Until now Bale's screen persona has been defined by a graceful athleticism; here his physicality is repellent, yet he carries the occasionally creaky plot of Scott Kosar's unsettling screenplay to a resonant finish.
Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader, 2011-10-24
One can't deny the dubious appeal of the spectacle of the skin-and-bone Bale, quite possibly endangering his health for the sake of his art.
Geoff Andrew, Time Out, 2006-02-09
[Bale's] is a great performance, full of commitment and sacrifice, and The Machinist is one of the year's best films.
Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel, 2004-12-10
It's one of those movies that you admire more than you enjoy, but Anderson and Kosar are clearly talents to watch.
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times, 2004-12-03
It is well worth enduring for the performance of Bale.
Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press, 2004-12-03
Though Bale deserves all the credit that can be heaped at his feet ... there is far more to this sinister psychological thriller than just exhibiting Bale's emaciated form.
Bill Muller, Arizona Republic, 2004-12-02
Mainly this is all Bale's show. He is strangely sympathetic, taking us right into Trevor's pain without any special pleading.
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, 2004-11-24
A superior exercise in mood and atmospherics, a drama that springs from a place of deep disturbance.
Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News, 2004-11-24
A powerful, accomplished movie that lingers.
Michael Booth, Denver Post, 2004-11-24
If grimly atmospheric studies in alienation are your cup of tea, you should find director Brad Anderson's dark brew especially tasty.
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2004-11-23
The director Brad Anderson, working from a screenplay by Scott Kosar, wants to convey a state of mind, and he and Bale do that with disturbing effectiveness.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, 2004-11-19
It's a carefully layered, tautly directed and superbly acted psychological thriller.
Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News, 2004-11-18
A moody psychological thriller with a stunning performance by Christian Bale at its core.
Achy Obejas, Chicago Tribune, 2004-11-18
Give Anderson credit for at least sustaining a mood.
Mike Clark, USA Today, 2004-10-29
A stunt that didn't merit Bale's startling, and dangerous, transformation.
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald, 2004-12-03
It begins dark and depressing, but ends up merely dull.
Tom Long, Detroit News, 2004-12-03
It's an overly calculated, schematic graph of a script that eliminates the things we go to the movies to experience: interesting characters, a story we can relate to, an emotional release.
Steve Murray, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2004-11-23
The thing we most dread is that this existential mystery will have an unsatisfying resolution, and in this case, our worst fears are realized.
Scott Von Doviak, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com, 2004-11-18
Smacks of a movie made by people who've spent a lot more time watching movies than absorbing them.
Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star, 2004-11-12
Anderson's effort here isn't bad, but, as measured on the scary-intruder index, this is more of a front-porch flick. Movie over, it's not hard to shut the door on it.
Rick Groen, Globe and Mail, 2004-11-12