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The Minus Man (1999)

A cold-blooded serial killer floats around the country and chooses his victims from people who complain about their lives and indicate a willingness to be killed. His murders are introduced... See full summary »


Hampton Fancher


Lew McCreary (novel), Hampton Fancher (screenplay)

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From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Owen Wilson ... Vann
Sheryl Crow ... Casper
Dwight Yoakam ... Blair
Dennis Haysbert ... Graves
Alex Warren ... State Trooper
Mercedes Ruehl ... Jane
Chloe Black Chloe Black ... Karen - Age 18
Brian Cox ... Doug
Eric Mabius ... Gene
Larry Miller ... Paul
Lois Gerace Lois Gerace ... Lois
Erik Holland Erik Holland ... Coach
Danny 'Big Black' Rey Danny 'Big Black' Rey ... Arthur (as Daniel 'Big Black' Rey)
Janeane Garofalo ... Ferrin
Axel Ovregaard Axel Ovregaard ... Joe La Moine


A cold-blooded serial killer floats around the country and chooses his victims from people who complain about their lives and indicate a willingness to be killed. His murders are introduced with the killing of an asthmatic junkie. The killer settles into a seaside rooming house run by an unhappy married couple and waits for his next victims to unveil themselves. Dream cops plague his nights, while plotting his murders. Meanwhile, he also starts a relationship with a postal clerk. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Don't see it alone. Unless you like talking to yourself. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of drug use | See all certifications »






Release Date:

8 October 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Az idegen See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$40,292, 12 September 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$368,808, 24 October 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


When the television newscaster is reporting on the murder of Laurie Bloom, the town's name of Owensville is shown on the screen. Owen Wilson is the star of the film. See more »


Vann is talking to Doug while Doug is putting his pants on. Doug is sitting with his pants just past his underwear, when the camera moves to Vann. When we come back to Doug, you cannot see his pants at all, just his underwear. See more »


[first lines]
Vann Siegert: [Vann walks into a bar, seeing a lady and a bartender] Do you have any pie?
Bartender: Nope.
Vann Siegert: Hmm.
Bartender: No pie. No pizza. No kitchen. Just booze.
Laurie Bloom: You got pickles.
[the three of them look at the pickle jar that's full of yellow juice and yellow pickles]
See more »


Features Cane Toads: An Unnatural History (1988) See more »


Soft Shoe Shuffler
Written and Performed by Bryony Atkinson and Inara George
Courtesy of Shooting Gallery Records and Byrony Music (ASCAP) /
Inara Music (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

Hello...and goodbye
6 March 2006 | by manuel-pestalozziSee all my reviews

Watching this movie, you will most probably start thinking about other titles. I'm my case they are Psycho, Arsenic and Old Lace, A Shadow of Doubt, A Beautiful Mind and The Night of the Hunter. I also had to think of Todd Solondz' Palindromes. The Minus Man is successful where Palindromes dismally fails; in creating a setting which is located between everyday reality and the dreamscape of personal imagination.

The main character comes out of nowhere and vanishes there again. In between horror invades the proverbial Smallville USA. Evil probably never had a gentler appearance. It is useless to explain what happens and why, as this is not a movie which wants to explain anything.

The story is seen from the perspective of a mass murderer. Something is terribly wrong with this meek, likable young man. He sometimes faints, has regular and recurring visions, suffers from a split personality - and likes to kill people. You are never sure if what he perceives is reality or figments of his imagination. Most people he meets act at times very strange and unnatural, even the way he sees objects is often very unsettling (the big, diamond shaped glass pane in the entrance door of his „adoptive parents" is one of the scariest things for me in this movie).

What to me seemed unique in Minus Man is the way the disturbed man deals with the fact that something is wrong: He just seems to integrate everything into his everyday routine. Even the recurring dreams of Kafkaesque interrogations by a racially mixed team of some kind of investigators are faced with a cool, detached demeanour. In a strange, scary way the man seems to have found peace with himself and his condition. Others will have to pay with their lives.

The Minus Man boasts an ensemble cast that is simply awesome. For some reason the female parts made a particularly deep impression on me, especially Mercedes Ruehl as the „adoptive mother" and Alex Warren as the supernatural state trooper. Janeane Garofalo is really cute and easily the most uplifting character of the movie. Watch her bungalow – it seems to come right out of a children's book of fairy stories.

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