Fight Club (1999) Poster

(1999)

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10/10
A unique film
buk-315 October 1999
Fight Club is one of the most unique films I have ever seen. In addition to presenting a rather fresh take on life, FC also presents its material in a fresh way. My main interest in the film is in that, in my opinion, it does not present characters for us to think about. Rather, it presents actions for us to think about. I will say that I cannot recall *ever* having been "asked" by a film to both suspend my disbelief the way this film asks in its third act AND at the same time come to terms with an understanding that there is no room--or need--for disbelief.

Perhaps these comments will not make sense to the average movie goer who will dismiss this film--and, unfortunately, its premise--as another hollywood flick filled with gratuitous violence. I'd go as far as to say that this film is not about violence. It is about choices. It is about activity. It is about lethargy. It is about waking up and realizing that at some point in the past we've gone to the toilet and thrown up our dreams without even realizing that society has stuck its fingers down our throat.

I would argue that anyone caught, at some point in their lives, between a rock and a hard place--anyone who has reached bottom on a mental level--anyone who has uttered to themselves "Wait, this isn't right. I would not do/say/feel what it is that I just did/said/felt... I do not like this. I must change before I am forever stuck being the person that I am not." These people, they will know what I'm talking about. These people will not only recognize the similarities between Edward Norton's character and themselves--they will be uncomfortably familiar with him. These people will appreciate Fight Club for what it is: a wake up call that we are not alone.

As David Berman once said: "I'm afraid I've got more in common with who I was than who I am becoming." If this sentence makes any sense to you, go see Fight Club. You won't regret it.

L.
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This is a very important movie.
The_Retard_Whisperer20 March 2001
When I first saw the previews for this movie, it had me interested. A movie about guys who fight - it didn't seem to deep, but I thought it would provide entertainment. I had heard buzz about, a few of my friends raved about it for a few days, and I was convinced. I should see this movie. I went to my local video store and picked up the last remaining DVD. I popped it in, sat in amazement until the last credit rolled, and then watched it again. And again. And again.

This movie is dark and disturbing, however, it is equally smart and stylistic. I found it hard to watch at points, but I couldn't turn my eyes away. Fight Club makes many bold statements against the modern consumer-driven society, and produces Norton's best performance and Pitt's second best (12 Monkeys).

Norton plays an average-Joe who is living a dead-end life. He needs something to change his life. Tyler and Marla will take care of this, and that is all I want to give away. Other comments will tell you more, but I suggest you let it all sink in while watching. As for it's ending, it doesn't rival 'The Sixth Sense' - it blows it away. One of the best movie endings I've seen. Even better if you're a Pixies fan.

As for it being important, don't worry. You will be hearing about this movie. When 'A Clockwork Orange' came out, it was met with mixed reviews, deemed too dark and violent, and is now considered a classic. These two movies share quite a bit in common - both were based on great books. If you haven't read either, get to it. Politicians will use this movie as a demonstration of careless and consequenceless violence in movies, and as a perfect example of what today's youth are being influenced by.

Watch this movie, and watch it again with some of your more intelligent friends. 10 out of 10.
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Life-changing Fight Club
KrisRagnarsson4 February 2003
I am, unfortunately, not one of the faithful Chuck Palahniuk readers who had read the book BEFORE they saw the movie. I, however, couldn't wait to read the book after seeing this film. I've read the book 5 times since and seen the movie more times than I can remember.

Simply put, this movie changed my life. Not just on a personal level (on which I will not comment here except to say I'm now a major Palahniuk fan) but also as a movie-watcher. I view movies differently after seeing this movie, because it broke down doors.

This movie is literally the first time I ever came upon something that, at first sight seemed incredibly stylish, sophisticated and entertaining. The plot lured you in before turning you upside down, the acting was nothing short of perfect (has there ever been a more memorable character than Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden?), the music, the screenplay (based on what is now my all-time favorite book), the lighting, the pacing, the everything! Virtually everything about this movie took my by surprise, save for one man.

David Fincher, director, was probably the only reason I went to see this movie in the first place. His work on 'Seven' and 'The Game' had me excited to see what he would do next, but I came to this movie expecting a stylish flick that offered a good plot and hopefully some good acting but what I got was so much, much more.

Honestly, how many times have you seen a movie that, with every viewing, gets even more complicated yet so simple that you can't help but laugh. Every time I watch this movie I notice something new about it, such is the depth of what is on the screen. Then there's the tiny issue of the story of Fight Club, penned by Chuck Palahniuk (who has one of the most fertile imaginations around. Don't believe me? Read 'Survivor' and weep!) the story is nothing short of incredible, a pure shock-value social commentary on the state of the world at the end of the century. You'll cry, you'll laugh, you'll do all the clichés but most importantly you'll identify with every single thing on the screen.

