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Overall Rating

Awesome: 35.71%
Worth A Look52.14%
Average: 8.57%
Pretty Bad: 2.14%
Total Crap: 1.43%

11 reviews, 74 user ratings

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Man on the Moon
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by Erik Childress

"Jim Carrey's performance deserved a more epic treatment of Andy Kaufman"
4 stars

Man on the Moon (*** ½) – Andy Kaufman was the kind of performer that would punish his audience if they didn’t allow him to do what he wanted. If they sat back and were patient, he’d give them a great time. And it is never better said than with the opening moments of Man on the Moon, which have to be seen to be believed.

Kaufman had one of those rare life stories that almost couldn’t be fictionalized in the mind of even the greatest writer and the less you know about him, the more you’ll probably enjoy the film. Man on the Moon will probably be best remembered more for its bravura Jim Carrey performance than for the story of Andy Kaufman. But that alone is more than enough to highly recommend it. Every now and then a single performance comes along that makes a film worth seeing, despite any flaws it may have. Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs or Val Kilmer in Tombstone come to mind and now so does Jim Carrey in Man on the Moon. But this is just as much Kaufman’s movie as Carrey’s as the recreation of his antics monopolize most of the story, providing most of the comedy and some of the pain. It’s a shame that the film version didn’t go the extra mile the way the real Andy did. Events in his life are shuffled around for dramatic purposes and that’s fine, but why couldn’t we be witness to the full recreation of his Carnegie Hall show, (which is now on video and detailed in Bob Zmuda’s terrific biography of Andy) with the appearance of his grandma and the morning after ferryboat. The way it’s presented here, as a final performance of Kaufman’s, it would have given the film an emotional lift like none other. But Jim Carrey lends a virtual hypnotic quality to the film’s viewing. Every mannerism, eye movement, body language and vocalization is dead-on in all of Andy’s incarnations all culminating in a climactic scene when Andy goes looking for a “miracle” that is ultimately the saddest scene of the year. The writers of the film don’t do as thorough a job as they did with their tales of Ed Wood and Larry Flynt and if the movie has any flaw it’s that we don’t understand Andy the man any better than when we entered the theater. But it’s not a flaw if that’s the point. We are the audience. Andy’s audience. We may be watching recreations of many of his famous routines, with only an occasional moment focusing on Andy’s life, but this is exactly what we’re told during the pre-title sequence that we will be seeing.

As you observe the final scene of the film, you will realize that by watching this biopic, you will have become a member of Andy’s world, the fourth wall breaking down, as you witness one final duping that will make you think, make you wonder and make you believe that Andy was a true original and will never be topped.

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originally posted: 02/15/00 09:55:26
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User Comments

