonist (antagonist?), but also all the limo passengers that appear on- screen for brief periods of time. And the tense final scene ('duel' between Parker and the assassin) makes the viewer realize that in our contemporary world two contradictory points of view may actually have more in common then one might expect.

Grade: B
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Not worth watching
Dejan M16 August 2012
I think this is one of the worst films that I watched. At least worst that I finished watching (just because I wasn't alone). On the end we all agreed that if someone would go out after 20 minutes we would all go.

There's no story... After 30 minutes I was asking myself if there is no story is there any hidden meaning in the dialog. I figured out that even if it is that I don't get it.

I hate that the movie is 90% shoot in one place. There are some scenes that come as a surprise. But you soon get the feeling that you're back in the same scene as before.

I really don't see the point of the movie.

I don't recommend the movie to anyone!
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A masterpiece.
Milouette1 June 2012
I had a drink and slouched down on the leather seat in the corner, and after a while I never wanted to leave. So private, so peaceful, so safe. I need a limo in my life.

Cosmopolis is a meeting of geniuses. It is a masterpiece. A combination of a genius writer, a genius director and script writer and a genius actor. Shake and stir and we get Cosmopolis; the kind of high quality movie we rarely get to see made, a movie in a genre of its own. A deep, intellectual, intense story with heart. A movie that hits you deeply and stays.

Don DeLillo's fantastic story; with such philosophical depth, such insight into the human mind and the world we live in. A metaphorical limo ride, a life condensed into a day. The life of Eric Packer.

David Cronenberg and his team; creating the world Eric lives in and bringing the story to life in the best of ways. David's sensitive and precise way of filmmaking, providing the needed creative space for the actors and delicately capturing their performances on camera.

Robert Pattinson, immersing himself into the complex character of Eric Packer and giving a mind-blowing performance. The brilliant mind, the intensity, the never ending curiosity, the impulsiveness, the constant hunger in every way, the inner fears, the burdens, the restlessness, the excessive need for control, the combination of growing old too quickly and still being so young. His impatient voice, trying to restrain himself and wait for others to catch up. The people coming and going in his life, as mirrors to who Eric is and where he is heading. The journey to get to know himself, to realize what life is all about and what makes it worth living.

An amazing movie. A movie that will go down in history as an example of filmmaking at its best. A masterpiece.


What is life? What is a life?

days, nights, coming, going

people you know, or don't

things happening, or not

stuff you do, stuff you know, or not

you bring all you can

play by all the rules

success, accomplishments, possessions, then what?

is that it?

there has to be more

otherwise, what's the point?

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Terrible boring waste of time
sdurkin-117 September 2012
One of the worst films I have ever watched. Boring is polite. Not sure how many of the favorable reviews were paid for by the PR organization for the producer, but the rating and comments on IMDb for this film cast doubt on the viability of comments here given my experience with this film and others which are downrated. Highly suggest one avoid one this like the plague. And do not be mislead by the billing of Juliet Binoche for this film. Laughable. The thing that comes to mind for me is WHO CARES about any of the characters? I surely did not. Just look at the movie poster - the movie is as boring and dark as the image of Pattison in the limo suggests. My suggestion - watch something else - anything else.
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