This movie rates as one of my all-time favorite movies and, simply put, if you haven't seen it yet then quit wasting your time OnLine and get to the nearest videostore!

5/5
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10/10
Superb
grantss19 April 2014
Superb, and truly one of the greatest movies of all time.

It starts with the screenplay. Adapted from, and very faithful to, an excellent book. The book by Chuck Palahniuk was perfect for a movie: vivid, powerful, challenging, original, unpredictable. Considering how perfectly formed the book already was, the screenplay would have been a doddle.

Some very interesting themes are explored - consumerism, class warfare, multiple-personality disorder, male bonding, terrorism and anarchy - without being judgemental.

Direction is spot-on. Perfect cinematography, pacing and editing. The twists and nuances of the book are captured perfectly.

Edward Norton and Brad Pitt are perfectly cast as the two lead characters, and deliver in spades. Helena Bonham Carter is a strange selection to take on the role of Marla, as she tends to act in Shakespearean dramas and other period pieces. However, despite this, her performance is very convincing.

An absolute classic.
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10/10
Welcome to movie heaven!
gogoschka-116 December 2013
Let's ignore the advice and talk about "Fight Club". This film was a milestone; although it bombed at the box office, Fincher's cinematic language left a mark that can still be felt now, 14 years later, on many current releases. Despite the risky 'cutting edge' nature of the film, Fincher got a huge budget for this and it shows: the camera effects and the whole production design are amazing.

This movie has a raw energy that grips me every time I watch it. What a crazy, fun ride! Whether it is a very clever satire or pure testosterone going on a rampage - both are fine by me. A film so visually stunning and sexy, with career best performances by all involved - welcome to movie heaven.

My vote: 10 out of 10

Favorite films: http://www.IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/

Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Favorite Low-Budget and B-Movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/
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10/10
a dangerously brilliant film that entertains as well as enlightens.
dr. gonzo10 May 2000
"Fight Club" an aggressive, confrontational, often brutal satire that is quite possibly a brilliant masterpiece. Taking the "Choose life," anti-consumerism rant at the beginning of "Trainspotting," and carrying it to its logical -- albeit extreme -- conclusion this is a big budget, mainstream film that takes a lot of risks by biting the hand that feeds it. The film's narrator (Edward Norton) is an insignificant cog in the drab, corporate machine, dutifully doing his job and what he's told without question. He's an insomniac slave to his IKEA possessions and only finds joy in going to as many self-help/dealing with terminal diseases sessions as he can. It provides him with an escape from his sleepless nights. That is, until Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), a trashy chain-smoking poser, enters his life and upsets his routine. The narrator also meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a charismatic soap salesman whose straightforward honesty, candor and sleazy lounge-lizard outfits are a breath of fresh air. One night, after the two men have bonded over beers, Tyler asks the narrator to hit him. At first, it seems like an absurd request but after they pound on each other for a bit, a strange feeling overcomes them. They feel a kind of release and satisfaction at inflicting pain on one another. In a world where people are desensitized to everything around them, the physical contact of fighting wakes them up and makes them feel truly alive. Others soon join in and pretty soon Fight Club becomes an underground sensation. However, it becomes readily apparent that Tyler has more elaborate plans than just organizing brawls at the local bar. David Fincher has taken the dark, pessimistic worldview of "Seven" and married it with the clever plot twists and turns of "The Game" and assembled his strongest effort to date. "Fight Club" is a $50+ million studio film that remains true to its anti-consumer, anti-society, anti-everything message -- right up to the last, sneaky subliminal frame. What makes "Fight Club" a subversive delight is not only its refreshing anti-corporate message but how it delivers said message. As Fincher has explained in interviews, you don't really watch the film but rather download it. Its structure is extremely playful as it messes around with linear time to an incredible degree. The narrative bounces back and forth all over the place like a novel, or surfing on the Internet -- even making a hilarious dead stop to draw attention to itself in a funny, interesting way that completely works. Yet Norton's deadpanned narration holds everything together and allows the viewer to get a handle on what's happening. This is the way films should be made. Why must we always have to go through the A+B+C formula? "Fight Club" openly rejects this tired, clearly outdated structure in favour of a stylized frenzy of jump cuts, freeze frames, slow motion and every other film technique in the book that only reinforces its anarchistic message. A film like this would have never been greenlighted by a major studio if Brad Pitt had not been attached to the project. Once you see the film, it becomes obvious that he was the only choice for Tyler Durden. Like he did with "Kalifornia" and "Twelve Monkeys", Pitt grunges himself down and disappears completely into his role to a frighteningly convincing degree. During many of the brutal fight scenes, he is transformed into a bloody, pulpy mess that'll surely have the "Legends of the Fall" fans running for the exits. It is an incredible performance -- probably his best -- for the simple fact that he becomes the character so completely. If Pitt has the flashy, gonzo role, Edward Norton is his perfect foil as the seemingly meek yet sardonic narrator. It's a deceptively understated performance as the last third of the film reveals but Norton nails it perfectly. He is clearly our surrogate, our introduction into this strange world and his wry observations on our consumer-obsessed culture are right on the money. They are the perfect setup for Tyler's introduction and his view on the world which is clearly a call to arms of sorts, a manifesto that rejects the notion that we are what we own. And ultimately, that is what "Fight Club" tries to do. The film is a cinematic punch to the head as it challenges the status quo and offers a wakeup call to people immersed in a materialistic world where those who have the most stuff, "win." I think that Fincher's film wants us to tear all that down, reject corporate monsters like Starbucks and Blockbuster, and try to figure out what we really want out of life. It's almost as if the film is suggesting salvation through self-destruction. And it is these thought-provoking ideas that makes "Fight Club" a dangerously brilliant film that entertains as well as enlightens.
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10/10
G.O.A.T.
sebastiandelgah11 October 2018
This movie is one of the greatest of all time. It is adapted from a book by Chuck Palahniuk. This movie has very interesting themes like emasculation, violence, chaos, societal breakdown, isolation, the threat of death and consumerism. The direction is sublime. Perfect cinematography, pacing and editing. The twists and nuances of the book are captured perfectly. Also they did a good job with the inter-cuts. Brad Pitt and Edward Norton were the perfect choice to lead this movie. When you are watching the movie you just are glued to your seat, that is just how good it is.
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10/10
Great Film: Deserved Several Academy Award Nominations
robertharkins24 September 2001
The script was tight, the theme fascinating, the acting incredible (especially Edward Norton, as one might expect), the direction inspired, and the cinematography stunning. It is one of the few films of the past five years that deserves to be seen multiple times. In fact, if you have seen it only once, you have missed something. I was seriously hoping the movie would receive Oscar nominations for Best Actor (Norton), Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Picture.

