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Overall Rating

Awesome: 15%
Worth A Look: 22.5%
Pretty Bad: 15%
Total Crap: 8.75%

4 reviews, 56 user ratings

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by EricDSnider

"One Flew over the Fisher King."
3 stars

Aliens always take such a condescending view of humans. On the planet K-PAX, Earth is described as a planet in “early evolution, future uncertain.” Smug talk from a planet whose name sounds like a radio station!

Those strange visitors from other planets are always eager to help, though (except when they’re eager to kill us). In the movie “K-PAX,” Kevin Spacey plays a man named Prot who may or may not be an extra-terrestrial, but who is full of sage advice for the Earthlings.

Presumed to be more crackpot than alien, Prot is put into a New York mental hospital, where his doctor is the kindly Mark Powell (Jeff Bridges). Mark is sympathetic, but he’s convinced he can figure out Prot’s psychosis and help him understand he’s delusional about the whole alien thing.

And yet, Prot seems to know a lot about outer space, and he can see ultra-violet light, which humans shouldn’t be able to do. Can this be explained, or could he really be an alien?

Will Prot help the other patients overcome their own problems? Will he help Dr. Powell gain a better perspective on his own life? Will he make a lot of soft-voiced Spock-like observations that show us all the ways we as a society have gone astray?

Do you really need to ask?

Kevin Spacey, consummate actor that he is, avoids the preachiness that would have resulted if, say, Robin Williams had played the part. He takes the role seriously enough to give an outstanding performance — particularly in a riveting hypnosis scene — but not so seriously that it becomes heavy-handed.

Jeff Bridges, for his part, is also good, as is Alfre Woodard as another psychiatrist. Director Iain Softley maintains a light tone, mostly, and keeps us guessing as to Prot’s true biological nature.

The trouble is in Charles Leavitt’s script (based on the Gene Brewer novel), which has an ending that tries to have its cake and eat it, too. That is to say, it’s ambiguous and unsatisfying. Keeping us guessing is good for a while, but ultimately, some things need to be answered. Maybe those really smart aliens will get some profound, inspiring message out of it, but this Earthling sure didn’t.

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originally posted: 10/26/01 07:33:50
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User Comments

1/22/17 viewer Kevin Spacey has great comments on humanity. 5 stars
11/09/13 bored mom He's definitely possessed by an alien entity. Seeing UV light is NOT fucking human. 3 stars
6/29/13 I Have Seen This Film And It Is AWESOME 5 stars
3/09/10 proooot...ops, sorry gee this movie was a real laxative,state of the toilet 1 stars
12/09/09 Bobby Horrible, cheesy 1 stars
6/06/09 Peter Great film, dont think about the acting, think about the questions/facts 5 stars
9/23/06 Charles Tatum Shockingly good thinking man's sci-fi; a true gem 5 stars
7/30/06 Ronin Quite good, but not if you're in some "action" mood 4 stars
10/12/05 Quigley a great film that really makes you think. definitely worth seeing 5 stars
8/01/05 R.W. Welch Has some holes, but manages to hold you most of the time. 3 stars
5/08/05 Bluto Could have been Better with these two leads 3 stars
4/15/05 HL A mediocre Sci-fi film. Spacey worth the watch. 3 stars
12/22/04 sweetgrrl1972 ZZzzzzZZZZzzzzzZZZZZzzzz 1 stars
5/16/04 KRG1 A great film...Acting and story are superb...Novel is great..A must see 5 stars
3/25/04 thejames Spacey is good, bridges blows, movie worth a watch 4 stars
1/24/04 Elena This film was such a great concept but it was only an okay film. 4 stars
6/17/03 Erin I thought it had potential. It was dull. 2 stars
6/03/03 Goofy Maxwell A script that should've been left on the mental ward floor. 2 stars
5/18/03 Mystique good 4 stars
3/21/03 Jack Sommersby Good performances; asinine scripting. 2 stars
3/17/03 Peter This movie was great, and left so many possible interpretations after the ending... 5 stars
2/11/03 Ubu the Ripper Fabulous. Spacey and Bridges are tremendous. Definitely worth a sequel. 5 stars
2/10/03 Pinkline Jones A monumental eye-glazing event. Spacey shines like a black hole 1 stars
2/09/03 Flick Chick very interesting. 4 stars
10/16/02 Alien Very good movie that exposes how psychiatry sucks. 4 stars
7/26/02 Paul Close to what its all about! 4 stars
6/02/02 Chris No masterpiece but a intellgant drama. My friends and I are still discuss the ending. 4 stars
5/21/02 J Its ending was somewhat questionable, over than that it was great. 4 stars
5/14/02 Piz Interesting film that gets a little dopey and trivial at the end. 3 stars
4/30/02 Bookcrazy I really liked this film. 4 stars
4/23/02 Shelley Smith Started off well but after awhile I knew exactly where it was going. Boring! 3 stars
4/18/02 Monday Morning If you liked this, go rent Starman and see J.B. in a terrific film. 4 stars
4/11/02 Natalie Stonecipher K-Pax a planet? Or Martha Stewart - endorsed tampons? 3 stars
4/05/02 Chris K. Hollywood, why can't you make more movies like this? K-PAX, now that's a movie! 5 stars
4/01/02 Film Guy Good First Half but got boring and depressing 3 stars
2/14/02 Adam Bovie Plot = Average+. Kevin Spacey = Fscking Awesome. See it for Kevin's deadpan humor. 4 stars
12/26/01 Roy Smith One Alien Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest - bah humbug! 2 stars
12/03/01 Awsome film, made you think, a good family film. 5 stars
11/19/01 ajay just ok. 3 stars
11/12/01 Matthew Peters An ending that lets you make your own conclusions, or leaves your questions unanswered 4 stars
11/05/01 Will nifty use of light. ending tries to be ambiguous but fails at that, IMHO 4 stars
11/04/01 poetchuck Good guessing until almost the end 4 stars
11/04/01 Gil Carlson Just Average (disappointing so) 3 stars
11/02/01 Bob Robertson The first half was funny, but it got depressing and was too long. 3 stars
11/02/01 Kevin Kraus Plagiarism, a rip off of Subiela's 1986 film, "Man Facing Southeast". 3 stars
10/31/01 K-PAXIAN Hated it 1 stars
10/30/01 silent great acting & wonderfully shot. some of you need to learn to watch for more than plot. 4 stars
10/30/01 Bud Spacey & Bridges were great, you will talk about this one, you will think about this one. 5 stars
10/29/01 Thor-Leo Go see "Happy Accidents" instead 2 stars
10/29/01 gromm If you like your movies to be made all nice and neat with no mystery left, avoid this. 4 stars
10/29/01 spaceworm Subtle Jeff, as usual, is the movie's key strength. Mr. Underrated... 4 stars
10/27/01 Thai Not Bad but not good 3 stars
10/27/01 Jeff Rigoni Kevin Spacey===POMPOUS ANAL PUNISHER. I'd rather fist my dog than watch K PAX again. UGHHH 1 stars
10/18/01 Greyjack Two words: "Ham" and "fisted". Put a hyphen in the middle. Ah well, at least had OK acting. 2 stars
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  26-Oct-2001 (R)



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