5/06/09 Dane Youssef A stunning re-creation and posession of an underrated genius madman & the havoc he wreaked. 5 stars
10/31/05 Wisamane Im sad now :( 5 stars
9/27/04 alicia carey is amazing in this. 5 stars
6/15/04 T. Maj Jim Carrey's Andy Kaufman imitation. See a Kaufman documentary instead 3 stars
3/22/04 Elena This is highly underrated for its style, acting and plot. It's a great, funny and sad movie 5 stars
12/26/03 ROY L. CAIN,JR. A fine movie on Andy Kaufman's life. It also remembrs "FRIDAYS". Put that show back on TV! 4 stars
11/24/03 Samuel One of the Greatest films of all time!! 5 stars
6/05/03 Mike A funny and entertaining movie. One of my faves. 5 stars
4/13/03 Jack Sommersby Another overstated, poorly made Forman leftist cinematic leaflet. 1 stars
2/01/03 Hi there Jim Carrey is excellent. 5 stars
1/13/03 WestcoastPunk Carrey is the best underated actor in Hollywood 5 stars
10/10/02 LIAM JACKSON THIS MOVIE IS SO FUCKING COOL I LUV IT, ITS FUCKING BRILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/30/02 Ryan Justice fucking hilarious a must see 5 stars
8/14/02 palaboy101 Jim Carrey's acting is great, but the movie wasn't. 3 stars
1/26/02 Andrew Lee Would like to give a full review as this is a must see film for those who have no seen Andy 5 stars
11/03/01 Andrew Carden I Liked How They Had Carrey Put Into Kaufman's Place For The "Taxi" Scenes. 3 stars
9/30/01 daniboy I loved it. Jim Carrey was impressive. 5 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk Good film. Carrey was perfect and of course, was fucked by the academy. (bastards 4 stars
7/14/01 Marijan Srdic Very entertaining!!!!! 5 stars
5/30/01 perverted pixie Kaufmans legend and Carreys gifts. Thats a double dose of crazy genius. 5 stars
2/15/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Jim Carrey proves once again that he IS, after all, talented. 4 stars
2/05/01 Diego Romero If you believe this movie sucks,go suck some cock 5 stars
2/04/01 Del R Jim Carrey is Andy Kaufman. Brilliant. 5 stars
1/21/01 thom carrey: usually a typcast gobshite. This is no exception, but it's ace cos Carrey fits. 4 stars
12/27/00 Turtle Another movie with Jim Carrey doing his best work! 5 stars
12/20/00 Speedy With no oscar recognition, it's official: Carrey is now most underated actor in world 5 stars
12/19/00 natasha Jim Carrey was the heart of this film - see it for his performance 4 stars
11/18/00 salvo greetings by tony clifton 5 stars
10/11/00 Add Its a good film but Carrey makes it great. Congrats to Jim and bollocks to the academy! 4 stars
6/12/00 Michael Grimm should have focused on personal relationships more than being a documentary 3 stars
6/07/00 Alma Marquez I am History and I say he`s a fucking asshole!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
6/03/00 JonnyA Carrey is great, movie is very average but worth seeing 4 stars
4/07/00 SID Best fucking movie of the year, I don't care what anyone says. 5 stars
3/06/00 Captain Highcrime Really an expanded A&E Biography, not enough "Taxi," good 4 those who never really knew him 4 stars
2/26/00 Bernard Self Carrey is brilliant, the film leaves me confused! 4 stars
2/25/00 Matthew Smith worth seeing for carrey's performance. 4 stars
2/24/00 Mic Could've been better (pacing for one thing). 3.5 Stars. 3 stars
2/18/00 Joel Harwood Hello i'm ANDY and i enjoyed the movie 4 stars
2/15/00 the Grinch Go see this, if only for the fantabulous "Tony Clifton"! 4 stars
2/12/00 Skye Chapman didn't think i'd like it. i did. glad they didn't try to explain andy. 4 stars
2/04/00 arnold fucking funny 5 stars
1/28/00 Donna Fritz Carrey was awesome! A wonderful tribute to the daring Mr. Kaufman. Funnier than expected! 5 stars
1/21/00 tom too big of a deal made out of something ultimately unimpressive 2 stars
1/16/00 Lindsay Worth a Look 4 stars
1/13/00 Timmy Fucking Rocked. Go Jim! you're more than Fire Marshal Bill! 5 stars
1/11/00 Louis A Great Movie. A whole bunch of well-earned laughs 5 stars
1/06/00 ALIaS Very well done, my only complaint is that it was too short......there was so much more! 5 stars
1/06/00 Gregory damn good movie. carrey is amazing. 4 stars
1/06/00 Laura Baker It made me laugh as well as wonder! 4 stars
1/06/00 Aldo P Good Movie. Who would want to see it, tho? 5 stars
1/04/00 PhilmPhreak Really well done - not a lot of insight into why he was so wierd, though. 4 stars
1/03/00 SJKelley Carrey and odd subject-matter barely keep it from being a T.V.-caliber bio-movie. 4 stars
1/03/00 Fork Outstanding. Truely a thinking man's film. Not just a life but an enigma. 5 stars
1/02/00 Starry Knight The character of Tony Clifton was brilliant 5 stars
1/01/00 ZuG Definately bad-ass 5 stars
1/01/00 unstrung it was pretty damn good 5 stars
1/01/00 Mike Clifton The story was too fragmented & choppy to make this a masterpiece, but Jim is unbelievable 5 stars
1/01/00 sexychick After Any Given Sunday this movie rocked!! 5 stars
1/01/00 Tyson Stewart funny, funny, funny. a good story. Carey's best film! 4 stars
1/01/00 majawat okay 4 stars
12/31/99 ANNIE best film ever 5 stars
12/31/99 maryjane Jim Carrey is awsome as an actor. Andy Kaufman was/is a bastard genius. 5 stars
12/31/99 KK Carrey deserves an Oscar Nomination for this. 5 stars
12/30/99 Fenris I look forward to seeing where Jim Carrey goes from here. 4 stars
12/26/99 Sadie I loved it. I laughed and was moved to tears. The best film in years. 5 stars
12/26/99 The King of the Bros Read Zmuda's book you fucking hacks. 3 stars
12/25/99 jenn "Blu Smrf" this is a great movie, once again an amazing job jim!! 4 stars
12/24/99 JonnyAngel Really good, but I'm stingy with those 5 star ratings 4 stars
12/24/99 Losifer A great film. Wonderful. Fantastic. 5 stars
12/24/99 chouck Carey was great but the movie was all over the map 2 stars
12/23/99 Malbert Jim Carey is *awesome* in this one! 4 stars
12/23/99 Marc It is absolutely, no contest the best film of 1999. 5 stars
12/23/99 Z rather confusing movie, i didn't like it 2 stars
12/19/99 Marla K It is touching, well-acted and well-directed. 4 stars
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  22-Dec-1999 (R)



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