So, how is it that the film received no nominations? Unfortunately, it had a mismatched ad campaign. The ads made it seem like the movie was about street boxing, instead of a intellectual and emotional ride through a man's psyche as he takes a strange path toward rebellion against consumer society. As a result, most who went to see it were disappointed, and those who would recognize its brilliance stayed far away from the movie theaters. This is one of the most underrated movies I know.

I always love movies that keep you entertained and keep you guessing, and this movie scores a 10 in both. Those who enjoyed The Game, Memento, or The Matrix really should check it out.
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10/10
It doesn't get much better than this
Dante Hicks25 June 2000
Similar in idea to 'American Beauty' but certainly not in style or content this bleak look at underground culture and the spiritual redemption it brings is easily one of the most intelligent films I've ever seen. Directed by the same man who brought us the superb 'The Game' this is another film which you'll have to see more than once to truly understand. Focusing on sad white-collar, middle-class Norton whose only real dream in life is to own all the contents of an IKEA catalogue it follows him through a chance meeting with charismatic stranger Pitt and the unfortunate events which conspire to draw them together. After a nights hard drinking they start a friendly-ish scrap which is viewed by a couple of others and from that small acorn a mighty oak called Fight Club grows. This is the point around which the whole film revolves with Norton and Pitt forming an underground club which draws more and more disillusioned young men to join it. Based on firm 'Queensbury Rules' it is a cathartic if bloody way to spend your night. Eventually as it becomes a huge operation Pitt, the de facto leader, moves it up a gear and creates his own cult from this secret society. This is where the film becomes brilliant and the twist near the end is magnificent, better even than the much talked about 'The Sixth Sense'. It just has so much to say about things: the emasculation of an entire generation of young men ("No great war to fight, no great depression"), the growing isolation we all feel from one another and the need to find something to draw us back together and most importantly, the power of an exciting, challenging idea and it's fermentation into cultism. However, where many films would just say 'This is a bad thing' 'Fight Club' doesn't. It is more a condemnation of a materialistic society which has forgotten about a large section of itself. You can empathise with these men completely, even when they band together against this uncaring society that has reared them to be something their instincts don't understand. It's as close to genius as you'll get and one film you'll talk about and think about for days.
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10/10
A rare film that challenges the viewer to come up with his own interpretations
golight18 October 1999
Faithfully following Chuck Palahniuk's acerbic satire, Fight Club presents the vast emptiness of modern existence- ridden as it is with shallow values, rampant consumerism, empty of meaning, feeling and life itself- in a slick and ironically consumer oriented fashion. In a different vein from American Beauty, Fight Club explores the solutions to the veritable sleepwalking existence that plagues modern life. The film is violent, but it is not gratuitous violence, and any reviewer who claims that the film is promoting violence has missed the entire point of the film. A very black comedy, it is sure to provoke much conversation- it is definitely a film to see with friends. The film is fast-paced, densely packed and merits a second viewing, just to take it all in, especially if you haven't read the book. In typical Fincher style, you the viewer are left to draw your own conclusions. He feels no impetus to tell you how to interpret what you've seen, appropriate since the film condemns falling victim to the strictures of what society tells us to think and to value. My only criticism is that the editing is not as tight as it could be in the middle section of the film, it drags just a bit then picks up again. Other than that, it should definitely be an Oscar contender.
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10/10
Watch it atleast twice
shuklaprakhar18 December 2018
