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The Man Who Wasn't There

HD   R Closed Captioning

Joel Coen

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About the Movie

The Coen Brothers are back with a dark and twisted film noir unlike anything you've ever seen. Set in a small 1949 California town, this is the story of a seemingly simple barber, who turns to blackmail and revenge to escape his achingly dull life. But in the tradition of classic noir, nothing goes as planned and nothing is as it seems. And as the barber's plot unravels, the delicious surprises, stunning revelations and just plain strange occurrences will disturb and delight you long after the film has ended.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 157
  • Fresh: 127
  • Rotten: 30
  • Average Rating: 7.1/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Affectlessness is not a quality much prized in movie protagonists, but Billy Bob Thornton, that splendid actor, does it perfectly as Ed Crane. – Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine, Jun 24, 2010

Rotten: The film holds the interest, to be sure, but more due to the sure sense of craft and precise effect that one expects from the Coens than from genuine involvement in the story. – Todd McCarthy, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: A beautifully executed film that is remarkable on many, many levels. – Paul Clinton (,, Nov 11, 2001

Fresh: The movie ... is wonderfully spirited. – Desson Thomson, Washington Post, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

by far, a thought provoking movie

This film was a diamond in the rough. It deals with deep issues like the value of life, the fragility of life, the cost of silence, the consequences of greed and impetuity, and the power the little things have over our lives and emotions. Billy Bob Thornton plays a (almost supsiciously) quiet barber who - despite the various goings on in the world and in his home - cuts the hair. The entire film surrounds an event, or rather, what results from what one customer says to Mr. Crane. (Thornton) Plot twist after plot twist and we see each subsequent event lead to another (and increasingly disturbing) occurance. The film's musical score is all classical, and the main track is a piano concerto written by a blind Beethoven. And as the piece has a rhythm and a flow, so does the film. It is directed with expertise, using brief stints of slow motion film for emphasis. Watching this film is like looking into the soul of man. It is dark and disturbing at its lowest, and makes left turns on right turn only lanes. It is quietly blissful at one moment, then tranquil but violent the next. It is a movie that stays with the viewer long after it is through - and is absolutely worth your 3 dollars to rent, and even worth your 10 dollars to buy. Don't miss the genius of the Coen is too short.

An Underrated Coen Great

I'm a Coen brothers fan, and I have to say this is probably their most underrated achievement yet. It is one of my favorites, and has amazing acting, cinematography, and writing. It is very paced and beautifully told, but the insight and twists will keep you entertained throughout. For me, this is up with Fargo, Barton Fink, and the rest of the brothers' best works.


Truly, an excellent movie

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The Man Who Wasn't There
View in iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2001

Customer Ratings