Being John Malkovich (1999)

R   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy


Being John Malkovich (1999) Poster

A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich.


7.7/10
313,709


Videos


Photos

  • Cameron Diaz in Being John Malkovich (1999)
  • Cameron Diaz and Spike Jonze in Being John Malkovich (1999)
  • Spike Jonze in Being John Malkovich (1999)
  • John Cusack and Catherine Keener in Being John Malkovich (1999)
  • John Cusack in Being John Malkovich (1999)
  • Cameron Diaz in Being John Malkovich (1999)

See all photos

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast



Director:

Spike Jonze

Writer:

Charlie Kaufman

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


5 July 2005 | The_Void
8
| Absolutely sublime modern classic
Originality is one thing that I very much admire in cinema, and it's also the reason I rate Being John Malkovich so highly. Charlie Kaufman has taken an amazingly weird premise and twisted round a suitably offbeat story to create a movie that is as bizarre as it is as it is compelling, and it's definitely a major highlight of American cinema in the 1990's. Charlie Kaufman may have scripted his most acclaimed film in 2004 with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but if you want to see his best work - you need look no further than his first feature. Quite how anyone could have thought of this premise remains a mystery, but I'm certainly glad that Kaufman did. The story revolves around a portal that leads directly into the head of the actor, John Malkovich. After discovering this portal, puppeteer Craig Schwartz shares it with his colleague and crush, the beautiful Maxine Lund. Things start to get complicated when Craig's wife, Lottie, becomes involved and it turns out that Craig's not the only one with a crush on Maxine.

The usually presentable John Cusack and Cameron Diaz are completely unrecognisable as this film's leading couple and both give career highlight performances. Catherine Keener fleshes out a threesome of leads. She is seductively sexy, and delivers a performance that reflects the quality of this film on the whole. And, of course, John Malkovich stars also. The fact that it's John Malkovich who is the title actor is what really makes this film. Had the film have been, say, 'Being Tom Cruise'; it wouldn't have had nearly the same impact. Malkovich is a big actor, but he's not THAT big and the fact that it's him takes the film away from the mainstream and allows it's offbeat indie roots to stay intact. Kaufman ensures that the story works by constantly adding new and weird events into the plot, and this in turn ensures that we never know what's coming next. Of course, this is exactly what you want from any film. The elements of the story aren't bound tightly enough to really make a lasting impression where substance is concerned; but it hardly matters, as there's enough offbeat invention in this film to more than adequately mask that fact It's easy to call this movie pretentious or silly; but it's also pointless. Being John Malkovich is a modern classic.

Metacritic Reviews


Critic Reviews



Details

Release Date:

3 December 1999

Language

English


Country of Origin

USA

Filming Locations

California, USA

Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$637,721 31 October 1999

Gross USA:

$22,863,596

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,106,667

Contribute to this page

The Best TV and Movies to Watch in March

Read our editors' picks for the movies and shows we're watching in March, including "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," Boss Level, and Zack Snyder's Justice League.

Browse our picks

2021 Golden Globe Nominees: In and Out of Character

Check out our gallery of the 2021 Golden Globe nominees in the leading and supporting acting categories, as the characters they so brilliantly played and in real life.

See the full gallery

The Essential Eddie Murphy Watchlist

As we prepare for the return of Prince Akeem in Coming 2 America, we present our guide to comic legend Eddie Murphy's essential films and where to watch them.

Watch the video

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com