Beleive me if you want to feel this movie to the core watch it twice . It took me twice to analyse that this movie was something much more than just awesome Brilliant acting by brad pitt maybe his best one, direction above par . There is something much more in this movie than meets the eye .. Watch it and find for yourself
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9/10
Brilliant Direction and Superb Acting
camiloarenivar6 December 2001
Fight Club is a brash slap in the face of consumerism and the working dead. It questions reality. It is strikingly thought provoking and visually stimulating. The direction is incredibly brilliant. Director David Fincher (Aliens, Se7en and The Game) is at his finest here warping both space and time, dropping in things here and there to make things clear. Edward Norton is excellent as Jack, the narrator of the movie. He is a nerdy insomniac who catalog shops at Ikea and has a going nowhere job. Brad Pitt is dynamic as Tyler Durden, an anarchistic man who lives in a run-down abandoned house and makes and sells soap for a living. Helen Bonham Carter is also great as Marla Singer, the manic-depressive chain-smoking woman in both their lives. Her role is critical and she plays it well.

There has been some controversy about the violence in this film but it is not gratuitous violence, it is part of the story and serves it well. It is much less than what you would see in your average Hollywood blockbuster. This is actually an insightful film and in many ways similar to American Beauty, although this film is much more in your face about it's message. If you are squeamish, you may not want to see it. There are some very painful bloody scenes, but if you can stomach it, then check it out. There is also a huge twist in this film that almost rivals the twist at the end of The Sixth Sense. And I must admit, it is the twist in this film that made me really love it. The best audience for this film is men in their 20's or 30's, but anyone that can appreciate film as a modern art should like it. One of the best films of 1999.
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One of the most frustratingly misunderstood films of all time...
KennethWasHere2 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
To criticize a film for having a shallow or confused message is understandable. The problem with this criticism is that, in the case of "Fight Club", the movie's message is not confused. It knows exactly what it's saying; but many people don't.

Not only do some people jump to the conclusion that "Fight Club" is condoning violent or sociopathic behavior, but they think it's condoning fascism and terrorism, when it's actually outright mocking it. It's showing the juvenile pointlessness of it. Not only do some people miss that it's satirizing the teenage-rebellion mentality, but they assume it's pandering to it.

"Fight Club" is the story of two people representing two extremes: the Narrator, a white-collar worker who's become a slave to consumerism and the social construct around him, and the other is Tyler Durden, a violent nihilist with no regard for society or others, who feels the human race has been emasculated by materialism and advertising. Essentially, these two are exact opposites. But as the two of them become friends, they start an underground boxing club for the catharsis of people who feel just as trapped and emotionally apathetic as they do. Ultimately, Tyler takes this entire concept and evolves it into "Project Mayhem", a group devoted to vandalism and general mischief, but from there, it actively grows into a terrorist organization.

The thing that SHOULD be the giveaway that it's not promoting this behavior is through the DEATH of an innocent man as the result of these actions, and the fact that we see the misguided members of Project Mayhem lose their personal identities to a dangerous cult mentality.

I said it once and I'll say it again: Project Mayhem and their violent beliefs are not being condoned. And yet, to give you an idea of just how much the themes in "Fight Club" are taken out of context, there was a real-life incident with a kid in Manhattan who, influenced by the movie, attempted to blow up a Starbucks, as the Space Monkeys are seen doing in this movie. Of course, despite how obvious it was that this behavior was being mocked in the movie (and, once again, how they show an innocent man get killed as a result), authorities proceeded to scapegoat this movie, as if it was the fault of the film itself that someone foolishly misinterpreted the message and attempted an act of terrorism.

