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Overall Rating

Awesome: 2.27%
Worth A Look: 27.27%
Average: 6.82%
Pretty Bad: 11.36%
Total Crap52.27%

2 reviews, 32 user ratings

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by Charles Tatum

"A Maine stay"
4 stars

Stephen King's novel (written under the name Richard Bachman) makes a successful transition to the screen.

Billy (Robert John Burke) is a highly successful defense attorney, getting an acquittal for known mobster Richie (Joe Mantegna). He is trying to diet, topping the scales at three hundred pounds. One night while driving home, Heidi (Lucinda Jenney), Billy's wife, begins fooling around in the car with his lap (and I think you know what I mean). In the throes of passion, Billy does not see an elderly gypsy woman crossing the street, runs over her, and kills her.

The judge and police chief conspire to cover the crime up, and the death is ruled accidental. That does not sit well with the old woman's even older father, Lempke (Michael Constantine), who brushes Billy's cheek and whispers the title of the film. Soon, Billy is dropping three or four pounds a day. He seems to be disappearing before everyone's eyes, but concern sets in. He is eating twelve thousand calories a day, still losing weight, and now Heidi and his doctor (Sam Freed) are spending a little too much time together. Billy decides to track down the gypsies, especially after hearing and witnessing others in on the conspiracy were cursed as well, and he mistakenly enlists Richie to help him.

Greg Cannom's special effects make-up is phenomenal. He has won Oscars in the past, and he should have won again for this film. Burke is totally believable going from 300 to 124 pounds in the span of the story. It helps that Burke's performance is as flawless as his make-up. He does not let all that latex and rubber get in the way, and goes from sympathetic to slightly deranged rather well. Jenney is also good as Heidi, although her character is often relegated to the "supportive wife" routine.

The first hour of the film is very suspenseful. Billy is chasing the gypsies, and the authorities are chasing him. However, the film's biggest flaw was also the novel's biggest flaw- letting the convenient mob friend Richie help get revenge on the gypsies. Mantegna is one of those great actors who never receives his just credit, but here his character is just a caricature of mob types Mantegna has played before (especially on "The Simpsons," try listening to Mantegna and not hearing Fat Tony.)

Holland's direction keeps things fresh, he shockingly shot this on location in Maine instead of fleeing to Canada like most Hollywood films, but the screenplay feels rushed most of the time. I wonder if this would have made a more effective transition to mini-series form, something King has been doing a lot more of lately.

I was surprised by "Thinner." Considering what some film makers have done to King's work, it is a better adaptation when put in that context. Strongly anchored by believable make-up and gore effects, and a fantastic central performance, I will recommend it.

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originally posted: 06/10/04 00:24:23
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell a fat ass gets cursed a viewer gets bored 1 stars
7/04/16 brian Only winner is whatever dentist repaired all the damage from endless chewing of scenery. 2 stars
2/26/11 Marty Holy shit. Fire Charles Tatum. 1 stars
6/08/10 David Hollingsworth A movie about actual paint thinner would be better than this 1 stars
8/31/08 Shaun Wallner Great Horror film!! Kept me on the edge of my seat 5 stars
1/05/08 Pamela White suspenseful plot as only King can do 4 stars
7/17/07 David Cohen An old world Gypsy band in the US? Who can stay thin swallowing that much corn? 1 stars
2/06/07 action movie fan good thriller better than most usesers here claim it to be 4 stars
1/03/07 del Stephen King sucks...and this movie sucks even WORSE!!!! 1 stars
11/25/06 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 4 stars
11/21/05 Jeff Anderson Pretty good & Burke's great. The stunningly gorgeous Kari Wuhrer is a STANDOUT & A BLAST!!! 4 stars
8/19/05 ES ok, acting was strained, movie not overly scary 3 stars
6/10/04 Jack Sommersby Substandard adaptation of King's harrowingly effective novel. 2 stars
6/10/04 y2mckay pretty lame, but still better than most adaptations of S.K.'s stories 2 stars
6/08/04 tatum Same downfall as novel- the gangster character 4 stars
11/05/03 American Slasher Goddess Just plain sucks, big time. 1 stars
10/10/03 Erik Van Sant Joe Mantegna was in Baby's Day Out. He can't be cool. 1 stars
7/04/03 Dave Hopman Pretty good and entertaining movie. Not true to the book? Never read it.... 4 stars
1/23/02 Andrew Carden Gives The Classic King Novel A Bad Name. Pointless. 1 stars
2/10/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi The only thing thinner was my wallet. Stephen King rules, but this movie was a turd. 2 stars
2/12/00 Lame-Oh Teen movie critic II's review sucks, 'cause she's a lousy spud. The hell with dis movie! 1 stars
12/24/99 JonnyAngel Teen movie critic2 is a dumb bitch. For proof,read any of her reviews. Thinner sucks too! 1 stars
12/10/99 Kenton R. Riley Obviously used to be a short story, drags as a film. 2 stars
5/15/99 Ah Dooey Advice to Stephen King: YOUR F**KING MOVIES STINK! 1 stars
2/27/99 Viral Messiah Oh boy, this is terrible. 1 stars
2/02/99 Jacques Strap Wham! Wham! Wham! Wham! Wham! 1 stars
10/13/98 tw blows 1 stars
9/25/98 ShadowStar Yep. That's how my wallet felt afterward: Thinner. The book was MUCH better. 1 stars
9/01/98 MikeF This was stupid. ut it entertained me. cause I like almost every movie. 3 stars
8/30/98 Mister Whoopee Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! 1 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball King adapted crap. Lame. 1 stars
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  25-Oct-1996 (R)
  DVD: 21-Aug-2001

  11-Jul-1997 (18)

  25-Dec-1996 (M)

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