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Being John Malkovich Review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0
    90

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The most excitingly original movie of the year.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Either Being John Malkovich gets nominated for best picture, or the members of the Academy need portals into their brains.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    The story keeps reinventing itself (some of the later plot twists are among the funniest), but a little goes a long way at 112 minutes - maybe 25 minutes more than this sporadically pointed conceit really needs.

  • See all Being John Malkovich reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Kids won't get this sex-driven, head-trip comedy.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that teens may be interested in this comedy because it stars Cameron Diaz, and Catherine Keener from The 40-Year-Old Virgin, but they won't get the offbeat, adult humor and storyline. Also, the film is explicit about sex, sexual behavior, and infidelity. John and Maxine have sex several times and you can hear characters reaching climax, though no one is naked. Maxine calls Craig a "fag," and belittles his sexuality. Craig kidnaps, cages, and terrorizes his wife when she falls in love with Maxine. There's discussion of homosexuality and of transexuality.

  • Families can talk about what celebrities they'd like to be and why. Do you think being someone famous would give you the rush it gives the people who go inside John Malkovich's brain? It's a good opportunity to talk about the cult of celebrity and how it makes us feel bad about ourselves in order to sell us more things.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Most of the characters are selfish and amoral. Maxine and Craig sell trips to John Malkovich's brain. Craig terrorizes his wife.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: A man punches Craig for his sexually explicit puppet show. Lots of falling to the side of the New Jersey Turnpike. Craig imprisons Lotte in the chimp cage and holds a gun to her head, forcing her to lie.

  • sex false3

    Sex: There's lots of sexual discussion, sexual behavior, and sex talk. Craig has his puppets talk about their sexual thoughts and simulate masturbation. Lotte and Craig, who are married to one another, both lust after Maxine, and both have sex with her through John Malkovich. There are scenes of Malkovich and Maxine having sex, though she's never completely naked. John kisses Maxine's naked thighs. Lotte talks about being a man trapped in a woman's body and in the end has a lesbian relationship with Maxine.

  • language false3

    Language: Lots of salty language, including "bastard," "motherf--ker," "bulls--t," "spunk," "tits," "f--k," "s--t," "asshole," and "suck my dick." People are also called names like "fag" and "retard."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Craig, Maxine, and John Malkovich all drink alcohol at different points. Maxine smokes cigarettes. Lotte talks about smoking pot and Maxine rolls a joint, though she doesn't light it. John Malkovich talks about being stoned.

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