The film blatantly portrays Tyler Durden as a fascist and a terrorist, and yet, people actually think it's promoting him, simply because it doesn't outright tell you what to think. "Fight Club" is attacked by everyone from politically correct New-Agers and prudish moralists with mantras of "ZOMG THIS MOVEEZ VIOLINZ FOR THE STOOPID TEENAEGERS LOLZ!11" (and of course, shouted down by so-called cinephiles for being unconventional in nature, and for being a Hollywood film). I recommend actually thinking this film over instead of going by knee-jerk reaction. If the things that happen in this movie disturb you (especially the ending), then good. They SHOULD disturb you.

In short: "Fight Club" is condoning Tyler Durden's actions and beliefs as much as "Schindler's List" is condoning the Holocaust.

Of course, that's my take on how the message is misconstrued, so what else does "Fight Club" have to offer?

Well, as you'd expect from Fincher, it's a remarkable-looking movie, and the actors make the absolute best of it. It's consistently funny, full of unforgettable characters and dialogue, and most of all, it captures the world and feel of Generation X quite unlike any movie I've ever seen. But therein lies something fascinating: it's the absolute film for its time and place, yet it doesn't feel dated at all. The reason, I theorize, is because it does such an outstanding job of making you a part of the time in which it's set, and giving us something timeless to think about.

So what, in my opinion, is the true message of "Fight Club"?

"Fight Club" is--and this is important--NOT telling you what to think. It's simply asking you to reflect, question things. Question society, question the false prophets. Keep the balance between these two extremes (Narrator and Tyler)by being an individual.
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10/10
Probably the best movie of the decade
tyler.td29 November 1999
After watching this movie I was totally filled with enthusiasm. Fight Club is definitly Fincher's best movie even better than se7en. It's not only the story but the optics which fascinated me. When I had seen it for the second time I could see this movie with the knowledge of the conclusion which is really fascinating as you'll see Fight Club in a totally different perspective. Also great about Fight Club is its soundtrack performed by the Dust Brothers and especially the song 'Where is my mind' by the Pixies which really fit to the end of the movie. Unfortunately Fight Club didn't have much success in Germany but anyway the movie got best reviews of the German press. I also have to mention the brilliance of Ed Norton and Brad Pitt who plays best in roles in which he performs the villain. But it's quiet amazing what Edward Norton is able to do - he is just overwhelming. For that role he has to get the oscar.
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10/10
Generally positive comments
rmic15 February 2000
This film, is basically, at least in my opinion, one of the greatest films ever, period. I read the book afterwards, and equally enjoyed the book. The film is definitely for younger people, the critics of films, in general are older, so they cannot appreciate this film. The film defines the younger generation, only younger people can relate to it, however, older people(middle aged+) can appreciate the art of the film, the beauty of the camera work, as well as the excellent acting. The film, in every aspect is fantastic, it begins with a rather humorous narration, from a person we grow to know as, "narrator". It goes about to show how he lives, and his way of life. In these scenes alone, movie lines that will go down in history are said, and it's only the first twenty minutes. The film tends to progress faster and faster as the film continues. We delve into the narrators psyche, and find that he is not unlike most people in this world, he has a tendency to say to people what they want to hear, even if it is not the truth in it's entirety. Almost all folks can relate to the main character, and he feels to be a real human, not a character in a story. This, is partially due to the excellent directing, as well as book, but it is mostly due to the fantastic performance by Edward Norton. It, in my opinion is an Oscar performance. Bradd Pitt gives his best performance to date, he is definitely an excellent coworker with David Fincher, they seem to share a common thread when it comes to film making I suppose. I have full intention of purchasing this film when it is released on VHS and DVD. Do yourself a favour, see this film, if that is not an option, at least read the book. If you are younger and feel unrest with society, this is the film.
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10/10
Not what I expected. One of the best movies ever made.
engxladso-117 May 2013
I had avoided this movie as I had assumed it was 'Rocky Goes Underground'. Saw it last night (May 2013) only because my son wanted to watch it and I was too tired to get off the couch. I was totally blown away. It has no resemblance to Rocky or any other boring boxing movie.

Can't stop thinking about it today, certainly can't concentrate on work. Why? Because I totally identify with The Narrator and it seems from the comments here and from the consensus of viewer ratings that I am far from alone. Its not 'Macho Porn', or 'little-boy posturing' as Roger Ebert describes it. It is rather one of the most thought provoking movies I have ever seen.

