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Overall Rating

Awesome: 34.38%
Worth A Look53.13%
Average: 7.29%
Pretty Bad: 4.17%
Total Crap: 1.04%

6 reviews, 60 user ratings

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by Paulapalooza

"It's well better than a 3.14. Great, artsy indy flick."
5 stars

It was a poor summer for studio fare. Thank God for the local indy house and "Pi."

"Pi" isn't for everyone, just those moviegoers out there who enjoy a smart, challenging trip from point A to B along a twisty, narrow road.

Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) is a math whiz, no, make that GENIUS, who, believing that in everything there is a pattern to be decipered, is using the stock market as a test subject. Max, shunning his neighbors and rarely consulting anyone except his college mentor, has recurring tension headaches that intensify despite heavy medication. Could it be that it's because what he's looking for is a gateway into something man was not meant to know? That would be fine except for his own insatiable drive to understand, and the interest his work piques in both an increasingly driven Wall Street consulting firm and a sect of Jewish mystics. Should he trust anyone, including himself? Has he crossed a line that can't be crossed without dire repercussions?

Finding out the answers to all these questions, all the whys and wherefores, kept me enthralled more than most any film this year. And when the story flags, writer and director Darren Aronofsky's sharp black and white photography and seemingly innate ability to compose haunting imagery keeps the hackle level up. This is a guy to watch for a LONG time. If he develops even one-sixteenth of the promise shown by "Pi," he'll show up most of the big-budget guys within two years. Wait, he's already done that.

The best performance in the film is the only one that really matters---Gullette projects the near-madness and pain Max is fighting as well as one could expect.

And I'm not really a fan of techno music, but Clint Mansell's electronic score is amazing. Perfect for the mood and tone.

I was all set to give this sucker four stars and be done with it, but it's been months since I saw it, and it still sticks with me. So flaws and all it gets the five-star push.

See it.

It' more than the second coming of David Lynch, cool as that would be. Aronofsky's got a good thing started here.

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originally posted: 12/11/98 18:27:33
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User Comments

10/05/18 morris campbell gripping decent into madness a great debut 4 stars
12/29/13 Marty Somewhat accesible math film which is rare. Agree style>substance but engaging and new 4 stars
7/24/12 Quigley A film that manages to make math interesting has my highest respect. 5 stars
6/20/09 Beefsolver Aronofsky achieves with a profound debut film as impenetrable as the number itself. 4 stars
1/15/09 FrankNFurter Huh?Incomprehensible, but visually stunning. Quite a mixture... 3 stars
4/17/07 Marko Excellent, grainy cinematography, unusual plot- worth seeing at least once! 4 stars
3/31/07 Edler Too cute and the ending was lame. 3 stars
3/28/07 fools♫gold I can't say it "made me think" as much as, well, half of the movies out there. 2/5 or 3/5. 2 stars
1/15/06 chris. i want it again 5 stars
5/13/05 Indrid Cold Mind-bending and disturbing. Intense, grainy b&w look is stunning. 5 stars
2/27/05 Linlymes real original ideas and very good camera and cut. pictures burn into your brain. 5 stars
1/09/05 Abbath More style than substance. Was just a bore, despite the interesting subject matter. 1 stars
6/13/04 Geoff Johnson Excellent movie, on multiple levels - worth multiple watchings 5 stars
4/30/04 Gray I know how max feels 5 stars
6/07/03 Manuel Vera A contribution to the mind from a brilliant perspepective 5 stars
3/31/03 Nicole Completely strange 5 stars
3/22/03 Skankin' inThePit excellent and origonal movie(up there with donnie darko on my list, but DD is my fav movie) 5 stars
11/17/02 Jason E UP there with Donnie Darko in my books 5 stars
11/05/02 Charles Tatum Weird 4 stars
9/10/02 Ramblin Wreck It was all right............Darren tries to make love to the camera which got really old. 3 stars
8/29/02 Hessian Totaly hypnotic. This movie is like crack. 1 little hit and it sucks you in. 4 stars
8/22/02 MaIniYaK excellent directing excellent story 5 stars
8/08/02 Jack Thompson mesmerizing 5 stars
7/30/02 erick great flcik, but how can u say one of the only good indie movies... screw u 4 stars
5/19/02 Film Afficianado most oiginal film i've seen in a long time. For $40k... incredible. Screw blair witch. 5 stars
4/03/02 Butterbean This is an empty movie that beatniks watch for artistic reasons. 2 stars
3/22/02 Mr. Hat (I'm Back!) This-is-so-cool. One of the few good independent movies. 5 stars
1/21/02 Spencer Lent This movie was wacked up. 3 stars
12/25/01 Cracked head I liked it, but it's not great. I rate this 3.141592653589793 3 stars
12/15/01 Ian Barr Along with "The Tenant" and "Pink Floyd The Wall", the best film about insanity ever. 5 stars
12/03/01 Monster W. Kung Interesting idea, but doesn't go far. Much style, just average substance. 3 stars
12/01/01 Jeff Wilson If this is independant, I'm never goin' back to Hollywood 5 stars
6/13/01 Tano g me gustaria obtener el número de 216 digitos... 4 stars
6/04/01 Basil Makes you feel like your going crazy with him. 5 stars
2/26/01 The Bomb 69 felt exhausted when it ended, bold and very original premise, not for most people (a shame) 5 stars
1/18/01 mike Best independent film since Clerk, this is a credit to independent filmmakers everywhere. 5 stars
11/09/00 viking An original but disturbing idea 4 stars
10/02/00 Madoc69 Not an easy movie but a very good one 4 stars
9/06/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble Bought the DVD, grainy picture but brilliant story makes it worth it. 5 stars
6/26/00 stranded on the Island Second-best movie of 99 (to Run Lola Run); Surreal and makes you think. Loved it! 5 stars
2/14/00 Shelagh Really unusual - a film that makes you work !! 4 stars
7/27/99 emperor great film 4 stars
7/21/99 danm Eerie, brainraping, and prophetic. Its like a cinematic drug. I have to see it again. 5 stars
7/15/99 J. Random Hacker Anyone else keep flashing back to "Snow Crash"? 5 stars
6/28/99 Steve Bashakus Beautifully paranoid and kinetic. I'm still twitching..... 5 stars
6/22/99 Elizaveta Must be watched again... 4 stars
4/15/99 Jon Jackson Great movie, loved the drill, his neighbor was fine. 4 stars
1/30/99 davebo great camera shots, loved the idea, very well done, superb dvd options :) 5 stars
12/02/98 Evil Buffy this movie was so cool. paranoid and terrifically shot. and of the neatest films i've seen 5 stars
10/24/98 grunter nice cinematography; dead-ended with cliche sub-Lynchian finale 3 stars
10/23/98 Ike Brilliant cinematography, but pretentious narration. Unrealistic, but nicely tense. 4 stars
10/18/98 Chris Very Fast Paced Dark Movie! 4 stars
10/16/98 aaron sias loved it 4 stars
10/01/98 Devin Mckay I enjoy a nice mindfuck every now and again 5 stars
9/29/98 Gamma Some of the story was hard to follow, but overall a terrific indie flick 4 stars
9/12/98 Melanie No surprises, blah, not impressed 2 stars
9/06/98 Gary Very strange but keep you interested 4 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Didn't interest me at all. 2 stars
8/22/98 Mister Whoopee Sci fi inside someone's head. 4 stars
8/21/98 Angelika Was intresting to watch ("eye candy" if you will). But, I left feeling a little worn. 4 stars
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  10-Jul-1998 (R)
  DVD: 24-Apr-2001



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