I unleashed my own Tyler Durden 10 years ago, not violently or illegally, but I did turn my back on my serf-like existence as a well- paid corporate slave. Sure it was painful and chaotic. But my marriage survived and now I run my own small business. Sometimes I think I made a mistake, as my former affluent life sure was easier. But it takes a movie like this to remind me how empty it was and how much more satisfying it is to take the road less travelled, to forge my own destiny, to have a proper work life balance that allows me to know my kids and to not be sucked into hollow consumerism.
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9/10
How Come?
banknaskahfoltrus15 November 2018
The first time I watched this flick is when I'm in my junior high. My thought are what an amazing film this is. Ten years later in my College I watched this again and I'm in the awestruck, how come such a splendid craftsmanship bring so much joy to my life. After the first watched now 17 years later I watched it with my pregnant wife. And she's had the same reaction like when I'm in Junior high. Times goes by, but this film is sit still the Thorne of awesomeness.
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9/10
A Favorite and a Classic!
mstanger-9938828 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Ever since I first watched this movie a few years back with some of my friends, I loved it. It became a sort of habit of ours to watch it every couple weeks or at least once a month while we laughed and quoted the whole thing for fun. Anyways, what makes this movie better than what the 1999 box office credited it with, is the filmography. My favorite use of camera and film techniques probably had to be the moment where Tyler describes the meaningless of possessions in a shot inside their house as it wobbles from side to side. His calm demeanor reminds you more of Jack rather than himself and his more aggressive tone, creating a sense of foreshadowing the ultimate climax when Jack realizes he is Tyler and Tyler is him. It's also very interesting to see the change from a clear and sunny day in the city to the yellow-tinted bars, basements, and ultimately the abandoned house Jack and Tyler live in at night. There's a feeling of the underground's grime and dirt in these transitions, as well as a feel for the tougher moments in life that are a central theme in this movie. This movie also made a high ranking for me because it makes you think. In 1999, people were looking for stability in the shadow of Y2K. They weren't thinking about giving up everything they had, but preserving it and gathering more possessions, as highlighted throughout the film yet again as a central theme. This film goes exactly against contemporary consumer society at the time by instead of telling people to "buy stuff we don't need", it emphasizes the ideas of minimalism and even tribalism in some aspects when Tyler talks about "starting over" again. What sticks with this movie is that it's message still sticks to us today, perhaps even stronger than in 1999.
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10/10
A lot of depth for those who look.
formicidae8 July 2001
Warning: Spoilers
To the world: This isn't really a movie about dumb guys beating each other up because they're too bored to do anything else. No, Fight Club is actually about personal and cultural revolution within a corporate consumer society that destroys the human spirit. At least, that's how I saw it.

I loved this movie, and rating it a ten is not some whimsical fancy--I don't hand out gold stars for nothing. It looks good, sounds good, pacing, dialogue, acting, etc. are all excellent. Why it didn't rate higher on the mainstream critics' lists for cinematography alone is beyond me.

What really makes this movie shine, though, is the unflinching way in which it looks at North American society--our mass consumerism, our slavery to stuffy corporate office jobs, our growing lack of what makes us human. The movie doesn't pull many punches.

Norton's character is the automaton office lackey who is desperately searching for meaning in his materialistic shell of a life, Pitt plays the modern-day surfer/hippie Tyler Durden whose devil-may-care, spontaneous attitude to life offers the perfect (?) solution. These two personalities struggle to reconcile their different perspectives on life without destroying their relationship. To make things more difficult, Bonham Carter creates a love triangle to further test the friendship.

Is it better to be free, alive, and chaotic, as in Pitt's anarchistic vision, or safe, secure, and bored like Norton's capitalist American Dream life? Or, can a compromise be found? Can love conquer all? This is the peripheral, deeper stuff Fight Club is made of, not the smack-down action that the trailers and critics focused on.

This movie demands at least one viewing. If you're queasy about violence (there is a graphic fight scene or two), then watch it with someone who's already seen it and ask for an edited version. Even if you don't end up respecting the movie's message or the complicated questions it asks, it remains a well-crafted film, deserving of recognition.
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5/10
A Pretty Looking Nightmare
uhmartinez-phd5 December 2007
David Fincher is terrific with his camera. Visually his films are a wonder. Unfortunately the contents are so thin that the interiors of his tale vanish very quickly. What remains is "the look" and the promise, no matter how unfulfilled the promise remains. Edward Norton is sensational, especially in the first 20 minutes of the movie. Brad Pitt, already a film icon, does his thing, and that, of course, is a plus. Helena Bonham Carter surprised me big time with a facade I had never seen. The slow motion of the smoke coming out of her mouth as Fincher introduces her to us is a work of art in itself but, and that "but" is a real problem, nothing remains because deep down there is nothing there but a fantastic eye for and to startle and amaze. I'm sure that sooner or later David Fincher will come out with something that is as powerful inside as it is outside.
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5/10
Fincher's half
filmquestint6 February 2005
I sat through the first half of this movie with my mouth open. It was so exciting, brilliant, a Fritz Lang for the new millennium. Edward Norton's face. That insomnia that he carries all over him is so magnificently drawn that creates the opposite effect on its audience. I was awake, very awake, sitting on the edge of my seat, devouring every moment, enjoying it like hell. Helena Bonham Carter was a like a great silent movie star doing her first talkie. Pola Negri, Theda Bara. As if this wan't enough, Brad Pitt, and Brad Pitt is Brad Pitt with all its fabulous connotations. Then, can you explain to me why I detested this movie? Why it made me so angry? Can you? I can only tell you that half way through I turned against the movie or the movie turned against me, either way I didn't like it. I felt cheated in the worse possible way. I felt treated like a moron. You start promising me the most unique film experience I've had in a long time but what you delivered was a tired, opportunistic, gimmicky, easy piece of nonsense. Why? David Fincher is one of the most consummated craftsmen American movies have ever had. Don't you agree? He can tell you a story, even something like "Seven", a horror thriller, in a way we've never seen before, at least half of it. He has an eye like no other. That's why my frustration. An artist like that putting himself at the service of something that's not done, not finished not worthy of his talents. You may think I'm being a bit too hard on the man. But let me tell you, it's out of love. I expect so much from him, I've seen what he is capable of. But so far have been only halves. Brilliantly acted, sensational to look at, but halves, just halves. He should look at Fritz Lang, Pietro Germi, Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Powell, William Wellman and naturally John Ford, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg. Fincher already inherited something from each one of them. Now the trick is that it isn't a trick. Half is better than nothing. But in the grand scheme of things, it's not enough.
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10/10
Undoubtedly my favourite movie of all times
plastikshine6 September 2019
When I first saw Fight Club, I was sitting dumbfounded for 10 minutes after it ended and titles went on. This is pure masterpiece. Everything in this movie is perfect and creates a whole ideal picture. THE CAST. I adore and admire Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter. The colours, the light. The image and vision of the city that inflames and creates a constant tension. Emotions and mental state of the narrator, feelings and condition he experiences, especially in the beginning scenes - I felt it to the bone. Worth multiple rewatching - you will notice new things and details every time. Final scene brings goosebumps. David Fincher is a genius.
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Two-thirds of a good movie . . .
The_Film_Cricket13 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
In an attempt to get to the bottom of 'Fight Club' I had a conversation with someone recently who argued that the people in this movie get into fistfights with one another as a means of expressing themselves. My rebuttal: Couldn't they sit down and have a conversation? Write a diary? Go on Springer? 'Fight Club' stars Edward Norton, one of my favorite actors who always brings a refreshing intelligence to his work. He plays a depressed urbanite who works too hard doing a job he hates and makes expensive orders from the catalogue maybe as a measure of his worth.

To us, Norton's character is known only as 'The Narrator'. He has no meaning in his life so he develops and interesting habit: he is addicted to various support groups for Alcoholics, sex addicts and one for men with testicular cancer, among others. He spots a woman named Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) who is attending some of the same meetings. He knows that she is an addict like himself but to keep the illusion real so they have to work out an alternating schedule.

On an airplane he meets Tyler Durden who has The Narrator's number right from the start. Later he turns to Tyler for help when his apartment catches fire. So, Tyler takes him into his rather grungy world. Enter Fight Club, an underground society where men get out their feelings and aggressions by beating the snot out of one another. The fight scenes in 'Fight Club' are brutal, bloody but never seem to cause permanent injury.

In trying to defend itself 'Fight Club' jumbles it's own twisted message. The idea of this club is apparently to free yourself from the rules that tie us down. I guess getting socked in the head is suppose to give you a thicker skin (but apparently not a concussion). Then the movie turns all the members of the club into a cult. What? Free your mind and then do as you are told? This is about where the movie goes to pieces. 'Fight Club' makes a twist that pulls the rug out from under what little logical reasoning the film had. The screenplay develops the insane logic of the reality of unreality .. . or something like that. Out of respect for those planning to see the movie I will say no more.

David Fincher is a director that I have a lot of hope for. This is his fourth film and the impressive, intelligent 'Se7en' showed the full power of his potential. I love the style of his films. He uses dark sets and grimy setting to set the story in motion. I was not impressed by 'Alien3' save for the amazing production design and 'The Game' was badly in need of a sense of humor. 'Fight Club' isn't his worst film because of its impressive first act. Imagine what kind of great social commentary could have come from a movie about two people addicted to 12-step programs. That is original. If I want to see people beat each other up I'll watch Jerry Springer.
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10/10
Bizarrely,absurdly and insanely Brilliant.
onelyfunitd4 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I believe the movie-watching community is divided into three parts;the ones who love "Fight Club",the ones who hate it and the unfortunate ones who are yet to experience it.To maintain a neutral stance is quite impossible.Once the credits roll, you may be in awe of this logic-defying piece of celluloid or you may detest the seemingly needless depiction of blood,gore and violence.

I belong to the former category and hence,what follows is more of a eulogy than review.So, if you have not seen it I,suggest you first give it a watch and then come back.

This movie does not live on the edge;it goes beyond.It does not border on the bizarre.It quite literally ventures head-on into the bizarre and refuses to return.Simply put,this movie is the rock star of its generation.

The plot revolves about an insomniac (Edward Norton) who is a by-product of the lifestyle obsession.His life is clichéd,branded and superficial;one where the "Starbucks" and "Microsofts" compensate for the complete void of emotion.He gets addicted to support groups for various ailments,pouring out his heart to complete strangers.Among these groups of terminally-ill people he finds solace making him realize he needs an outlet.In Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) our protagonist finds his outlet and we find one of the all-time great movie characters.And they team up to create the Fight Club.It is in the fights here that they feel life;a far cry from the desensitized worlds they dwell in.

To reveal anything beyond this point would be criminal.But to throw light upon the masterful adaptation from Chuck Palahniuk's book is a necessity.

David Fincher's execution oozes style in every frame.Each scene brings out his innovation and is a sheer delight from start to finish.The casting is exemplary as Edward Norton as well as Helena Bonham Carter (having quite an integral role) play their parts to precise perfection.But Pitt's Tyler Durden is the zenith of Fight Club.His every word and mannerism is cult.So Hats off to Brad Pitt.As bad as his "Achilles" in "Troy" may be, his Tyler is,by now, immortal.Beyond that, tight screenplay,impactful dialogs,effective light and sound,a wacky score and stellar direction catapult it into a timeless classic.

The essence of "Fight Club" lies in its sadomasochistic theme.It shows us the beauty of anarchy and the symmetry of insanity.It asks us to let go,to reject consumerism and to pull ourselves out from the deluge of brand-consciousness,without ever sounding preachy.It asks us to be alive.Blood-splattered fights may not be the most subtle way of telling us but "How much can you know about yourself if you haven't been in a fight?" is the Tyler-istic way of saying it.

I am Jack's mesmerized head bowed in admiration.
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10/10
In Tyler we trust
billproto29 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"...Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy things we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very.........." David Fincher has created a masterpiece based on Chuck Palahniuk's novel.This movie photographs our entire generation,analyzing the dead- ends of our society.The narrator(Edward Norton) has become a person who basically has everything,but nothing.Subconsciously,he tries to find an alternative way to go on with his life but this is not possible cause he has already a wrong perspective.Therefore,he invents Tyler's character as a defensive mechanism.Nobody can realize that they are the same person,until the story shows who Tyler really is and the plot follows a different direction.A great thing about this movie is that Fincher keeps a neutral perspective as the movie ends concerning what is right or wrong.Bombing large buildings is a solution to our society's economic problems?Inventing an alter-ego character is a solution for everybody's personal issues?Creating a fight club is really a way to solve your daily problems?It's up to everyone to make his/her own conclusions at the end of the movie.The director does not preach,he just presents both sides of the same coin. I have read that Brad Pitt has become the only choice for Tyler.I totally agree.This movie would be different with another actor playing this character.It's a brilliant performance.I also think that it wouldn't be among the 10 best movies,if the director was a different one.David Fincher has this ability to deeply analyze a situation and all movie characters.All scenes have his own perspective and the plot never reveals the double character.Norton also gives a unique performance and becomes completely his character which is quite difficult considering that he grows a psychotic behavior. In general,fight club is definitely one of the best movies ever made.It demands more than one viewing in order to be understood completely,but after that it creates lot of discussion.A real masterpiece.
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